Hyundai plans to produce its fully electric Kona in India starting in the second half of 2019. The plan is linked to an investment of 70 billion rupees (around 870 million euros) in the Hyundai plant in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
The electric vehicles that Hyundai produces in Chennai will initially be destined for the Indian market, but potentially later for export. In addition to preparing the plant for the Kona, the amount invested will also be used for the construction of other vehicle models, technology updates and machines.
Chennai is considered India’s automotive stronghold. Many international OEMs produce there, including Hyundai, Ford, Daimler, Renault-Nissan and BMW. As yet, India’s electric car market has gained little momentum. But the government has recognized the opportunities greater electrification in transport will bring, specifically with the manufacture of batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries are not only being considered for the electrification of road traffic but also for electricity storage facilities, which are increasingly needed to better regulate the feeding of renewable energy into the grid.
Earlier this week we reported that the government was negotiating with the LIBCOIN consortium on the construction of the first “Gigafactory” for lithium-ion batteries in India. The plan would be to build the battery factory with the state-owned Indian company Bharat Heavy Electricals. Three more are said to be in the planning, which is timely for electric vehicle makers.