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Maruti Electric SUV To Rival Tata Nexon EV – Up To 500 Km Range

Expected to be launched in early 2025, Maruti EV will take on upcoming EVs from Tata Motors and Mahindra

New Maruti Electric SUV Launch Price - 2023 Auto Expo
Image for illustration. Credit – Power Racer

Although late in the race, Maruti Suzuki appears to be finally stepping-up focus in EV segment. India’s largest carmaker will reveal its first all-electric model, codenamed YY8, at upcoming 2023 Auto Expo. It will be the company’s hero concept for 2023, on the same lines as Future-S was in 2018 and Futuro-e in 2020.

Maruti YY8 will be manufactured at Suzuki’s production facility in Gujarat. The EV will cater to domestic as well as international markets. Around 50% of the production is expected to be allocated for exports. YY8 is being developed in collaboration with Toyota that is likely to launch its own rebadged version of the EV.

Maruti YY8 electric SUV range, specs

To ensure a better fit for a broader segment of users with varying needs and preferences, Maruti YY8 electric SUV will be offered with 48 kWh and 59 kWh battery pack options. Respective certified range is expected to be around 400 km and 500 km. Power output is expected in the range of 138 hp to 170 hp. Both two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive option will be available. AWD will be available for export markets, but not certain if it will be offered in domestic market.

As compared to Tata EVs that use conventional LFP cylindrical cells, Maruti YY8 EV will be using LFP blade cell batteries. It will be sourced from BYD, a leading China-based automotive manufacturer. Blade cell technology claims to be superior, in terms of its range, weight and space utilization. As more cells can be packed within the available space, blade battery can deliver higher range.

Maruti Suzuki Gujarat Plant
Maruti Suzuki Gujarat Plant

BYD also claims blade battery to be a lot safer than other battery technologies. It has passed the nail penetration test, with surface temperature being limited to 30 to 60° Celsius. Other extreme tests have also been performed such as crushing the battery, bending it, overcharging it and heating it in a furnace. Even then, BYD claims no fire or explosions were recorded.

Focus on spacious interiors

Maruti YY8 electric SUV will be based on the 27PL born-electric skateboard architecture, which is derived from Toyota’s 40PL global platform. Its long wheelbase of around 2,700 mm will ensure spacious interiors and ample room to accommodate a large battery pack. YY8 will have short overhangs, in line with design trends seen in EV segment. Wheels will be placed towards the edges, as far as possible, which will allow for more space on the inside.

It is expected that Maruti YY8 will be over 4.2 meters long, which is close to Creta’s 4.3 meters. It will have a futuristic design, unlike anything imaginable with the current breed of Maruti cars. As there will be quite a few rivals by 2025, Maruti will ensure that YY8 is equipped with a comprehensive range of hi-tech features.

Launch price of Maruti YY8 electric SUV and its Toyota version is expected to be in the range of Rs 13 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. At this price point and loaded with features, YY8 has potential to emerge as another Maruti bestseller. However, competition will intensify significantly by 2025, as both Mahindra and Tata are working on their born-electric range.

From the current set of electric SUVs, this new Maruti e-SUV will rival the likes of Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV400, etc. At 2023 Auto Expo, Maruti will also showcase other products such as YTB SUV (Baleno based coupe SUV cross) and the 5-door Jimny. WagonR’s flex fuel prototype will also be in attendance.

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