Tesla’s Plans for a Manufacturing Plant
Tesla has announced its intention to build a manufacturing plant in India that will produce an affordable electric car priced under $25,000. This move is fueled by India’s position as the world’s largest country by population and the fourth-largest market for new cars. Furthermore, India has recently discovered significant lithium deposits, which could position it as a major player in the electric vehicle (EV) revolution.
BYD’s Battery Factory Investment
BYD, currently the second-largest manufacturer of pure electric vehicles globally and the largest producer of plugin vehicles, is also eyeing the Indian market. It has submitted a $1 billion investment proposal to establish a battery factory and manufacture electric cars in collaboration with Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructures. BYD already sells its Atto 3 SUV and e6 sedan to corporate fleets in India, with plans to introduce the luxury electric sedan, Seal, later this year. In the long run, BYD aims to manufacture a range of electric cars in India, spanning from hatchbacks to luxury models.
India’s Import Duties and Local Partnerships
Similar to China, India imposes import duties of up to 100% on foreign-made vehicles and encourages joint ventures with local businesses. While BYD complies with this requirement by partnering with Megha Engineering, Tesla has seemingly managed to navigate these regulations, just as it did in China with its Shanghai factory. This policy has compelled Chinese automakers, such as Great Wall Motor and SAIC’s MG Motor division, to seek local partnerships or abandon investment plans in India.
Future Prospects and Challenges
The production capacity of BYD’s new factory in India remains unknown, but sources suggest it aims to scale up production to 100,000 EVs annually over the next few years. Initially, it plans to import vehicle components and assemble them within the country while establishing a local supply chain. Additionally, the investment proposal includes plans for charging stations, research and development centres, and training facilities. While India’s investment controls pose challenges, the entry of Tesla and BYD into the Indian market signals promising growth and opportunities for the country’s electric vehicle sector.