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Future of electric vehicles in India.

As per data, The Indian auto industry became the 4th largest in the world with sales increasing 9.5% year-on-year to 4.02 million units (excluding two wheeler) in 2017. It was the 7th largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in 2017.

The Two Wheeler segment dominates the market in terms of volume owing to a growing middle class and a young population. In India, people can mostly afford two-wheelers. Moreover, the growing interest of the companies in exploring the rural markets further aided the growth of the sector.

India is also a prominent auto exporter and has strong export growth expectations for the near future. Automobile exports grew 20.78 per cent during April-November 2018. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.05 per cent during 2016–2026. In addition, several initiatives by the Government of India and the major automobile players in the Indian market are expected to make India a leader in the two-wheeler and four-wheeler market in the world by 2020.

Market Size of the Industry ( As per latest data)

Domestic automobile production increased at 7.08 per cent CAGR between FY13–18 with 29.07 million vehicles manufactured in the country in FY18. During April-November 2018, automobile production increased 12.53 per cent year-on-year to reach 21.95 million vehicle units.

Overall domestic automobiles sales increased at 7.01 per cent CAGR between FY13–18 with 24.97 million vehicles getting sold in FY18. During April-November 2018, highest year-on-year growth in domestic sales among all the categories was recorded in commercial vehicles at 31.49 per cent followed by 25.16 per cent year-on-year growth in the sales of three-wheelers.

Premium motorbike sales in India crossed one million units in FY18. . During January-September 2018, BMW registered a growth of 11 per cent year-on-year in its sales in India at 7,915 units. Mercedes Benz ranked first in sales satisfaction in the luxury vehicles segment according to J D Power 2018 India sales satisfaction index (luxury).

Sales of electric two-wheelers are estimated to have crossed 55,000 vehicles in 2017–18.

Investments

In order to keep up with the growing demand, several auto makers have started investing heavily in various segments of the industry during the last few months. The industry has attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth US$ 19.29 billion during the period April 2000 to June 2018, according to data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

Some of the recent/planned investments and developments in the automobile sector in India are as follows:

  • Ashok Leyland has planned a capital expenditure of Rs 1,000 crore (US$ 155.20 million) to launch 20–25 new models across various commercial vehicle categories in 2018–19.

  • Hyundai is planning to invest US$ 1 billion in India by 2020. SAIC Motor has also announced to invest US$ 310 million in India.

  • Mercedes Benz has increased the manufacturing capacity of its Chakan Plant to 20,000 units per year, highest for any luxury car manufacturing in India.

  • As of October 2018, Honda Motors Company is planning to set up its third factory in India for launching hybrid and electric vehicles with the cost of Rs 9,200 crore (US$ 1.31 billion), its largest investment in India so far.

Government Initiatives towards electric vehicles

The government of India has already launched a scheme called FAME [ Faster Adopting & Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles] in 2015 itself, but it didn’t work out as planned. Even the leading Electric cars manufacturer Tesla has not able to enter India because of some government restrictions. Although it’s been sorted out later, there’s a still a major concern i.e., the power outlets. Like petrol/diesel and Gas stations, there has to be a clear plan of how to set up the power stations. The other major concern is the mileage. Till now, electric cars have a maximum speed of 85km/hour and on a full charge, they could go almost 120kms. This created more confusion on whether should we adopt the electric cars or not. Until unless these things are figured out, it’ll be hard to predict the future of electric cars.

The Government of India encourages foreign investment in the automobile sector and allows 100 per cent FDI under the automatic route.

Some of the recent initiatives taken by the Government of India are -

  • The government aims to develop India as a global manufacturing centre and an R&D hub.

  • Under NATRiP, the Government of India is planning to set up R&D centres at a total cost of US$ 388.5 million to enable the industry to be on par with global standards.

  • The Ministry of Heavy Industries, Government of India has shortlisted 11 cities in the country for introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) in their public transport systems under the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles in India) scheme. The government will also set up incubation centre for start-ups working in electric vehicles space.

Achievements

Following are the achievements of the government in the past four years:
  • Number of vehicles supported under FAME scheme increased from 5,197 in June 2015 to 192,451 in March 2018. During 2017–18, 47,912 two-wheelers, 2,202 three-wheelers, 185 four-wheelers and 10 light commercial vehicles were supported under FAME scheme.

  • SAMARTH Udyog — Industry 4.0 centres: ‘Demo cum experience’ centres are being set up in the country for promoting smart and advanced manufacturing helping SMEs to implement Industry 4.0 (automation and data exchange in manufacturing technology).

Road Ahead

The electric vehicle industry is supported by various factors such as availability of skilled labour at low cost, robust R&D centres and low cost steel production, low cpst batteries, use of various alternatives. The industry also provides great opportunities for investment and direct and indirect employment to skilled and unskilled labour.

Indian automotive industry (including component manufacturing) is expected to reach Rs 16.16–18.18 trillion (US$ 251.4–282.8 billion) by 2026. Two-wheelers are expected to grow 9 per cent in 2018.

Which are stocks to invest for electrical vehicles?
  • We have four major electric car makers: Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and Ashok ley

  • Then we come to best Battery Makers: BHEL, IOCL, Exide and Amara Raja

  • Then we come to best Battery component makers: Graphite India, HEG, NALCO, Hindalco, MOIL.

So, It is very hard to buy one among all and as per market conditions and valuations we can bet on TATA MOTORS (which is in pain due to lower JLR sales) and Exide ind, NALCO and BHEL for long term.

References: Media Reports, Press Releases, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Union Budget 2015–16, Union Budget 2017–18.

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