‘Can’t afford…’ Nitin Gadkari praises Mercedes-Benz for launching Indian-made luxury EV, but says THIS

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari asked German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz to make more vehicles domestically, emphasizing that this will reduce costs while improving affordability. The Minister of Road Transport and Roads, Nitin Gadkari, stated that there is a significant market for electric vehicles in the country during the unveiling of Mercedes-Benz India’s first locally produced EQS 580 4MATIC EV from its Chakan production facility in Pune.

“You increase production; only then will it be possible to reduce costs. We are middle class people, even I can’t afford your car,” said the minister. The latest EV from the German automaker comes with a price tag of Rs 1.55 crore. The EQS 580 joins the company’s EQC SUV and AMG EQS53 4MATIC flagship EV.

Mercedes-Benz India started its electromobility drive in India with the launch of its all-electric SUV EQC as a fully imported unit in October 2020, priced at Rs 1.07 crore. According to Gadkari, there are a total of 15.7 lakh registered electric vehicles in the country.

Also read: ‘No special treatment’ Traffic-hit Mercedes-Benz CEO dumps Rs 1.5 crore luxury car for car ride

There is a huge market with total sales of EVs increasing by 335 percent, he said, adding that Mercedes-Benz India will get a good market for these cars with the fast highways coming into the country.

The size of the Indian car currently stands at Rs 7.8 lakh crore, in which the export is valued at Rs 3.5 lakh crore, and “my dream is to turn it into a Rs 15 lakh crore industry”, he noted.

Gadkari also came up with the idea of ​​creating Mercedes-Benz joint ventures to set up car wrecking companies, which would allow the company to cut parts costs by as much as 30 percent.

“According to our data, we have 1.02 crore vehicles ready to be scrapped. We only have 40 units. I estimate that we can open four demolition units in one district. And that’s how easily we can open 2,000 such units,” he said.

“My suggestion is that you can set up some such units that will give you raw materials for recycling, reducing the cost of your components by 30 percent.” The government encourages such facilities, “and it is important that we get cooperation from your side”, said the minister – the EQS 580 4MATIC offers a range of 857 km (ARAI certified).

The high power density of the lithium-ion battery comes with a usable energy content of 107.8 kWh. It is equipped with a powerful 400-volt battery manufactured using the latest lithium-ion technology.

With inputs from PTI

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