Japan-based auto giants Toyota Motor Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation said on Friday that they will co-operate on introducing electric vehicles (EVs) in India by 2020.
The two companies said in a joint statement that they have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to take forward a co-operative structure under which Suzuki will produce EVs for the Indian market and will supply some of them to Toyota, which will provide technical support.
The announcement by the two companies comes at a time when the Indian government is pushing for electric vehicles, setting a target of an all electric fleet by 2030.
Also, the growing need for alternative fuel sources, that can bring down the level of hazardous pollution levels in different parts of the country, is likely to have catapulted the announcement.
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Such activities encompass the establishment of charging stations, human resources development that includes training for after-service technicians employed throughout sales networks, and systems for the appropriate treatment of end-of-life batteriesToyota and Suzuki joint statement
Besides, the statement said, they intend to conduct a comprehensive study of activities for widespread acceptance and popular use of EVs in India.
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In February this year, the two companies had announced exploration of a business partnership after which they began discussing, among other topics, the dissemination of vehicle electrification technologies in India.
Prioritising electric vehicles has become even more critical as the idea of having hybrid vehicles has been junked by the ministry. All this is expected to take shape in the next few years, with a targeted roll out lined up from 2020 onwards, which is why Toyota and Suzuki’s timeline could work in their favour.
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Suzuki has already announced that it intends to construct a lithium-ion battery plant along with its partners in Gujarat, where it currently operates a manufacturing plant supplying automobiles exclusively to its Indian arm Maruti Suzuki.
However, there is still a lot of work that companies need to do before more electric vehicles can show up on Indian roads, with benchmarks being the likes of Tesla.
Reports also suggest that in addition to lithium-ion batteries, electric motors and other major components would be locally procured for production of EVs in India, keeping both these brands in the good books of the Indian government.
(With inputs from PTI)
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