CHENNAI: Global automotive group Stellantis will launch its first electric vehicle in India under the Citroen brand next year and is expecting up to 30 per cent of total sales to come from EVs by 2030, according to company global CEO Carlos Tavares.
The group, which was formed by the merger between Italian-American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and French PSA Group, plans to bring EVs in both the compact sub-four metre segment and multi-purpose/sports utility vehicles segment in India.
"We will launch them, and the first EV will come next year," Tavares said in a virtual interaction with media here when asked about the group's EV plans for India.
Elaborating further on the EV roadmap in India, he said, "We are going to bring not only compact cars, I would say within the Indian market segmentation less than four meters, but we'll also bring EVs with people movers for the next products to be launched. We will bring those EV versions in both the less than four-metre cars and to MPV-SUV oriented products that will come next."
Of the two brands -- Jeep and Citroen -- that the group sells in the country, Tavares said, "Specifically in India, Citroen will be leading the way of EV introduction."
When asked about how much the group expects EVs to contribute to its overall sales in India in future, he said, "I think that in the near term (by 2025) it's going to be 5 per cent to 10 per cent in terms of the mix, and by the end of the decade, perhaps 25 per cent to 30 per cent."
He, however, said it would depend a lot on how the market shapes up and, how the cost of EVs comes down so that Indian consumers can afford it besides the development of charging infrastructure. Under its 2030 vision, Stellantis has said that it expects sales in Europe to be 100 per cent EV, while in the US it will be 50 per cent.
When asked about investment in EVs for the Indian market, Tavares said the group hasn't earmarked a specific amount as Stellantis had included it in "the strategic engineering" from the start of the smart car platform (C-Cube) programme, on which Citroen will be launching conventional engine cars starting with the sub-four metre car C3 within the first half of 2022.
However, he said, had it been developed as a purely electric vehicle platform, the amount of investment in the different EV products that the group plans to bring could be equivalent to around one billion euros.
With battery accounting for 40 per cent of the total production cost of EVs, Stellantis is looking for local sourcing to reduce the overall cost of such vehicles for requirements in India as well as for the rest of the world.
"So far for the EV versions, we have not found proper sourcing in terms of batteries, but we are looking forward to discussing with Indian partners on that," Tavares said.