Auto expo gets electric push

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Among the new products to be launched by Lohia Auto includes battery operated auto designed and developed by Lohia R&D team to provide an eco-friendly commuting solution to rural and urban India.

Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai on Wednesday announced their plans to launch electric vehicles in India.

The showcase of electric and hybrid vehicles at the expo, which also had the presence of Bollywood star Akshay Kumar and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, was not restricted only to passenger vehicles. It is likely to introduce the electric vehicle in India in tie up with Toyota Motor. Hyundai will be the first global vehicle maker to do so.

While exhibitors and media personnel took to the motor show, a general theme of electric and hybrid vehicles was displayed. "This is our target", Hyundai India CEO and MD Y. K. Koo said. The company launched the next-generation Elite i20 on Wednesday, with a starting price of Rs 534,900.

The Korean carmaker has showcased its entire line-up at the event along with the SP Concept, which previews its Creta-rivaling made-for-India SUV, due in 2019.

"In order to stitch up a strategy (for EV segment) we are requesting to have a road map regarding plans of charging stations.Without a clear policy it will be hard to select models", Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) President and CEO Yoichiro Ueno told reporters. The luxury SUV, which has won many global awards, comes with a 7-speed Mercedes-Benz automatic transmission and its new 2.2L engine delivering 178 BHP power and 420 NM torque. The auto gives a preview of new generation of vehicles with battery electric drives. Anand Mahindra, chairman, M&M, and Pawan Goenka, managing director, replicated the gesture by walking through the pavilion.

Homegrown auto majors Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra are on par with their foreign counterparts in showcasing future mobility products at the Auto Expo. H5X is the first model in the Impact Design 2.0 language and will go into production next year. A fast charging option is also expected to be available with the vehicle.

In fact, the two have much bigger pavilions displaying a slew of future products, from small premium vehicles and electric three-wheelers to electric buses.

Two-wheeler makers, too, showcased EV concepts even as they remained non-committal about commercial launches.

There's no word on whether it would be making its way to the Indian roads or not. The Emflux One, India's first electric superbike, is priced at Rs 6 lakh for the standard version and Rs 11 lakh for the top-end model.