South Korean auto major Kia Motors is not worried over the lack of policy for eco-friendly vehicles in India as it can quickly adapt from its existing global portfolio for the local market, according to a senior company official. The company feels that India will also eventually follow the global direction towards eco-friendly technologies led by electric vehicles (EVs).
Kia has already announced plans to roll out electric and hybrid vehicles from its upcoming plant at Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh and is targeting to launch an electric vehicle in India by 2021.
“Indian government policies are not clear at the moment. We don’t know the future policy but seeing the global market circumstances, there is a big direction (towards EVs),” Kia Motors India CEO & Managing Director Kookhyun Shim told.
He said going forward the current powertrain of internal combustion engines would be replaced by eco-friendly technologies.
“It is also true that we are considering our eco-friendly line-up for the Indian market, which model to be brought here. It will be very quick and flexible and we don’t worry too much about government policy,” Shim said.
He further said, “In case, the Indian government fixes a policy in a very short time, we can introduce a car which meets the regulations and Indian customers’ needs.”
Globally, Shim said Kia has been working on research and development of eco-friendly vehicles such as hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV), full EVs as well as fuel cell vehicles.
“Our R&D is very strong on this point. We are the number one globally in preparation of this eco-friendly line up. Currently we are introducing 48 volts mild hybrid in the European market,” he claimed.
So, all these technologies, Shim added can be quickly adapted for India although these are developed not specifically for the market here.
“We are preparing for global automotive market. The Indian market will also come in line with the global strategy. We have already started preparation for production of all these eco-friendly vehicles,” he said.
Last week, Kia Motors India had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Andhra Pradesh to collaborate on ‘Partnership for Future Eco Mobility’.
As part of the agreement, the company provided the state government with three of its global eco car, a Niro Hybrid, Niro Plug-in Hybrid and a Niro EV. Besides, Kia is also installing a vehicle charging station at Vijayawada.
The company claims that Niro EV, a fully electric crossover, is capable of travelling 455 kilometres on a single charge.
On the other hand, Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid are already among the best-selling hybrid vehicles globally. These use parallel hybrid powertrains, which switch between petrol and electric power.