Auto giants eyeing a new growth market for EVs: India


NH48 Highway in India. The country’s electric car sector is small compared to other major economies such as China and the US

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With a large population, military, and economy, many see India as a country that can have influence grow significantly as 21scheduled tribe The century marches on.

When it comes to electric cars, though, the country is playing catch-up.

This is because while China, Europe and the US have become the centers for the purchase of electric cars – more than 50% of the cars on the road can now be found in China, According to the International Energy Agency India is currently far behind.

However, change could be around the corner, with the IEA’s Global EV Outlook for 2023 noting that battery electric vehicle sales in India are set to reach nearly 50,000 in 2022, four times more than last year , but still small fry compared to the 4.4 million sold in China. ,

As well as increasing sales, the IEA said India was seeing a “ramp up” in both EV and component manufacturing.

This was supported by a $3.2 billion stimulus program from the Government of India, which resulted in $8.3 billion in investment.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

Keeping all the above in mind, executives from some of the world’s biggest automotive firms are trying to establish a foothold in India.

These include CEOs Stellantis’ The Citroën brand, which believes that India’s electric vehicle sector, while still in its early stages of development, could be “perfect” because of the way people use cars.

during a recent interview With CNBC’s Charlotte Reed, Thierry Kauscus acknowledged that the market in India was “just getting started.”

“But we have high hopes for this market because a lot of car use in India is urban or suburban, and this could be perfect for electric vehicles,” he said.

Citroën India, which launched the fully electric ë-C3 in February 2023, is not alone when it comes to foraying into India’s nascent electric car sector.

Other firms doing so include Volvo Cars with the fully electric XC40 Recharge, and Audi with the e-tron.

In conversation with Autocar India Back in 2021, the Audi India chief expressed confidence that the EV sector will go from strength to strength in the country.

“I think [the] four wheeler industry is a [area]But you will also have a two-wheeler industry, even buses and three-wheelers going electric.” Balbir Singh Dhillon Said.

“So I think the whole ecosystem is going to evolve at a much faster rate than we can imagine,” he said.

packed field

Companies like Audi, Volvo Cars and Stellantis are focusing on a market where some of the biggest Indian companies are already present.

it is included Tata Motors, which counts Jaguar Land Rover among its subsidiaries. According to the IEA, Tata was responsible for over 85% of battery electric vehicle sales in India last year.

Other Indian firms jostling for position in the sector include Mahindra & Mahindra and Ola Electric.

In August 2022, the latter’s CEO Bhavish Agarwal said that his company would launch a all-electric vehicle Which can go from zero to 100 kilometers per hour (just over 62 mph) in four seconds. At that time, the company said that it planned to launch the car in 2024.

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While there is a lot of talk about the potential of electric cars in India, a lot of work needs to be done if they are to become a significant part of its transportation system.

As the IEA notes, “In India and across all regions outside the three major EV markets, electric car sales are expected to represent 2-3% of car sales in 2023, a relatively small but growing share.”

However, Citroën’s couscous remains bullish. “We launched the electric version of the C3 six months after we launched the ICE [internal combustion engine] vehicle — nobody else did,” he told CNBC.

The speed at which a company like Citroën can move, the fact that vehicles running on fossil fuels are still being launched, shows how much of a change the automotive industry needs to make if EVs are to become dominant in India and around the world. would need to be done.

It’s a big task, but Koskas looks optimistic about the road ahead in India. “We are one of the few manufacturers today that is present in this electric vehicle market,” he said.

“It is frontier today – we think it will grow enormously in the future, and we are very pleased to be there as one of the first entrants in this market.”

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