Audi will roll out its all-electric SUV e-Tron by the end of the year in India. According to Rahil Ansari who heads Audi India, the first batch to be imported will include an order of 200 electric vehicles.
Audi plans to distribute the e-tron allocation across dealerships in major cities including Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and others. The step marks Audi’s electric entry on the Indian market.
The reduced GST from 28 per cent to 12 per cent for electric cars in India is a good initiative, but the Business Standard quotes Ansari who says he is hopeful that when the budget is announced this July, that number will come down even further to around five per cent. This would be particularly important for cars such as Audi’s that evoke a 100 per cent import duty and are not cheap to start with anyway. However, the government in Delhi hinted at plans to exempt electric vehicles from registration fees. There are also plans to reduce VAT on electric vehicles as reported.
Other carmakers such as Renault confirmed the intention to abandon the diesel engine in India soon, precipitated by the upcoming new emissions standard similar to the Euro 6 standard. Moreover, the French company is considering manufacturing electric cars in India, also in light of the Indian government’s import taxes designed to promote domestic EV assembly.
Another issue for EV uptake is charging infrastructure that so far has been weak in Indian. However, for the e-tron electric car, Audi expects clients to charge at home at 2-pin socket mostly. Change is incoming, however, with the likes of Australia’s Tritium. The company that also supplies Europe’s high power charging network Ionity of which Audi is a part of, signed a deal with Tata Motors in India. Tritium will provide its 50 kW Veefil chargers, also in connection with the country’s FAME scheme that recently entered phase 2 with a budget of 100 billion rupees (1.24 billion euros). Tritium CEO David Finn has described it as one of the most progressive EV policy initiatives in the world. Under FAME II the government envisions support for charging infrastructure, including 2,700 charging stations to be installed at the offices of governments and corporations across India.