Fisker, a US company, will begin selling its Ocean electric sport-utility vehicle (SUV) in India in the coming July, and it may begin manufacturing its automobiles locally within a few years, according to the company''s chief executive officer.
According to Henrik Fisker in an interview in New Delhi, electric cars sales in India will grow faster, adding that the company wants to gain a first-mover advantage.
"It will go completely electric," says Fisker. It may not go as fast as the United States, China, or Europe, but we want to be one of the first to come in here.
Electric vehicles now account for a fraction of India''s roughly 3 million annual automobile sales, with limited charging infrastructure and high battery costs partly to blame for the slow shift.
The government, which wants to increase this share to 30 percent by 2030, is offering firms billions of dollars in incentives to build their EVs and associated parts locally.
Tesla, a Fisker competitor, has put its India entry intentions on hold because it failed to secure a lower import tariff for its cars. The company first wanted to import automobiles to test the market before committing to local manufacturing.
While Fisker admitted that importing automobiles into India is "very expensive," the company wants to use the Ocean to establish its brand, with its high pricing expected to reduce numbers.
The Ocean, which retails at around $37,500 (nearly Rs. 30,41,600) in the United States, would add logistics costs and a 100 percent import tax. That would leave it out of reach of most buyers in a market with the highest amounts of automobiles priced under $15,000 (nearly Rs. 12,16,600).
"If you want to have a bit of a bigger volume in India, you may just start building a vehicle here or at least do some assembly," Fisker said.
The company''s next electric car, the smaller, five-seater PEAR, is being considered for production in India, but not before 2026, according to the author.
"If we can get that vehicle just below $20,000 locally in India, then that would be fantastic. "First I think we''ll reach a certain volume and market share," he said, adding that if they find the right local partner, the time would be shorter.
According to Fisker, a capacity would be between 30,000 and 40,000 automobiles per year to establish a factory in India.
He did not directly discuss the scope of investment the company considered necessary, but said that putting up a facility with a daily production capacity of 50,000 automobiles would probably cost $800 million in India.
Fisker has a contract manufacturing agreement with Magna International, which will produce the Ocean at its Austrian headquarters and send it to India. It also has an agreement with Foxconn to build the PEAR.
According to his statement, the company is looking for real estate space to open a showroom in New Delhi and is meeting auto component suppliers to purchase items for its global production.
"We''ve begun to build some relationships," he said.