The Indian government expects massive adoption of electric vehicles in the country over the next decade. According to NITI Aayog, the country's top think tank, EV sales penetration could reach 70% for commercial cars, 30% for private cars, 40% for buses, and 80% for two- and three-wheelers by 2030.
Since moving into the new economic era in the 1990s, India has chosen the information service sector as its core industry. Much of the loans and subsidies from the World Bank have been spent on infrastructure such as satellite communications, which has made software business process outsourcing (BPO) a mainstream business in India. The fundamental industrial structure of BPO has been well developed since the 1990s.
India's three major telecommunication companies account for 90% of the business opportunities. Vodafone's market share is declining. The fastest-growing player is Reliance Jio, which accumulates service users through a successful marketing ploy of low-cost mobile phones. Its current market share in India's telecommunication market has reached 37% with 436 million users.
Cloud computing supplier VMware has been focusing more and more on its development in India and it has hired over 6,000 employees in India, much more than those at its headquarters in California, according to company CEO Raghu Raghuraman.
The most crucial for electric vehicles (EV) is the external ecosystem, or more precisely the infrastructure which is often closely linked to the government's various supporting measures. India has a FAME-II program, an incentive program aiming to accelerate the spread of eco-friendly vehicles. The program's total budget is INR100 billion (US$1.4 billion), of which 86% will be subsidies for vehicles and 10% for charging facilities.
India is expected to see booming sales and investment of electric two-wheelers, which, compared to cars, have less concerns about range issues. The world's largest two-wheeler market is catching the global trend of electrification with its mainstream transport: scooter.
India's annual sales of two-wheelers once exceeded 20 million units but dropped to about 15 million units in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic. Hero was the top motorcycle brand, with sales of 4.73 million units followed by Honda's 3.06 million units. Homegrown manufacturer, Chennai-based TVS, was in third place with 1.8 million units, and Bajaj with 1.42 million was fourth. Japan's Suzuki and Yamaha both have deployments in India. These companies are still in their inception stages of investment in electric vehicles (EV) except Hero Group, who invested in Hero Electric to capitalize on business opportunities for electric motorcycles.
Before studying India's electric vehicle (EV) market, you may need to understand the Indian modes of transportation. According to NSSO, 62.3% of Indians prefer public transport such as buses and trains, and 46.7% of Indians use three-wheeled tuk-tuk. During weekdays 15.6 % of Indians regularly take trains while 9.8 % of them take a taxi. We can observe the future means of transport for Indians from the perspectives of "new technology" and "mode of operation".
Startups are the growing force of India's economy. One of India's unicorn startups launched Ola Cars online car-shopping platform, while electric vehicles (EV), especially two-wheelers, are seeing increasing sales in India.
Who is the leader in the Indian car market? Suzuki accounts for almost 50% market share of the world's fifth-largest market of 2.71 million cars per year. Suzuki is not a top-tier brand in Japan. The key factor of Suzuki's success in India is that Suzuki Motor embraces a one-stop-shopping service strategy for the Indian market from car manufacturing to maintenance, insurance, and driving training courses. On top of that, its integration in the upstream and downstream of supply chains along with half a century of long-term in-depth operation in the Indian market is unrivaled. Perhaps owing to its satisfactory operation, Suzuki Motor is not active in the electric vehicles (EV) market.
India's huge population and potential economic growth have attracted investments from foreign IT enterprises, such as Samsung, Netflix, and Oppo, while local large enterprise groups such as Tata and Reliance have been pushing for innovations across industries in India with increasing investments as well.
India's per capita income is far lower than China's. Raw materials such as steel, coal and cotton are produced in India and shipped to China with processed products sold back to India. China's mobile phones, TVs and various commodities are sweeping the Indian market, with a trade deficit of more than US$50 billion a year in favor of China, partly fueling the tensions between the two countries.