New Delhi– Automaker Maruti Suzuki is currently focused on the CNG segment to fulfil the demand triggered by rising petrol prices as well as heightened concerns over environmental protection.

The automobile major also plans to foray into the EV segment by 2025.

In a conversation with IANS, Maruti Suzuki India’s Senior Executive Director, Sales and Marketing, Shashank Srivastava, said that demand for CNG cars has gone up dramatically due to the favourable cost of running such vehicles.

“At current prices, the running cost of a petrol car is around Rs 5.25 for a kilometre; for CNG it is one third of the cost of petrol,” Srivastava said.

“We are trying to get our production numbers in line with the consumer demands for CNG. Year before last, we sold 106,000 CNG cars; last year we sold 162,000; this year we will be doing 235,000 with an intent to further raise the bar in 2023,” he added.

Notably, the company does not produce any diesel car and only offers petrol and CNG fuelled models.

On the company’s plans to enter the EV segment, Srivastava said: “We have announced that by 2025, we will bring out our first EV.”

Till now, the company has not disclosed the specifications of its upcoming EV.

Besides, he said that at present, the segment faces high acquisition cost and unavailability of large-scale charging infrastructure.

“We have to consider two major barriers as of now — cost of EV acquisition and infrastructure for charging,” he said.

In addition, the company plans to increase its share of the fast-growing SUV segment.

“We plan to expand our SUV portfolio. The segment has grown by 40 per cent this year (2021-22). Our SUV portfolio is not diverse, we only have 2 out of the 46 available SUV models in the Indian market. But we are a market leader in entry level SUVs due to Vittara Brezza,” Srivastava said. (IANS)