Hyundai plans to be the first global automaker to bring EVs to India, with Kia to follow and enter that market for the first time.

Hyundai is already the second-largest automaker in India, the fastest growing auto market worldwide. Business Standard reports that the automaker is planning to introduce an EV for the first time. If it is successful, Hyundai will start EV production there as well.

“We want to test the readiness of the market. When the market matures, later on, we will start local manufacturing of this EV,” said Y K Koo, managing director and chief executive officer at Hyundai Motor India.

It will start by showcasing the Ioniq EV at the Auto Expo show in Delhi next week.

The company hasn’t yet decided if the Ioniq will be the first EV brought to market. It may bring the Kona EV instead. Koo said that Hyundai is also asking for a reduction of the 12-percent sales tax applied to EVs to help make the vehicles more appealing. Final pricing will depend on market conditions and incentives.

SEE ALSO: India Aiming To Go All Electric By 2030

There are EVs on the market in India already, from domestic automakers Mahindra and Tata. Hyundai is the first global automaker to announce plans to bring an EV to the country.

Kia is also planning to introduce EVs in India and is joining that market for the first time. Kia Motors India will make its market debut at the Auto Expo next week. It is showing the new SP Concept, a small SUV exclusive to India.

Kia will be showing off the SP Concept alongside a range of EVs and plug-in hybrids, as well as some of the brand’s conventional cars. The company has not yet said when it expects to begin sales but it is building a new plant in Anantapur District that will build cars and the new SUV for the Indian market. Kia currently offers the Soul EV in other markets, with the Niro EV expected to go on sale later this year. It offers plug-in hybrid versions of the Niro and Optima.

The government of India announced plans late last year to sell only electric cars in the country by 2030. The fifth-largest – and fastest growing – auto market in the world is a country of 1.3 billion people with an air pollution problem. It wants to cut emissions to reduce the 1.2 million deaths per year caused by air pollution and needs to lower them to meet Paris Accord targets. The government also hopes to cut oil imports in half as part of the ride in EV sales.

India’s National Electric Mobility Mission Plan mandate has a target of annual electrified vehicle sales of six to seven million per year within three years.

Business Standard