As pricey Mercedes EV launched, Nitin Gadkari says, I can’t afford your car

Mercedes, on Friday, launched its first locally assembled Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC EV from its Chakan manufacturing facility in Pune. But what gained more attention is that speaking at the launch event, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that even he cannot afford the car! The minister also asked the company to increase local production to make it possible to reduce the cost of the vehicle. “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, as quoted by PTI. Gadkari also said that there is a huge market for electric vehicles in the country.

According to the minister, there are a total of 15.7 lakh registered electric vehicles in the country. He also said that there is a huge market with the overall EV sales rising 335 percent, adding that with the express highways coming up in the country, Mercedes-Benz India will get a good market for these cars. The Indian Automobile size currently stands at Rs. 7.8 lakh crore, in which exports are to the tune of Rs. 3.5 lakh crore and “my dream is to make it a Rs. 15-lakh crore industry”, he noted, according to PTI.

Gadkari further added, “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.”

“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 percent,” he said adding that the government is encouraging such facilities, and it is important that the government get cooperation from the company’s side.

It can be known that the latest EV from the German car maker comes with a price tag of Rs. 1.55 crore. Also, Mercedes-Benz India has started its electro-mobility drive in the country with the launch of its all-electric SUV EQC as a fully imported unit in October 2020 priced at Rs. 1.07 crore.

The EQS 580 4MATIC offers an 857 kms range (ARAI certified). The high power density of the lithium-ion battery comes with a usable energy content of 107.8 kWh and is equipped with a powerful 400-volt battery manufactured using the latest lithium-ion technology.

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