Toyota and Suzuki have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collectively develop a structure for introducing electric vehicles (EVs) in India by 2020. Specifically, Suzuki will produce EVs for the Indian market and will supply some to Toyota, while Toyota is to provide technical support. Additionally, Toyota and Suzuki intend to conduct a comprehensive study of activities for the widespread acceptance and popular use of EVs in India. Such activities encompass the establishment of charging stations, human resources development that includes training for after-service technicians employed throughout sales networks, and systems for the appropriate treatment of end-of-life batteries.
Suzuki has already announced that it intends to construct a lithium-ion battery plant on the grounds of its recently opened plant in Gujarat. As envisioned by the agreement, in addition to lithium-ion batteries, electric motors and other major components would be locally procured for the production of EVs in India as well.
The MoU between the two Japanese companies comes at a time when the government is ambitiously planning to phase out fossil fuel powered cars in favour of EVs by 2030. Toyota is an experienced global player in the hybrid/EV space, while Suzuki has a strong market foothold in India. If executed right, this alliance surely has the potential to trigger the EV revolution in India.