Fisker is preparing to sell an electric SUV in India starting July next year and is planning to customize it locally

Fisker is preparing to sell an electric SUV in India starting July next year and is planning to cust ...

Fisker, a US company, will begin selling its Ocean electric sport-utility vehicle (SUV) in India next July and will begin manufacturing its automobiles locally within a few years, according to the company''s chief executive officer.

Henrik Fisker said in an interview in New Delhi that India''s electric vehicle sales will double as they predicted by 2025-26, implying that the company wants to gain a first-mover advantage.

"Italian will go full-electronic. It may not go as fast as the United States, China, or Europe," says Fisker.

Electric cars account for a small percentage of India''s roughly 3 million annual automobile sales, with insufficient charging infrastructure and reduced battery costs as the cause of the slow shift.

The government, which intends to increase this share to 30 percent by 2030, is ensnarring businesses to invest billions in incentives to build their electric vehicle and associated components locally.

Tesla, a Fisker competitor, has put its India entry plans on hold after failing to secure a lower import tariff for its cars. Like Fisker, it initially wanted to import automobiles to test the market before engaging in local manufacturing.

While Fisker admitted that import vehicles into India is "very costly," the company intends to exploit the Ocean to grow its brand, with its premium pricing likely to reduce numbers.

The Ocean retails at around $37,500 (nearly Rs. 30,41,600) in the United States, but importing it to India would increase logistics costs and a 100 percent import tax. That would put it out to the market most buyers in a manner in which the bulk of automobiles sold are priced under $15,000 (nearly Rs. 12,16,600).

"If you want to have a lot of revenue in India, then you''ll almost have to begin building a vehicle here or at least do some assembly," Fisker said.

The company''s next electric vehicle, the smaller, five-seater PEAR, is being considered for production in India but not before 2026, according to a local official.

"If we can get that vehicle just below $20,000 locally in India, that would be ideal. Finally, I believe we''ll reach a certain amount of volume and market share," says the author, adding that if they find the right local partner, the timeline might be shorter.

Fisker claims that constructing a factory in India would result in a volume of at least 30,000 to 40,000 automobiles a year.

He did not directly explain the scope of investment the company considered necessary, but stated that constructing a factory with an annual production capacity of 50,000 automobiles would likely cost $800 million (nearly Rs. 6,500 crore) in India.

Fisker has a contract manufacturing agreement with Magna International, which will produce the Ocean at its Austrian company and ship it to India. It also has an agreement with Foxconn to construct the PEAR.

According to the newspaper, the business is looking for real estate space to open a new Delhi showroom and is meeting auto component suppliers to select parts for its worldwide production.

"We are starting to build some connections," says the president.