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China's BYD Informs Indian Business Partner It Wishes To Cancel Its $1 Billion EV Investment Plan: Reuters

China's BYD Informs Indian Business Partner It Wishes To Cancel Its $1 Billion EV Investment Plan: Reuters
China's BYD informed its India joint venture partner that it would abandon plans for a new $1 billion investment to produce electric cars after its investment proposal was scrutinised by New Delhi, according to a report buy Reuters quoting information from two people with knowledge of the conversations, 
According to Reuters, BYD and its partner, the privately held Megha Engineering and Infrastructures, presented a request to the Indian government in April to jointly produce electric vehicles in India.
However, during the initial examination, representatives from three Indian ministries, including the ministries of finance and external affairs, expressed disapproval and cited what two Indian officials described as security concerns about the Chinese company's involvement.
According to the two persons with knowledge of the conversation, BYD executives informed Megha Engineering last week that the battery and EV manufacturer intended to discontinue its pursuit of the investment.
The two individuals with knowledge of the review said that as of Thursday, BYD has not formally withdrew the investment application from government scrutiny. It was not immediately obvious whether BYD might have second thoughts.
The largest EV manufacturer in China, BYD, declined to comment on the status of its investment proposal or whether it would abandon its ambition to manufacture EVs in India.
The company stated it has been selling both passenger vehicles and electric-drive buses in India for 16 years in a statement to Reuters.
An email requesting comment was not answered by the Indian ministries of finance, external affairs, or home. Requests for response from Megha Engineering were not answered.
According to the two persons with knowledge of the conversation, Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering encouraged BYD to hold off on abandoning the plan to manufacture electric cars until there was more clarity on the issue.
According to the two persons with knowledge of its plans, BYD was aware that its investment proposal would be politically sensitive due to the scrutiny of Chinese investment in India. As a result, it made an effort to allay worries.
For instance, the proposal stated that all data from the BYD electric cars would be stored in India and that voice-activated app commands would be available in Indian languages in India-built BYD electric cars, according to one of the persons.
By 2025, BYD wanted to start producing in India, according to the sources familiar with the strategy.
In 2020, India started scrutinising Chinese investment more closely due to a string of border disputes between the two nations.
Great Wall Motor of China abandoned its $1 billion investment plan after failing to obtain approval from the Indian government.
The Indian ministries of trade and heavy industries would make the final determination on whether to approve BYD's investment proposal.
The leading manufacturer of EVs and plug-in hybrids in the world, BYD, began selling batteries and other parts to mobile phone manufacturers in India in 2007.
With Megha Engineering, it began producing electric buses in India in 2013 through a joint venture business called Olectra Greentech.
BYD sells the Atto 3 electric SUV and the e6 EV to corporate fleets and expects to start selling its Seal electric car later this year. BYD has already committed more than $200 million in India.
Since beginning sales in India in 2022, BYD has sold around 1,950 vehicles there, based on government registration information.
The electric vehicle (EV) market in India is still modest, but it is expanding, with Tata Motors dominating sales.
Less than 2% of all new cars sold in 2022 were electric versions, but the government plans to increase that to 30% by 2030.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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