If anybody had any doubts about the ability of automakers to bring out electric vehicles, the Auto Expo should dispel those. Even as companies complain of affordability issues and severe lack of charging infrastructure, electric cars were in the limelight at the expo with carmakers literally falling over one another to showcase their green rides.
In fact, the show opened with the glimpse of a futuristic electric concept as Maruti Suzuki unveiled the FUTURO-e — a highly (internet) connected car that runs on electric but can have hybrid drivetrain capabilities — as its showstopper.
But the bigger electric push, especially in the mainstream end of the market, seemed to be coming from the homegrown boys — Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra. Mahindra launched its smallest electric SUV in the green version of KUV1OO, which has been priced at Rs 8.25 lakh (ex-showroom). It also showcased an electric version of its XUV3OO SUV and also unveiled Atom, a mini multi-passenger urban mobility electric vehicle. The vehicles will be launched over the coming few months.
The showstopper for Tata Motors was surely the reimagined Sierra SUV, which has now gone green and was displayed as a concept. The company, which recently launched an electric version of the Nexon SUV, also displayed a green version of the Altroz hatch. Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran was present at the pavilion as Tata Motors MD Guenter Butschek and senior officials like Girish Wagh (the creator of Nano) unveiled the new cars.
Foreign makers were not behind with Renault bringing a retinue of electrics in mini cars like Zoe and Twizy while the flamboyant Symbioz was also displayed.