Fisker has announced plans to start selling its Ocean electric SUV in India next summer and may even begin local production of the EV within a few years.
Founder and CEO Henrik Fisker told Reuters that sales of EVs in India will increase by 2025-2026, which is why his company wants to be among the first to gain a foothold into the market. He said the company is looking for real estate space to open a New Delhi showroom and is meeting auto component suppliers to source parts for its global production.
The car designer turned entrepreneur believes India will go full electric eventually. "It may not go as fast as the U.S., China or Europe, but we want to be one of the first ones to come in here," he said.
Fisker admitted it is "very expensive" to import vehicles into India given the current 100 percent tarriffs, but said the company believes the Ocean will help build the brand in India. Priced from around $37,500 in the US, the Fisker Ocean would add a 100 percent import tax and logistics costs.
This means very few people would be able to afford one, as most new cars sold in India are priced under $15,000.
Gallery: Fisker Ocean at Goodwood FoS 2022
In order to achieve a larger volume in India, Fisker believes companies must start building vehicles locally or at least do some assembly. He noted that Fisker's next EV, the smaller PEAR, is being considered for India but not before 2026.
Henrik Fisker added that the timeline could be shorter if the company finds the right local partner. Setting up a plant in India would require volume of at least 30,000 to 40,000 vehicles a year, and the executive estimates it would cost $800 million to set up a plant with an annual production capacity of 50,000 cars in India.
"If we can get that vehicle just below $20,000 locally in India, that would be ideal. Then I think we'll get to a certain volume and market share."
At this point, it's worth noting that Fisker does not own an assembly plant. The EV startup has contract manufacturing agreements with Magna International in Austria for the Ocean and Foxconn in the United States for the PEAR.
Currently, EVs only make up 1 percent of India's roughly 3 million annual car sales. They are slow to gain market share because of the country's insufficient charging infrastructure and high battery costs.
India's government aims to increase the share of electric vehicles to 30 percent by 2030, and is offering EV and battery makers billions of dollars in incentives to build their EVs and EV components locally to achieve that.