Japanese automaker Suzuki is set to finally enter the electric vehicle (EV) market with its first all-electric vehicle due to be launched by fiscal year 2025, according to Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei.
Unnamed and unspecified sources quoted by Nikkei have revealed that Suzuki will release its first EV in its largest market, India, before launching in Japan and Europe. The cost for this planned EV will be 1.5 million yen, which converts to around $A18,500.
Suzuki is known primarily for its compact hatchbacks and small SUVs, and according to Nikkei, the company’s move into EVs is “likely to accelerate an EV shift in the category of compact cars”, giving us some idea of the type of EV Suzuki is likely to make.
Suzuki’s eventual entry into the EV market would also serve to see all major Japanese automakers involved in EV manufacturing to some degree.
A Suzuki spokesperson speaking to Reuters explained that “We have been saying that we will enter EV and strong hybrid cars in India by 2025,” but refused to confirm any pricing or whether the company will in fact launch EVs in India first.
If the reports turn out to be close to the mark, Suzuki could very well throw the cat among the pigeons, especially in terms of delivering on the promise of affordable EVs.
At the moment, electric vehicles are priced at the high end of “affordable” – with the cheapest EV in Australia, the MG ZS EV Essence SUV, for example, selling for slightly over the $40,000 mark.
Last month, Volkswagen revealed that its long-awaited ID.3 electric hatchback will finally be coming to Australia in the next year or two and would likely have a price also around the $40,000 mark.
VW Australia’s brand communications director Paul Pottinger’s claim that the pending release of both the ID.3 and the ID.4 electric SUV will “be circuit breakers” and be “genuinely affordable EVs” will struggle to stand up to reality, though, if Suzuki is able to deliver on its promise of a compact EV with a price under $A20,000.
So while electric vehicles will certainly see their prices tumble over the rest of this decade – as battery costs drop and technology improves – Suzuki could certainly make a splash with what would legitimately be “genuinely affordable EVs”.