Indias major cities suffer from chronic traffic congestion and poor air quality; a push for EVs could help improve air quality

India's major cities suffer from chronic traffic congestion and poor air quality; a push for EVs could help improve air quality

Toyota and Suzuki have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work together on introducing electric vehicles in the Indian market 'in around 2020'.

The agreement follows the two companies agreeing earlier this year on beginning considerations for business partnership, after which they began discussing, among other topics, the dissemination of vehicle electrification technologies in India.

Under the new MoU agreement, it is planned that Suzuki (subsidiary Maruti-Suzuki leads the Indian market) will produce EVs for India and will also supply some to Toyota, while Toyota is to provide technical support. Additionally, Toyota and Suzuki intend to conduct a comprehensive study of activities for the widespread acceptance and popular use of EVs in India.

This encompasses the establishment of charging stations, human resources development that includes training for after-service technicians employed throughout sales networks, and systems for the appropriate treatment of end-of-life batteries.

Suzuki has already announced that it intends to construct a lithium-ion battery plant on the grounds of its recently opened automobile plant in the Indian state of Gujarat. As envisioned by the agreement, in addition to lithium-ion batteries, electric motors and other major components would be locally procured for the production of EVs in India, helping the Indian government fulfill its "Make in India" initiative. 

India's government is aiming to rapidly promote EVs in India and transition to a market in which all cars sold in India will be electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030. It suffers from particularly bad air pollution in major cities. In 2014, the World Health Organisation said that of 20 global cities with the most air pollution, 13 are in India. 

In September, Mazda, Denso and Toyota signed a contract to jointly develop basic structural technologies for electric vehicles. The three companies have also decided to establish a new company consisting of selected engineers from the three companies to ensure the efficient implementation of the joint technological development projects.