List of the Top Electric Vehicle Manufacturers in India: When it comes to travel new technologies just keep popping up around the world. These alternative technologies in transport are mainly based around electronic vehicles with many companies jumping on the bandwagon to get some traction before the industry gets a radical shift away from traditional fossil fuels.
This change can also be seen as catchup that existing companies are trying to play in the electric vehicle (EV) segment with companies like Tesla and the bars set by them before its too late. Today, we take a look at the electric vehicle segment in India and the top manufacturing industries for investors to watch out for in this segment.
Why electric and What is the plan ahead?
One of the major reasons why countries are forced into adopting an electric alternative is climate change. India according to Environmental Pollution Index (EPI) 2018 is ranked 178 out of 180 in terms of air quality. One of the strategies adopted to combat this has been the push for electric vehicles[EV]. This will not only improve the environment but also India’s overall economic health. India currently imports crude oil and which sets us back in a deficit of approx $60 billion.
The aim set by the government has been 100% electrification by 2030. This is a humungous target considering the early stages of adoption that we currently are in. The electric vehicle adoption rate in India is less than 1% according to a McKinsey&Company report. According to Bloomberg, in the six years leading up to October 2019, India has barely sold more than 8000 electric cars. If compared to countries like China these sales figured are achieved in less than 2 days.
Some state government realizing their role have tried to eradicate one of the major barriers to owning an EV i.e. the high initial cost. This can be seen in the example of Maharashtra where subsidies were announced amounting to 1 lakh for electric vehicles. Consequently, Maharashtra had the highest sales volume in 2017 in the Indian electric car market. The government has also realized that it is best to target their efforts towards the public transport system in the initial stages.
This is because the purchase of EV in the private sector will depend on major other factors like attractiveness etc. The public transport system being one of the most heavily used in a country like India will definitely offer a huge boost to the sector.
Top Electric Vehicle Manufacturers in India
The Indian EV industry being in its nascent stages does not have an established market leader in all vehicle types. There are 10+ major players existing in the 2 wheeler segment, 3-4 in Electric buses, and few in car manufacturing. The following are the top Electric Vehicle[EV] Manufacturers in India.
Mahindra is the pioneer for EV in the Indian space. Being the first major EV manufacturer it launched Mahindra Reva, its first EV as early as 2001. The Mahindra Reva was India’s first electric car. Over the years Mahindra has gone ahead to set up a dedicated R&D center in Bengaluru.
Some of its other EV variants include the Mahindra E20 and eVerito. Mahindra however has not only focussed on the manufacture of EV’s but also battery packs and has partnered with various institutions in order to boost EV charging.
2. Tata Motors
Tata is Indias biggest automobile manufacturer It automobile segment ranges from the manufacture of cars, utility vehicles, buses, trucks, and defense vehicles. Its associate companies include Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Daewoo. But when it comes to the EV segment Tata is a new entrant when compared to Mahindra.
In India, Tata Motors has an industrial joint venture with Fiat. One of Tata’s major benefits has been its ability to use resources from around the world. Tata’s innovation efforts are focused on developing auto technologies that are sustainable as well as suited. With design and R&D centers located in India, the UK, Italy, and Korea. Tata Motors in collaboration with its subsidiary, the UK based Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC), are looking to have a major play in the EVs market in India.
When it comes to EV’s, Tata has focussed on the Passenger Vehicles and Electric Buses market in India. When it comes to four-wheelers Tata offers 3 vehicles to pick from. The Tigor EV, Nano EV, and the Tiago electric variant. In the Electric bus segment, Tata expects its demand from State transport Unions. The expected demand is estimated to be around 400,000 buses in the long run.
Apart from EV’s, Tata has also focussed on setting up charging stations in its efforts to improve the industry infrastructure.
Hyundai burst into the Indian EV segment with its launch of the Hyundai Kona EV in India. The South Korean global giant in the world of automobiles has stated that Kona was specifically designed to suit Indian operating conditions. One of the USP’s of the vehicle is its 452km range in one charge. This suited perfectly with Indians ‘Kitna Deti hai’ demand when it comes to vehicles.
Just to put things in perspective the range difference of the Kona and other market leaders is in hundreds of kilometers. The Kona, however, has an Ex-showroom cost of Rs.23.8 lakhs making it extremely expensive for Indian markets. Addressing this Hyundai has however said that another EV is in developmental stages keeping affordability in mind in order to serve the mass market. This EV is expected to be ready to enter the market in the next 2-3 years.
Ashok Leyland, the Hinduja Group’s flagship company, is the 4th largest bus manufacturer in the world and a market leader for trucks in India. The company has tied up with Sun Mobility in order to enhance its expertise in the vehicle domain.
Ashok Leyland designs electric variants specifically for Indian conditions and has also introduced battery swapping in electric buses to address e-mobility needs in the country. It has launched multiple electric bus variants like the Circuit, HYBUS, Electric Euro 6 Truck, and announced the iBUS. The immediate focus of the company, however, is currently in giving more thrusts to exports.
Other leading EV Manufacturers and associated industries
The Indian EV market being in its nascent stages is viewed as an opportunity waiting to be exploited. Other players that also have products in the EV market include MG Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Renault, Audi, Volvo, Hero, Ather, etc. An expansion in the EV industry will also see other associated industries catch on too. This includes the battery and EV chargers. Interests have been shown by many companies like Siemens, Schneider, Delta, etc.
But unfortunately, these companies will only move in once a significant demand arises in the public 4 wheeler segment. On the other hand, one of the major factors for the EV industry not expanding has been consumer concerns regarding the lack of Fast Chargers in India.
Unorganized and small players are dominating due to the limited scale of business. In order to combat this, the NITI Ayog is laying a key role in setting up EV chargers. There are currently 270 units of installed EV chargers in India. NITI Aayog has partnered with NTPC in order to set up 100,000 EV charging stations across India. Other government entities like BHEL have partnered with ISRO in order to develop batteries using Lithium technologies.
Most lithium requirements are currently imported from China, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and Japan. Other players who have shown interest in the Lithium battery production business in India include Reliance, Suzuki, Toshiba, Denso Corp, JSW Group, Adani, Mahindra, Hero Electric, Panasonic, Exide Batteries, Amara Raja.
In this article, we discussed the list of the top Electric Vehicle Manufacturers in India, their current work in EV segment, and future prospects. The Indian government had set up the aim of replacing all internal combustion engines with EV’s by 2030. A report from Mckinsey and Company from 2017 indicated that 40% of electrification was a more realistic picture of mobility in 2030. This report, however, was prior to the Pandemic. This, in turn, will further set back electrification in the industry for years to come.
In addition, the steps taken in order to enable acceptance of EV will not suit their main purpose if alternative means of electricity production are not implemented. Currently, up to 60% of the electricity is produced from coal. Although the government has set major aims to bolster the growth of EVs a lot more has to be done in order to ensure they are implemented.