Week in Brief: MG Motor To Launch MG ZS EV in India, FASTag Implementation For Smooth Vehicle Movement, Maruti Suzuki to hike prices from Jan 2020 and more

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MG ZS Electric Vehicle Unveiled In India, Might Be Priced Over Rs. 20 Lakh

MG Motor India today unveiled the ZS electric vehicle. Expected to be launched in India in January 2020, MG ZS EV might come with a price tag of more than Rs 20 lakh (ex-showroom) and rival Hyundai Kona EV. MG ZS electric vehicle has been tested for more than 1 lakh km across India. There is a synchronous motor churning out 143 PS and 353 Nm of peak torque in the upcoming EV. It ZS EV can make 0 to 100 kmph in 8.5 seconds. It gets Eco, Normal and Sport driving modes and three regenerative braking modes. The battery of the ZS electric, it comes with a 44.5 kWh water-cooled, lithium-ion unit. One can charge the battery through five modes — standard onboard cable that plugs into 15Amp sockets, home/office charge, DC super-fast charging, AC fast charging and charge on the go (for emergencies). Now, the battery can be charged up to 80 per cent in less than an hour with a 50KW DC fast charger. A 7.4 KW charger will take 6-8 hours to fully charge the battery.

Mercedes-Benz to stop selling BS-IV cars in India

Mercedes-Benz said on 3rd December, 2019 that it has stopped producing BS-IV vehicles in India and that it will stop retail sales of the same within a few weeks as it gears up for full transition to stricter emission norm, BS-VI. The company said that it has already stopped wholesale of BS-IV vehicles. The stricter BS-VI emission norms will come into effect from April 1, 2020. No automobile manufacturer can produce or sell BS-IV vehicles after March 31, 2020.

Maruti Suzuki to increase prices from Jan 2020

Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker has declared to increase the prices of various variants due to increase in various input costs. In a regulatory filing, the company agreed that the price rise will come into effect from January 2020. “The cost of the company’s vehicles has been impacted adversely due to increase in various input costs. Hence, it has become imperative for the Company to pass on some impact of the above additional cost to customers through a price increase across various models in January 2020,” the company said in a regulatory filing. In addition to this the company also mentioned that the price hike will vary for each car model. However, they did not mention the names of the variants yet.

Govt says no proposal to reduce taxes on petrol, diesel

On 2nd December the government said there is no proposal to reduce taxes on petrol and diesel. Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha that no where in the world do the prices of petrol and diesel remain steady for a particular period of time. To a query on whether petrol and diesel would be brought under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, she said that in a way, they are already under the zero rate category of the GST. The rates have to be decided by the GST Council, she noted. The council, chaired by the Union Finance Minister, has ministers in-charge of finance or taxation from all states as members. “At present, there is no proposal to reduce taxes on petrol and diesel,” Sitharaman said in response to a question on whether the government proposes to reduce taxes so that prices of petrol and diesel would come down. To another query, the minister said that at present, no new tax on petrol and diesel is being considered. The central government imposes various central excise and custom duties on petrol and diesel. Besides, state governments levy taxes on them. When asked whether small farmers would be given subsidy on diesel, Sitharaman said the Centre and the state governments tax at different levels.

Seamless movement of vehicles with Pan-India FASTag implementation: SIAM

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said on 2nd December, 2019 in support of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) that it supports the decision for mandating FASTags at toll plazas on all highways, across the country, from December 15, 2019. Rajan Wadhera, President, SIAM said, “100 per cent implementation of FASTags would have several economic and environmental benefits in the road transportation sector with seamless movement through the toll plazas, thereby ensuring faster turnaround time for movement of goods & passengers and improving overall transportation efficiency.” The association further highlighted that the SIAM members have been playing a crucial role along with the Government of India in this initiative for the last two years, as a robust process at the dealer’s end has been established for fitment of FASTags for new passenger vehicles, buses and trucks from December 1, 2017. Moreover, it is estimated that over six million FASTags have been issued till date which has ensured growth in FASTags transactions at the electronic toll plazas. MoRTH, on the other hand, through the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has already commenced a nationwide campaign for issuing FASTags at the Toll Plazas to enable affixation on old vehicles.

MG Motor To Launch An Electric Vehicle in India And also Offers Charging Stations too

After the successful launch of MG Hector in June 2019, MG Motors is all set to launch the MG ZS EV in early December. The launch date has been set as December 5. With this launch, it will be competing against Mahindra eVerito and Hyundai Kona Electric. Since electric cars need charging infrastructure, there were only 222 publicly accessible charging points in 2017, hence MG Motors is offering to develop charging infrastructure as well. Hence, before the launch of its EV MG Motors launched its first 50 kW DC charging station at its flagship showroom at Gurugram in partnership with Fortum Charge and Drive India. They are in plans to add four more stations across Delhi NCR. Moreover, it is planning to open charging stations in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.

TATA Nexon EV To Make Global Debut in India

Tata Motors is all set to unveil the Tata Nexon EV on December 17, 2019. Tata Motors will be officially adding its first electric SUV to its portfolio. However, the company is going to unveil Tata Nexon EV, the company will launch the car only next year. Tata Nexon EV is not Tata’s first electric car, but it will be the first car to be powered by the company’s latest Ziptron electric powertrain technology, and an expected range of 250 to 300 km on a single charge.  It will use a Lithium-Ion battery, which will be liquid-cooled and IP67 certified for water and dust resistance. The company will also be providing  with 8-years warranty on the battery, and as for the electric motor, it is a permanent magnet AC motor with regenerative braking which charges the battery on the drive.

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