According to the Chief Executive Officer of the US startup Fisker, sales of its Ocean electric sport-utility vehicle (SUV) will start in India in July, and the country may start producing its automobiles in a few years.
Henrik Fisker predicted in an interview in New Delhi that sales of electric vehicles will pick up speed by 2025–2026 and said that the firm hopes to gain a competitive edge by being the first to market.
“India will eventually switch entirely to electricity. Although it might not move as quickly as the US, China, or Europe, we want to be among the first to get here, “said Fisker.
Only 1% of India’s 3 million annual automobile sales are now electric cars, partly due to a lack of charging infrastructure and high battery prices.
The government is providing businesses with billions of dollars in incentives to produce their EVs and related parts domestically since it intends to raise this proportion to 30% by 2030.
Tesla, a competitor of Fisker, put off ambitions to enter India after failing to obtain a reduced import duty for its vehicles. Like Fisker, it sought to import cars to gauge demand before committing to domestic production.
Although Fisker acknowledged that importing cars into India is “extremely expensive,” the business intends to utilize the Ocean to establish its brand, and its high price would probably limit sales, he added.
The Ocean costs about $37,500 (about Rs. 30,41,600) at retail in the United States, but shipping it to India would incur additional logistics expenses and a 100 percent duty. That would put it out of reach of most buyers in a market where the bulk of cars sold are priced under $15,000 (nearly Rs. 12,16,600).
“In the end, you practically have to start constructing a car here or at least undertake some assembly,” Fisker added, “if you want to have somewhat of a greater volume in India.”
The smaller, five-seater PEAR, the company’s following EV, is being examined for manufacture in India, but not until 2026, he added.
“It would be fantastic to get that vehicle for under $20,000 (about Rs. 16,22,700) locally in India. Once we reach a specific volume and market share, I believe, “He continued by saying that the timescale may be shortened if they find the proper local partner.
According to Fisker, at least 30,000 to 40,000 automobiles would need to be produced annually to establish manufacturing in India.
He didn’t explicitly address the size of investment the company considered necessary but said that to set up a plant with an annual production capacity of 50,000 cars would likely cost $800 million (nearly Rs. 6,500 crores) in India.
Magna International and Fisker have a contract manufacturing arrangement under which Magna will build the Ocean in its Austrian facility and send it to India. Additionally, it has a contract with Foxconn to construct the PEAR.
According to him, the firm is visiting car component suppliers to acquire parts for its worldwide manufacturing. It is looking for real estate space to construct a showroom in New Delhi.
“We are already beginning to develop some relationships,” he remarked.