Unnamed foreign OEM tipped to launch EV production in Russia
Russia's Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Alexander Morozov says that he believes that a foreign OEM with manufacturing operations in Russia is about to announce plans to produce an electric vehicle (EV) in the country, according to an Interfax news agency report. It appears that an OEM may be planning an announcement ahead of the Moscow Motor Show, which takes place at the end of the month. Speaking at the International Eurasian Forum Morozov said, "I think that soon, next week, we, together with major international auto manufacturers which today are legitimately Russian because they have assets in Russia and commitments to the Russian government for the deep localization of technology, will announce the launch of the next electric car." He also said that Russia's own EV, the compact Zetta, would go into production in December. The Zetta is a quadricycle-style small urban EV with a price tag of RUB450,000. The company plans to achieve sales of 10,000 to 15,000 cars a year.
Significance: Given the lack of government support and infrastructure in the Russian market, it will be a bold move by any OEM to commit to EV manufacturing in the country. However, it is likely that the announcement will dovetail with some kind of government commitment to support EV infrastructure growth and customer take-up. Given Renault's links to the Russian government through its ownership of AvtoVAZ, it would be no surprise if Renault were the OEM in question, although Russia's second largest-selling vehicle group, Hyundai, has an extensive set of EV offerings too. However, given the combined EV parc in Russia was only 3,600 units at the start of the year it will take some time before EV's gain any kind of real traction in the market.
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