On the heels of a slew of entrepreneurs, India’s burgeoning electric car sector, which is still small compared to the worldwide market, is seeing a slew of huge corporations and foreign firms enter the race. Ola is the latest company to announce its options, expecting to fight with Maruti Suzuki and Tatas Motors, which dominate the market with their Nexon EV, accounting for 64% of all-electric vehicle sales in India.
Ampere Electric, Ather Energy, Hero Electric, Okinawa Scooters, Bajaj Chetak Scooters, and TVS Electric, among others, are luring customers with both fast and low-speed alternatives in the two-wheeler industry, which is the fastest growing EV segment. Rather than pricing, the unique features of these vehicles, as well as infrastructure support for rapid charging, are driving competitiveness.
According to Anshul Gupta, director of Okaya Power Group, EV is one vehicle market where the unorganized and organized sectors compete fiercely. Recognizing the challenges ahead, Okaya decided to enter the EV manufacturing business only after having established itself as a manufacturing company of lithium-ion batteries, including stationary, mobility, and tractor batteries, as well as participating in the Central government’s plans to install 5000 to 6000 charging stations along highways and build a dealer network. “Today, we have complete control over both supply chain as well as after-sale services,” Gupta says, noting that the company has the capability to produce 8,000 low and high-speed scooters, with a capacity of up to 12,000 in the future. While plans for four-wheel vehicles are still being finalized, Okaya plans to introduce its e-motorbike in March of next year, in line with its vision of “from cycle to motorcycle.”
China has a 50 percent share of the global E-car market, as well as 70 percent of vehicle battery sales, trailed by the United States and Europe. According to the India Energy Storage Alliance, EV sales in India reached 3,80,000 units in 2019-20, with the EV battery market reaching 5.4GWh (IESA).
The electric 2-wheeler (e-2W) industry has had the largest proportion of the market. According to the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles, two-wheelers accounted for more than half of overall EV sales of 238,120 in 2010-21, despite taking a hit due to the Covid crisis with sales falling to 143,837 from a previous high of 152,000. (SMEV).
Electric car sales jumped sharply last year to 5905 from a low base of 2814 the year before, with Tata Nexon EV accounting for 64 percent of sales, while three-wheeler sales jumped from about 88,378 to about 140,683 in 2020-21 as many states, including Delhi, pushed for a switch from gasoline to green fuel to combat pollution issues.