American electric vehicle maker Fisker will enter India with a local partner, which will allow it to scale up quickly, benefit from local supply chain, and help get volumes believes Henrik Fisker.
The Indian automotive sector maybe lagging behind the European and American car market especially when it comes to sales of electric passenger vehicle market, but that’s not stopping global EV makers to be optimistic on India’s true potential. While a number of luxury electric vehicles have entered the Indian market, the mass-market segment is still dominated by just a handful of products.
Speaking to FE, Henrik Fisker, Chairman and CEO, Fisker Inc says, “We see the global EV market fast accelerating and there is perhaps a really big opportunity in the next 2-3 years to enter the market. Although, there are a lot of new EVs coming in the market, what we are missing is affordable exciting EVs with interesting technology. Our aim is to get 4 vehicles by 2025.”
It was in April 2022, that Fisker set up its India headquarters in Hyderabad, Telangana, which is working on the company’s global software development, embedded electronics, virtual vehicle development support functions, data analytics, and machine learning. The entity christened Fisker Vigyan India, could very well mark the company’s foray in the Indian automotive space.
At present, the sales of electric four-wheelers in India are just a minuscule percentage of the overall four-wheeler sales. In FY2022, the sales of electric four-wheelers in India came at 17,802 units with almost 15,000+ sales from Tata Motors alone, indicating that the consumer acceptance for EVs in the mass-market segment was under Rs 20 lakh (approximately $25,000). This is what Fisker too believes is the ideal sweet spot.
Responding to the company’s plans for selling EVs in India, Fisker says, “We are exploring every opportunity. We get contacted by many businesses from India. Obviously, we need to tread carefully and need to understand that true market opportunity. I believe that there is a growing middle-class segment in India that can afford around $25,000 (Rs 20 lakh) to $30,000 (Rs 24 lakh) is the market we need to go to get good volumes. Our vehicle platform allows us to do that. The new vehicle platform (P.E.A.R) we are launching in the US will be under $30,000 and for India that will be easy to accomplish because of the lower sourcing/parts cost.”
He says that at present the company has not finalised the timeline and plans for entering the retail sales market in India. But going forward, he believes that when the company enters the Indian market, “One of the things that I imagine is producing it together with someone locally, where we share the platform. Because ultimately what you need is volumes. It is not sustainable to just produce 10,000 vehicles in India. You need at least 50,000 preferably 75,000-1,00,000 units to make it feasible. That could be a potential to do with a local Indian manufacturing partner by sharing the platform, the suppliers and that way get the cost down.”
Fisker further emphasised that it is imperative for a country to develop electric vehicle technologies to be relevant in the future. “It is in the interest of countries to make this transition quickly,” he added.
It is also important to note that Fisker’s global production partners Magna and Foxconn both have a strong footprint in India. If need maybe the company could bank on its global partners to begin production in the country.