BYD’s Green Gambit: The Race to Dominate Indian EVs

China’s electric vehicle giant, BYD Co, is making a power move in India. The company, along with Hyderabad’s Megha Engineering and Infrastructures, has submitted a proposal for a $1 billion investment to Indian authorities. If approved, this joint venture will pioneer the construction of electric cars and batteries on Indian soil, anonymous insiders told Reuters.

Established as the world’s most significant EV and plug-in hybrid manufacturer, BYD is planning a wide array of electric models, ranging from economical hatchbacks to lavish sedans for the Indian market. The company, in a previous statement, shared its intentions to inaugurate manufacturing facilities in India, now ranked as the world’s third-largest car market.

This bold step into India aligns with BYD’s fast-paced global expansion, standing as a formidable competitor to Tesla, the leading EV manufacturer. This move, if sanctioned, will secure BYD’s presence in almost all major global car markets, with the United States being the only exception. Tesla, on the other hand, is reengaging with the Indian government after a failed attempt last year to negotiate lower tax duties on imported vehicles.

BYD, having already invested $200 million in India, retails the Atto 3 electric SUV and the e6 EV to corporate fleets and intends to introduce the Seal, a luxury electric sedan, later this year. While the proposed production capacity remains unspecified, sources hint at BYD’s ambition to produce up to 100,000 EVs annually in India over several years. The initial strategy involves importing vehicles in parts for assembly in India while establishing a supply chain.

Furthermore, BYD and Megha Engineering aspire to erect charging stations across India and build R&D and training centers, according to the same sources. This proposition arrives in the backdrop of stricter investment regulations implemented by India since 2020, specifically targeting neighbouring countries like China.

BYD, an acronym for ‘Build Your Dreams,’ entered India in 2007, producing batteries and components for mobile phone manufacturers. In collaboration with Megha Engineering, the company initiated the production of electric buses in 2013 under the Olectra Greentech venture.

In 2022, BYD reported the sale of 1.86 million BEVs and plug-in hybrids. In contrast, electric vehicles made up just over 1% of India’s total car sales of 3.8 million in the same year. However, the Indian government aims to bolster this to 30% by 2030. With this venture, BYD will directly contest with domestic automaker Tata Motors and its Chinese competitor, MG Motor, in India’s electric car sales arena.

Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of EVXL.co, where he covers all electric vehicle-related news, covering brands such as Tesla, Ford, GM, BMW, Nissan and others. He fulfills a similar role at the drone news site DroneXL.co. Haye can be reached at haye @ evxl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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