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india: MG Motor expects EVs to account for a fourth of its sales in India

MG Motor India expects sales of electric vehicles in the country to at least double this calendar year on the back of new model launches at the affordable end of the market amid growing environmental awareness among consumers.

The company owned by China’s largest carmaker SAIC Motor is set to launch its first EV in the mass market in the next few weeks.

It expects 20-25% of its sales to come from EVs in 2023. MG Motor India president Rajeev Chaba told ET.

“There is an accelerated shift towards electric across countries amid growing environmental concerns,” he said. “In India, too, sales of electric vehicles have started gaining traction and we expect it to at least double this year.”

Around 50,000 electric vehicles were sold in the country in 2022.

Chaba said with limitations in supplies, which had impacted production of the MG Motor’s ZS EV last year, easing out, the company is targeting selling 10,000 units of the vehicle this year. The ZS EV and the soon-to-be launched Comet EV are expected to comprise up to a quarter of the sales for the company that aims to sell a total of 80,000 vehicles in 2023.

A recent survey by market researcher Nielsen on behalf of MG Motor India indicated that there is growing dissatisfaction among car owners in the country due to the increase in fuel prices, heavy traffic and congestion, Chaba said.As per the survey, 52% of the respondents have been “highly impacted” by the rise in fuel prices while 69% said they consider environment as an important factor while purchasing a car.

The study covered 5,000 consumers owning at least one four-wheeler and using it in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune. Almost half of them spend more than Rs 6,000 on fuel every month.

While 61% of the respondents said travel time has increased due to growing congestion, 78% said they faced moderate to very heavy traffic in their daily commute. Only 26% of respondents said it’s easy to find parking space.

“This is not a one-time survey,” Chaba said. “We want to do this study periodically to assess usage patterns, how happy consumers are driving in cities, and incorporate the feedback while developing urban mobility solutions so as to meet the needs of customers in emerging markets.”

This would help determine the size of vehicles, the range, and the technology required by vehicle buyers, he said.

The priority would remain to tailor solutions for the Indian market but there are opportunities to export these to markets with similar demographics and geography from the country, Chaba said.

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