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Business News/ Auto News / India’s flagship electric luxury car market grows competitive
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India’s flagship electric luxury car market grows competitive

While Mercedes Benz has localized the assembly of its EQS sedan, BMW will introduce the i7 as a fully built-up unit (FBU), like the other electric vehicles in its portfolio, including the mid-sized sedan i4 and SUV iX.

Vikram Pawah, president of BMW India, is confident that the i7 will be a segment leader. This launch comes as demand for electric cars continues to rise in India. (Mint)Premium
Vikram Pawah, president of BMW India, is confident that the i7 will be a segment leader. This launch comes as demand for electric cars continues to rise in India. (Mint)

NEW DELHI : The market for flagship luxury electric cars is growing more competitive in India, with BMW preparing to launch its i7 sedan next month. Based on the German carmaker flagship 7-Series, the i7 will go up against Mercedes Benz’s EQS, which was introduced earlier this year.

Vikram Pawah, president of BMW India, is confident that the i7 will be a segment leader. This launch comes as demand for electric cars continues to rise in India.

While Mercedes Benz has localized the assembly of its EQS sedan, BMW will introduce the i7 as a fully built-up unit (FBU), like the other electric vehicles in its portfolio, including the mid-sized sedan i4 and SUV iX.

Mercedes Benz, which imports the performance version of the EQS car as an FBU, is preparing to deliver nearly 300 units of the EQS within the year.

The i4, launched in May, is sold out until the end of next year, Pawah said.

BMW and its British premium hatchback unit Mini in India currently have 2,500 bookings, while its luxury adventure motorcycle arm BMW Motorrad has an additional 2,000 orders.

“EVs haven’t reached the threshold volume in India, so we aren’t localizing them yet, but it is only a matter of time. Which one will be first is the question. We already produce 98% of what we sell in the internal combustion engine (ICE) segment locally across levels. So whenever we see volume, and it adds value to the customer, we will produce in India," he said.

“On the demand side, EVs are already hitting 10% of our overall sales. When I look at individual segments, for example, the Mini hatch electric compared to the ICE, the penetration is 30%-40%. We do expect we will continue to see a good offtake for EVs with our premium customers because of a variety of factors: one, we provide a private charging network to our customers at home, so they don’t need to rely on any public charging. Secondly, our customers normally have a running distance of, let’s say, between 45 to 50 km a day. So, it’s not like you’re travelling 200-300 km a day that you need to have range anxiety. But even if you needed to travel those distances, we’re building a network of DC fast chargers so you could literally charge while you’re having a coffee. These chargers are accessible 24 hours a day, not just for our, but for all-electric vehicle customers. So our ecosystem within the brand is sufficient to serve the needs of our customers," Pawah said.

“That gives us confidence that electric will do well for us, and that’s why we are adding another electric product as part of eight new product launches we have planned between December and January. We will be the only car maker in the country to offer four distinct electric products."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alisha Sachdev
Alisha Sachdev reports on the auto and mobility sector, with a special focus on emerging clean mobility technologies.
Catch all the Auto News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
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Published: 12 Dec 2022, 11:11 PM IST
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