Fisker, a US startup, will begin selling its Ocean electric sport-utility vehicle in India next July and will 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, sales of electric automobiles in India will increase by 2025-26, implying that the company wants to get a first-mover advantage.
"In the end, India will go completely electric. It may not go as fast as the United States, China, or Europe," Fisker said.
Electric cars are currently worth 1% of India''s roughly 3 million annual automobile sales, with inadequate charging infrastructure and high battery costs partly to blame for the slow shift.
The government, which wants to increase this percentage to 30 percent by 2030, is offering companies billions of dollars in incentives to build their EVs and related components locally.
Tesla, a Fisker competitor, set its India entry intentions on hold after failing to get a lower import tariff for its automobiles. It first wanted to import vehicles to test the market before committing to local manufacturing.
Despite Fisker''s alleged willingness to import vehicles into India, the company intends to utilize the Ocean as a brand name, claiming that its premium pricing is likely to reduce numbers.
The Ocean retails for $37,500 (nearly Rs. 30,41,600) in the United States, but importing it to India would add logistics costs and a 100 percent import tax. That would put it out of reach of most buyers in a market with the largest of automobiles sold at $15,000 ($12,16,600).
"You may end up with constructing a vehicle here or at least do some assembly, if you want to have a greater volume in India," Fisker said.
According to reports, the company''s next electric vehicle the smaller, five-seater PEAR is being considered for production in India but not before 2026.
"It''s possible to get that vehicle just below $20,000 locally in India,," he said, bringing it to a certain amount of volume and market share, he added. If they find the right local partner, the turnaround might be shorter.
According to Fisker, the construction of a factory in India would require a volume of at least 30,000 to 40,000 automobiles per year.
He did not directly discuss the amount of investment the company considered necessary, but said that the establishment of a factory with an annual production capacity of 50,000 automobiles would likely cost $800 million in India.
Fisker has a contract manufacturing agreement with Magna International that will produce the Ocean at its Austrian plant and send it to India. It also has an agreement with Foxconn to build the PEAR.
The firm is looking for real estate space to open a showroom in New Delhi and is meeting auto component suppliers to select parts for its global production, according to the author.
"We''re attempting to strengthen some relationships," he said.