India’s EV Policy: Leveling the Playing Field For Manufacturers

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This policy benefits new entrants and supports existing players planning to invest in EVs, ensuring a level playing field for all.

The Indian government has unveiled its long-anticipated electric vehicle (EV) policy. This balanced approach aims to position India as a key player in the global EV manufacturing sector. The policy is expected to attract significant foreign direct investment (FDI) into the EV space over the next decade, supported by a local auto parts ecosystem. It offers benefits not only to new entrants like Tesla and VinFast but also to existing manufacturers investing in EVs, ensuring a level playing field.

The policy will likely encourage companies such as Foxconn, MG Motor (through JSW), Tesla, and VinFast to introduce global models to the Indian market at competitive prices. It may also attract major automakers like Ford and Volkswagen, who have been eyeing the Indian EV market. India’s fast-growing economy, rising per capita income, large consumer base, low manufacturing costs, and mature automotive component ecosystem make it an attractive manufacturing hub for global markets.

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Many multinational companies are expected to use India as an export base for EVs, with EV penetration projected to reach 15-20% by the end of the decade. Maruti Suzuki and Honda Cars India are already planning to export their EVs to international markets, with other major players like Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Stellantis, and Volkswagen also focusing on EVs for global distribution.

The new policy includes a scheme for lower import taxes on EVs, with a price threshold of $35,000 or Rs 30 lakh and an annual cap of 8,000 vehicles. This move, previously opposed by domestic manufacturers, now appears fair. Companies like Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, early adopters in the EV space, will benefit from the government’s production-linked incentive scheme, which offers a 13-18% advantage. This will enable these companies to offer several competitive models within the next three years.

Overall, the policy is expected to invigorate the Indian EV ecosystem and provide consumers with a wide range of zero-emission vehicles at attractive prices, including new entrants and established players like Tata, Mahindra, Maruti, and Hyundai.

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