There are young and ambitious players in the EV vertical, but they need a government that is persistent with its clean-fuel vision. (Representational image)
While 2021 saw most brands test the electrified waters with luke-warm SUVs on both ends of the price spectrum, 2022 is set to witness more brazen entries, making for a more diverse and wholesome range of EVs. India’s electric infrastructure, while far from ready, appears to be steadily improving, but India is still far away from its goal of EVs reaching 30% market penetration by 2030.
However, skyrocketing fuel prices and a fresh set of subsidies have made EVs more appealing than ever. Here are the EVs coming to India in 2022:
The EQS is, simply put, the S-Class of electric mobility. In fact, the EQS is the car that will eventually replace the formidable S-Class. And now that it’s made its international debut, it’s coming to India. Packed with futuristic technology, it features an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) which uses a combination of ultrasound, radar and camera sensors to offer a highly advanced semi-autonomous driving experience.
It’s also one of the most aerodynamic designs out there with a drag coefficient of 0.20, which enhances its range and performance. Built on Merc’s first dedicated EV platform, it comes with a 107.8 kWh battery which, depending on which variant you’re driving, provides anywhere between 334hp to 538hp of power. AMG and Maybach versions are expected to follow, and be much more powerful.
Chief among its interior highlights is Merc’s patented “Hyperscreen” – a 56-inch dashboard-wide single-screen setup that features Merc’s latest MBUX system. The interiors offer more space and utility than a present-day S-Class, which means the EQS is all set to surpass what is often considered the greatest car in the world.
Price: Rs 1.75 crore (estimated)
Tentative launch date: Early 2022
Tesla Model 3 and Model Y
Arguably the most anticipated EVs of the year, Tesla is all set to make its Indian debut with two of its most affordable cars – the Model 3 and the Model Y. With camouflaged versions of the two cars having been spotted doing test runs, and a total of four models having been registered by state transport departments, we’re likely to get both models in single and dual-motor iterations.
While the single-motor version promises to be the most affordable one, the dual-motor ‘Performance’ version provides supercar acceleration, making it one of the fastest EVs in the country, south of the Audi e-tron GT.
The Model 3 features a 50kWh battery which has a claimed range of 421km. In AWD configuration, the range, thanks to a larger battery, goes all the way up to 568km. The Model Y is almost identical to the Model 3, except it is taller, seats seven, and features a dual-motor AWD setup as standard.
While Elon Musk is batting for more relaxed EV policies in the country, fans of Tesla can’t wait to see the cars on the road, CBUs or otherwise.
Price: Rs 60-80 lakh (estimated)
Tentative launch date: September 2022
Volvo XC40 Recharge
Volvo’s first all-electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge marks a new chapter in the storied Swedish brand’s history. With the brand having announced its plans to go all-electric by 2030, the XC40 Recharge will be followed by one EV launch in India per year.
Its critically acclaimed design makes it the ideal mascot to debut the brand’s EV technology, even though it isn’t based on a pure EV platform. The XC40 Recharge shares its underpinnings with its petrol-powered counterpart, and makes a potent 402 bhp through its 78 kWh battery pack and according to the brand, is good for roughly 400km.
Price: Rs 50 lakh (estimated)
Tentative launch date: End of Jan 2022
Audi Q4 e-tron
Audi is already leading the charge when it comes to EVs. In a single year, the brand has launched 5 electric vehicles, two of which are high-performance sedans. Now it’s time for them to introduce another SUV and fatten-up their EV portfolio with the Q4 e-tron. Unlike their EVs so far, this one looks properly unconventional and will go up against the likes of the Volvo XC40 Recharge as a midsize luxury SUV (although it’s higher up in the luxury order). The Q4 e-tron will be available with both AWD and RWD options, with power levels ranging between 179hp to 299hp.
Price: Rs 75 lakh (estimated)
Tentative launch date: Mid-to-late 2022
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Hyundai Ioniq is to be the first of six EVs that Hyundai Motors plans to launch in India by 2028. The brand managed to gauge consumer interest by introducing the all-electric Kona back in 2019, whose face lifted version also arrives next year. With the Ionia 5 however, it’ll bring-in a more premium EV offering, once again brought-in as a CBU. Hyundai is investing Rs 4000 crore to expand its EV line-up, and its first offering , the Ioniq, will feature two battery options : a 72.6 kWh battery and a smaller 58kWh battery. It’ll also feature 800V battery technology allowing for fast charging, that’ll charge the battery from 10 t0 80% under 20 minutes.
Power levels are also very un-Hyundai at 302 bhp with 605 Nm of torque – more than what most hot hatches in the country offer. This is because the Ioniq sub-brand will feature all of Hyundai’s future EVs. As a result the cars will look and feel very different from what we’re accustomed to from the brand.
Price: Rs 25-30 lakh (estimated)
Tentative launch date: Mid 2022
Mini Cooper SE
With so many original 60s era Mini Coopers being retrofitted with electric powertrains, the new one was crying out for a proper EV makeover. Thankfully BMW listened and ever since then the Mini Cooper SE has been a hit.
Featuring an electric motor that produces 181 bhp of power and 270 Nm of torque, the SE’s performance is similar to its petrol-powered counterpart. Except here all the torque is unleashed at the very beginning. It shares its powertrain with the BMW i3, but has thankfully retained the recognisable Mini Cooper shell.
Only 30 units are expected to be allotted in the first batch, and it’s unlikely to crack the performance bracket, given its modest power figures. However, it’s sub-Rs 50 lakh price figure means it’s likely to be one of the more affordable luxury EVs in the market, unlike BMW’s recently launched premium EV offering – the iX, which at Rs 1.15 crore (ex-showroom) is completely sold-out at launch.
Price: Rs 50 lakh (tentative)
Tentative launch date: Early 2022