BMW Aims To Launch Multi Ple EV Models In India

German luxury carmaker BMW aims to introduce multiple models to lead the charge in the electric vehicle segment in the country, said a top company official. President of BMW India Vikram Pawah said customer acceptance of electric vehicles has been better than expected and the company expects 10 percent of its demand to come from such models by the end of the next calendar year. "Electro mobility is a new space that is developing. BMW Group wants to take the lead charge in the luxury space. I was really surprised by the phenomenal adoption of electric vehicles, the two products we launched earlier sold out in no time", said Vikram.

BMW India has sold out the allocated batches of SUV iX and an all-electric MINI for the year. The company launched third offering midsize electric sedan i4 priced at Rs.69.90 lakh (ex-showroom). Globally, BMW is set to introduce 25 electric vehicles by 2023. Nearly half of them will be full electric ones, could be launched in India provided the current incentives continuous and adequate charging infrastructure is set up across the country. At present, the government levies GST on electric vehicles at a reduced rate of 5 percent. The tax concession needs to be continued to encourage consumers to transition and for automakers to plan more products.

Vikram said the adoption of any new technology in the premium space is much faster. "Our customers do not want to go for a compromise, they need latest technology. The way the trends are, and with the i4 launched today, I expect 10 percent of the demand to come from EVs by the end of next year. Every model has a threshold, for localization and investments need to return, based on volumes. Basis volume development, we make those decisions every year", he added.

The company eventually wants to assemble electric vehicles in the country but cannot share a timeline for it. Meanwhile, the company is investing heavily in setting up charging infrastructure. BMW India claimed it has already put in place 50 DC fast chargers across 34 cities in the country ­ the largest for any luxury carmaker.

Overall, Vikram said the government's target to realize 30 percent of new car sales from EVs is `quite achievable'. Policy measures are in place by means of lower tax rates on electric vehicles and the production linked incentive schemes for auto, auto parts and batteries. If the government were to consider lowering import duties for a limited time or a specified number of units on such a new technology, it can be fast-track adoption. Demand momentum in the local market remains strong, with sales growing by 36 percent till April 2022. The company has pending orders for 2000 units. To further strengthen its presence in the country, BMW India has planned for launch a total of 19 models in the four-wheeler segment this year. BMW Group India sold 8,876 passenger vehicles (BMW and MINI) in 2021.