“We are middle-class people, even I can’t afford your car,” Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said at the rollout of Mercedes-Benz India’s first locally assembled EQS 580 4MATIC EV.
On Friday, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari requested that German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz produce more vehicles locally, emphasising that doing so would lower costs while also improving affordability. Gadkari, the Minister for Road Transport and Highway’s, stated that there is a sizable market for electric vehicles in the nation while speaking at the unveiling of Mercedes-Benz India’s first locally assembled EQS 580 4MATIC EV from its Chakan manufacturing facility in Pune.
“You increase the production, only then it is possible to reduce cost. We are middle-class people, even I can’t afford your car,” the minister said. The latest EV from the German car maker comes with a price tag of Rs 1.55 crore.
The EQS 580 joins the company’s EQC SUV and AMG EQS53 4MATIC flagship EV. Mercedes-Benz India started its electro-mobility drive in India with the launch of its all-electric SUV EQC as a fully imported unit in October 2020 priced at Rs 1.07 crore.
The current size of the Indian automobile industry is Rs 7.8 lakh crore, with exports amounting to Rs 3.5 lakh crore, and he stated that his dream was to grow it to a Rs 15 lakh crore industry.
Nitin Gadkari also suggested that Mercedes-Benz form joint ventures to establish auto recycling facilities, which would enable the company to cut the cost of its parts by up to 30%.
According to Nitin Gadkari, there are currently 15.7 lakh registered electric vehicles in the nation. According to him, there is a sizable market for electric vehicles, with overall sales increasing by 335%, and Mercedes-Benz India will have a healthy demand for these vehicles as express highways are built throughout the nation.
“As per our records, we have 1.02 crore vehicles ready for scrapping. We have only 40 units. My estimate is that we can open four scrapping units in one district. And so easily, we can open 2,000 such units,” he said. “My suggestion is that you can set up some such units which will give you raw materials for recycling which will reduce your component cost by 30 per cent.”
The minister stated that the government supports such facilities and it is crucial to have your cooperation. The EQS 580 4MATIC has a range of 857 kilometres (ARAI certified). The powerful 400-volt battery is part of the high power density lithium-ion battery, which has a usable energy content of 107.8 kWh and was made using the most recent advances in lithium-ion technology.