While the Elon Musk-led Tesla still has not been able to make up its mind about a foray into India’s emerging electric vehicle market, US-based startup Fisker has announced it will launch an electric SUV in India in 2023. Fisker, which competes with Tesla, said the company’s Ocean vehicles will hit the Indian market in the upcoming year. Fisker’s chief executive officer Henrik Fisker said the company could explore local production within a few years, giving it an edge over Tesla, which is at an impasse with the government over incentives. Also Read - Elon Musk says Tesla will make a cheap car for India
Fisher told Reuters that it wants to secure a first-mover advantage by launching its electric cars around the same time when India is expected to see a boom in the sales of electric cars, i.e., 2025-26. “Ultimately, India will go fully electric. It may not go as fast as the US, China, or Europe, but we want to be one of the fast ones to come in here, Fisker was quoted as saying. The EV company opened its office in Hyderabad earlier this year and has around 50 employees working there, unlike Tesla. Also Read - Tesla previews humanoid robot, but Musk cautions it is not ready just yet
In an interview with Moneycontrol.com, Fisker said the company will begin production for its Ocean SUV in November at Magna Steyr in Austria. But these will be focused on the US market. The ones with a right-hand drive for markets such as India will go into production six months later in Austria. Fisker plans to bring “some cars” to India “in July of the following year.” Fisker is also planning to open showrooms in India called Fisker Lounge to “help build the Fisker brand.” The Ocean SUV will be “a true luxury vehicle.” Also Read - Cybertruck will 'serve briefly as boat', says Elon Musk
The leading EV company in the US, Musk’s Tesla put its plans to enter India on hold after it could not manage to convince the Indian government for incentives on import duty. India has a 60 percent import duty on fully imported cars that cost $40,000 or less, and a 100 percent duty on vehicles that cost more than $40,000. Tesla wants a lower duty to gauge whether or not sales in India will turn out in its favour.
Fisker is optimistic that its early move will allow an upper hand in the market that lacks Tesla as competition. And even though it has the same problem of import duty, the company’s chief executive said the Personal Electric Automotive Revolution (PEAR) will allow it to maximise volume. With local production of electric cars in India, the company, Fisker thinks, would be able to bring down the cost from $29,000 in the US to around $20,000 in India. “And I think that we can get a fairly big volume,” Fisker was quoted as saying in the report.