EV manufacturer BYD to drive in maiden e-SUV in India by end of year
The Warren Buffet-backed Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD will be unveiling a Born Electric SUV for the Indian market by the fourth quarter of the current calendar year.
The deliveries of the same would begin in January, the company’s top official said. This will be the first Born Electric SUV in the mass market. The Born Electric models from Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra would be launched from 2024.
BYD has been selling the E6 MPV in the Indian market since 2021. “We have been extremely encouraged by the response to the E6, which has been gaining traction, and are now keen to expand our presence by addressing the needs of personal buyers,” Sanjay Gopalakrishnan, senior vice-president of BYD India’s Electric Passenger Vehicle Business told Business Standard. The E6, he added, has done well among corporate customers. Since its launch last year, BYD has sold 400 units of the E6.
“EV penetration in India is 1 per cent as of now. Once it goes beyond that, growth will be much faster. That’s how it has been in other markets, including China,” said Gopalakrishnan, adding that he expects e-passenger vehicles to account for 20-25 per cent of the e-passenger vehicle market.
BYD, which overtook Tesla this year as the world’s largest EV maker, would assemble the upcoming model at Sriperumbudur near Chennai. BYD is looking to deepen its presence in India at a time when investments from other auto Chinese firms in India have hit a hurdle in the absence of a clearance from the Centre.
In response to how BYD plans to tide over the challenge with regards to obtaining clearance from the Centre, as and when it expands its operations, Gopalakrishnan said the company does not require any clearance for its existing infrastructure. The road ahead, including local manufacturing, will be explored based on the responses to its assembled models: E6, the e-SUV and upcoming models. BYD has a huge portfolio of EVs globally and the company will be considering more affordable EVs going forward, said Gopalakrishnan.
“Our long-term vision is to grab 10-15 per cent market share of e-PV market,” he said.