China parts charge up Indian Electric Vehicles
Cheap imports from China are undermining the electric vehicle (EV) industry in India. Even with government subsidies under FAME II that stipulate a 90 per cent made-in-India vehicles, Chinese imports are cheaper. This was stated by companies participating in the 16th EV Expo at Biswa Bangla Mela Prangan.
Howrah-based EV maker Ngage Impex Private Ltd, which sells electric two-wheelers under the brand name Ronflant, assembles its vehicles in its plant at the Jalan complex Howrah with components imported from China.
“We import everything from tyres to batteries from China. It’s much cheaper that way. China has achieved a huge economy of scale and can price its products far more competitively than Indian products. To make manufacturing profitable in India, you have to produce at least five times the current capacity,” said Swarup Kundu, general manager of Ronflant.
While importing components, Ronflant has been able to price its two-wheelers between Rs 55,000 and Rs 95,000. “To avail of FAME II subsidy, you need to have 90 per cent localisation. That alone will push up costs,” said Kundu.
Singur-based EV maker Go with Green Electric Vehicles Pvt Ltd, which started operations last year and has been offering products under the brand name Goeen, is also assembling its scooters with components from China, said Saibaldip Bose, business head.
“We are offering electric scooters Chalo with a lead acid battery of 48 volts/28AH which has a range of 60km, and Chalo Version 2, which has a lithium-ion battery of 48 volts/28AH with a range of 70km. We also have a Chalo 1000 with a lead acid battery of 72 volts/28 AH,” said Bose.