Ford Motor Co. is on track to meet its goal of delivering more than 5 million electric vehicles in India by 2021, a milestone its CEO Bill Ford hopes will spur other automakers to follow suit.
“The EV revolution is here, and India has been the epicenter of this,” Ford said in a statement on Thursday.
Ford, a major Indian carmaker, is set to deliver its first electric vehicle to the market later this year, and is planning to double the number of EVs that it delivers per year from around 3,000 to about 5,000 by 2025.
In a sign that the country’s auto sector is slowly turning the corner, Ford said last month that its fleet of 7,500 EVs was down from the current 9,000 units it has on hand.
Indian companies are also aiming to get the first EVs on the road by the end of 2019, with Ford, Hyundai and Tata Motors expected to enter the market by then.
According to a report by India’s Tata Motors, the average EV in the country now costs around Rs.4 lakh ($1,965) to make, but could cost more than that by the time it reaches the market.
At the same time, Indian consumers are willing to pay more for EVs as they get more incentives for getting a hybrid vehicle, a feature that has helped the country set a new record in electrification.
Nissan, which is building an electric SUV, will also unveil a new car with an electric motor sometime this year.
“Nissan is committed to delivering EVs to the country in the next five years,” said Carlos Nava, Nissan’s chief of EV and sustainability, at the company’s investor day in Mumbai last month.
Tesla Motors, which sells vehicles in more than 120 countries, will unveil its Model 3 vehicle next month.
Its first vehicle will be a Model S sedan with a battery pack larger than that of a Ford Model X SUV.
India’s EV market, dominated by the Tata group and other automakers, is expected to grow by 40% this year to more than 30,000 vehicles, according to research firm Gartner.
But the number is expected not to exceed 1 million vehicles by 2025, with the bulk of these EVs being made in China.
The Tata group will continue to invest heavily in its fleet, which has been boosted by a series of government subsidies, but India’s government, which was the largest investor in the group last year, is also expected to see more of the group’s investments in the industry, which accounts for about half of the Tata Group’s business.
Tata Motors, meanwhile, will ramp up its investment in the Indian auto industry by making more than 3,600 new hybrid electric cars in the near future.
For the Tata Motors project, it has already committed about $600 million in incentives, which are set to start rolling out next year.
Tata Motors said in September that it had committed $1.2 billion in incentives.
It has also made $1 billion in investments for research and development, and plans to invest another $600,000 in the new battery plant.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has an estimated net worth of $15.7 billion, is backing Tata Motors as it pursues the goal of a $1 trillion electric vehicle market by 2020.
With the world on the brink of electric cars becoming a reality, India’s automakers are stepping up their game, and it’s starting to be seen as the biggest opportunity in a very long time.