BYD May Withdraw $1 Billion EV Investment Plan in India: Report

TeamJul 29, 2023

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BYD reportedly wants to drop pursuit of its investment plan and has informed its joint-venture partner in India

Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD could be planning to pull the plug on a $1 billion EV investment plan in India. According to a Reuters report, BYD has decided to put a hold on its investment plans for building EVs in India following scepticism from the Indian government. BYD’s joint-venture partner in India, Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure has urged the Chinese brand to hold off on its plans to shelve the investment until there is further clarity on the matter.

It must be noted that BYD has not formally retracted the investment proposal sent for government review. China’s largest EV maker has been around in India for 16 years, selling all-electric buses and passenger vehicles. Currently, it sells the e6 electric MPV and Atto 3 electric SUV in India, as far as PVs go. The company had earlier showcased the Seal electric sedan at the 2023 Delhi Auto Expo and has been planning to launch it in the country soon.

BYD, which is said to be the world's largest producer of EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles, first entered the Indian market back in 2007. The company began its journey by making batteries and components for mobile phone makers. In 2013, BYD joined hands with Megha Engineering to manufacture electric buses under the Olectra Greentech name. The Chinese automaker has already invested over $200 million in India and was hoping to start production in India by 2025.

Some officials from Indian ministers had expressed security concerns about the investment following the initial review. One such concern from the BYD proposal was the fact that all the data collected from the vehicles from voice-activated commands for apps available in Indian languages would be housed in India. The company is said to have already predicted the political angle to the investment following a series of border clashes back in 2020 between India and China.

China’s Great Wall Motor also faced similar scrutiny and eventually had to shelve plans for a $1 billion investment after not receiving proper clearances from the Indian government. It remains to be seen if BYD will face a similar fate but any final decision on the proposal will be undertaken by the relevant Indian authorities.

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