Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway invested US$232 million in China’s BYD when it was still just a start-up that began selling electric vehicles. BYD, is now worth US$7,500 million dollars and has overtaken Tesla as the world’s largest EV maker.
BYD sold 3.54 lakh electric vehicles between April and June, an increase of 266% yearly. Meanwhile, Tesla’s global sales grew 27%, to more than 2.54 million units. It also surpassed South Korea’s LG Energy, the second-largest EV battery manufacturer in the world.
The Shenzhen-based business is aggressively making its way into international markets, including India, where it will soon unveil its first-ever e-SUV. Deliveries are about to begin in January.
The passenger EV market was dominated by Tata Motors, the maker of Tata Tigor and the Nexon EV. With its ZS EV model, China’s SAIC-owned brand MG Motors held 11.5% of the passenger EV market.
BYD India’s senior VP: Sanjay Gopalakrishnan, claims that their technologies give them an edge. BYD India will sell premium EVs at first. Their goal is to reach 40% of the e-PV market by 2030. BYD India’s Sanjay Gopalakrishnan estimates that India could see 45,000-50,000 EVs sold this year. The initial 1.5% to 2% EV adoption will take time. The resale marketplace will see EV adoption increase.
India is a handful of countries supporting the global EV30@30 campaign. It aims to see at least 30% of new car sales go electric by 2030. BYD’s entry into India’s electric vehicle market signifies that global carmakers are increasingly interested in India. Hyundai India has launched the Kona EV to test the market after launching it in 2019, but now they are getting ready for its official launch.
In India, the South Korean firm is also developing a small electric car as part of its plan for six EVs by 2028. Hyundai’s sister-company Kia recently launched its first electric vehicle in India, the premium crossover SUV EV6. Sweden’s Volvo launched the compact SUV XC40 in India in July. In the next two years, Tata’s electric SUV, Curvv, is expected to hit the market. Meanwhile, MG Motor plans to launch an affordable mass market EV next year. Volkswagen plans to launch its first electric vehicle, the ID.4 SUV in India next year in limited quantities. Starting in 2024, Mahindra & Mahindra plans to launch five electric SUVs that can be used for domestic and international markets. Tata Motors intends to launch its pure electric vehicle, the Avinya in 2025.
Luxury car companies are not slowing down. Mercedes-Benz is the first company to assemble a luxury EV in India with three new electric cars. Audi India launched the e-tron, its maiden EV offering, last year. BMW India launched its electric models over six months – the iX SUV (mini hatchback), and the i4 sedan (semi-electric). Jaguar and its I-PACE have joined Porsche’s all-electric Taycan.
American EV start-up Fisker plans to launch two EVs India. Experts believe that electrification will take place in the luxury segment at a faster pace than that of the mass car segment.
At this current pace, EVs could represent as much as 1.4% in domestic passenger vehicle sales this fiscal year. This signals an increase of adoption. Tata Motors, MG Motors, and others will likely be the first to move.
While several are still laying foundations, Indians can expect a wide range EVs in varying price points over the next 2 years. Manufacturers of cars hope that by then the Indian EV passenger car market will be fully developed.