The Hyundai Kona SUV is India's powerful new electric car
Hyundai just unveiled India's most powerful electric car and plans to build a network to charge it too.
The South Korean carmaker launched its first electric vehicle for the Indian market, the Hyundai Kona Electric, in New Delhi on Tuesday. The battery-powered SUV can go from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 9.7 seconds and travel 452 kilometers (281 miles) on a single charge, the company said.
It will cost around 2.5 million rupees ($37,000).
Hyundai will help buyers of the car to install charging infrastructure in their homes, and is working with state-owned energy firm Indian Oil Corporation to install a network of fast chargers at gas stations in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. They are capable of charging the vehicle up to 80% in 57 minutes, the company said.
Launched in South Korea and other global markets last year, the Hyundai Kona won North American SUV of the year in January. The Kona Electric's India debut comes just days after the Indian government announced new incentives for using electric vehicles.
"India is ushering into a new era with clean and connected mobility," Hyundai India CEO S.S. Kim said in a statement. Hyundai "will bring in the most relevant technology in the clean mobility space in the Indian market," he added.
Presenting her first annual budget on Friday, India's new Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced plans to cut taxes on electric vehicle production and incentives for companies making lithium batteries and charging infrastructure.
"[We] envision India as a global hub of manufacturing electric vehicles," Sitharaman said in her speech.
Hyundai is currently India's No.2 carmaker behind Indian joint venture Maruti Suzuki. It will now become the second company to sell electric cars in the country, after local rival Mahindra.
But Mahindra's top electric car, the E20 Plus, is far less powerful, with a top speed of just 50 miles an hour and a maximum range of 87 miles on a single charge.