With the world’s carmakers looking to developing countries for future growth, India’s Auto Expo, which has just opened in New Delhi, is increasingly important.
Car sales in India are forecast to jump 16 percent this year.
Manufacturers hope there is a future market for green vehicles. Several are on show including Renault’s Twizy electric concept car.
Reliable electricity supplies remain a problem in India, but Renault India’s Ashish Sinharoy said battery life is expanding: “As of now, the electric vehicle is, let us say, technically challenged. There has been a huge effort from us and from some other companies to take it to a very different level where you don’t need to stop every 30 kilometres. All our cars travel in the range of 160 kilometres on a single charge. That’s a lot. You can travel between two cities that are close together, and then recharge the battery and come back again the next day if you wish to when you have 160 kilometres range on full charge.”
India’s state governments are keen to reduce pollution and plan tax cuts and subsidies for environmentally friendly electric cars.
India’s robust economic growth and the fact that is one of the world’s fastest expanding car markets has attracted exhibitors from 30 countries including luxury brands such as BMW and Mercedes.
Close to two million people are expected to visit the show.