Chinese car maker BYD plans to cover 90% of EV market in India this year

Updated - March 05, 2024 07:10 pm IST

Published - March 05, 2024 04:56 pm IST - New Delhi

A file photo of BYD’s logo

A file photo of BYD’s logo | Photo Credit: Reuters

Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD plans to cover 90% of the EV market in India by the end of the year as it strengthens its leadership position in EVs priced above ₹30 lakh category, a senior company official said on March 5.

BYD India, which launched its electric sedan SEAL priced between ₹41 lakh and ₹53 lakh, is working to achieve homologation certification from ARAI for its electric SUV Atto 3 which will lift the restriction on import volume of 2,500 units.

Homologation is the process of certifying vehicles for roadworthiness under rules specified by the Government for all vehicles made or imported into the country.

"Our target is that we cover 90% of the EV market in India. That is what we are planning to do by this year, which means we will be present in major towns, and Tier-I cities. Wherever we see the electric vehicle penetration is high, wherever the electric vehicle sales are, where it is growing," Sanjay Gopalakrishnan, Senior Vice President of Electric Passenger Vehicle Business, BYD India, told PTI here on the sidelines of the launch.

At present, BYD India's passenger vehicles division has a dealership network with 24 showrooms across 21 cities selling two products in its portfolio - the BYD ATTO 3 and the e6.

Passenger EVs in India are currently sold in metros and Tier-I cities currently and are gradually covering Tier-II in lower-priced models.

"If you look at the ₹30 lakh-plus luxury EV sales, we are the market leader there. So with the BYD seal, we are adding one more car to that category. We want to be the market leader in that segment," Mr. Gopalakrishnan said.

When asked if the Government's rejection of the company's plans to set up a $1 billion manufacturing plant at Hyderabad has hindered its progress in India, he said, "Whatever is the demand, we are trying to cater to that as per the Government regulations, that is what we are going to do because we are in the ₹30 lakh-plus category. It's a limited market. So, we are playing within that market."

As and when things start up well and when the demand is going to increase, he said, "Then we will see what the next plans are and how to do that."

Asked about the need for local assembly in India for the company to enter the lower-priced segment of the EV market in India, Mr. Gopalakrishnan declined to comment saying "when the right time comes then we will come back with plans".

BYD India is importing its SEAL sedan under the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) vehicle certification, while for its Atto 3 electric SUV, he said, "We are selling as per the GSR 870 CIRT certificate".

It puts a cap on the total number of vehicles allowed to be imported to 2,500 units per model.

"Once we get a homologation certificate, the number restriction goes away so we can always import more cars. We need an ARAI certificate and we will get that also. Atto 3 will have a homologation certificate from ARAI soon," he said.

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