Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD has released its first passenger car in India, an electric sports vehicle (SUV). The company, which is 18.87% owned by Berkshire Hathaway, is entering the mainstream market in the context of wider global expansion.
BYD, which has been selling electric buses and electric vehicles (EVs) for its fleet in India, has released the Atto 3 electric SUV. The electric car is equipped with BYD’s renowned Blade battery technology.
“We intend to sell 15,000 units of BYD-Atto 3 in India in the next year and plan to set up a local manufacturing facility in due course,” said Ketsu Zhang, Executive Director of BYD India.
BYD’s corporate action is to take advantage of the electric car market opportunities in all countries in the world. Chinese manufacturers are also known to be massively selling electric cars and plug-in hybrids in various countries, such as Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Brazil, Costa Rica to Colombia.
This year, BYD promises to start selling its passenger EVs in Japan by 2023 and to establishing an electric car factory in Thailand. Thus, the total has reached 30 countries, including the United States (US), Brazil and India that BYD has explored.
BYD targets to produce 150,000 electric cars per year starting in 2024. Not only India, BYD will also launch the Atto 3 electric SUV next week in Thailand.
However, BYD faces a number of challenges to enter the Indian market. The reason is that the South Asian country continues to carry out strict supervision of investments coming from border countries, including China.
Tight control over the investment is known to force Great Wall Motor to cancel its US$1 billion investment in India. The Chinese electric car manufacturer failed to obtain an investment permit.
Zhang said BYD has two factories in India employing 3,000 employees. From the launch of the new car, BYD does not need to increase its investment.
The Shenzhen-based auto and battery maker entered the Indian market in 2007. BYD then produced batteries and components for mobile phone manufacturers at its factory near the southern city of Chennai.
In 2013, BYD produced buses in India in partnership with a local partner. Meanwhile, in 2021, BYD will release the e6 EV for sale to carriers and company fleets.