How strong is the eMobility topic in India? Are opinions any different from other parts of the world?
India is placing a strong emphasis on eMobility. The Indian government is pushing for the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) to ensure a cleaner environment while reducing the need for oil imports. Indian government aims to achieve 30-per-cent EV penetration in the automotive space by 2030. Interest in EVs has increased substantially in the last few years and the Indian passenger vehicle market could see around 15 per cent of EV penetration. To achieve their ambition, the government of India is incentivising both the supplier side and the demand side.
Škoda Kushaq in challenging Indian traffic
What are your plans in terms of EVs in India? How will the offensive start?
We acknowledge India’s enthusiasm for electric cars. Our group’s luxury EVs – the Audi e-tron and Porsche Taycan – are already making their presence felt in India. Being among the first movers in the luxury EV space, we also did our bit to address the infrastructure challenges and customer perceptions. Globally, the Volkswagen Group is rapidly investing in the eMobility space, and India will benefit from this as well. The Group is getting prepared to bring in further EV models in India at the right time based on the market development and on how quickly the ecosystem develops as we want to play a major role in the growth of the Indian EV space.
Our brands Škoda and Volkswagen are evaluating the possibility of bringing EVs to India and are jointly working on this plan. We are experimentally testing Škoda Enyaq iV and the ID.4. Our present sense is to enter the market via the import of electric vehicles, based on volume growth and move towards local assembly of certain products, and finally move in to local production for the volume segment.
What are your plans with combustion-engine cars? How important are they for people in India? Do you plan to keep them, for how long?
The MQB-A0-IN is a modular platform with a host of possibilities which we are looking at exploring over the years. India is a market that is expected to grow further, and the post-pandemic revival is very promising. The peculiarity of India is, unlike other international markets which have seen an accelerated transformation into BEVs from ICE vehicles, we in India will see a sort of parallel growth in both ICE and BEVs. The transformation to electrics will happen faster here too, but that will be on a smaller base. But a high single-digit growth rate can be expected for ICE vehicles as well. The Group’s objective is to participate in both these growth opportunities.
A Škoda Slavia and Škoda Kushaq on their travels around India