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India Overtakes China As Largest E3W Market Globally As per Vahan data, 350,238 e-three-wheelers were retailed in CY2022. Given the 8% YoY decline in CY2023, China's estimated CY2022 sales would have been 347,840 units, which means India just might have been the e-three-wheeler leader in CY2022.

By Priyanka Tanwer

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In yet another milestone, India has overtaken China as the world's largest electric three-wheeler market, The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its Global EV Outlook 2024 report.

According to the report, the global and overall three-wheeler market grew by 13% in CY2023 to 4.5 million units. Of this, electric three-wheelers accounted for 21% – 945,000 e-three-wheelers – compared to 18% in CY2022 and recorded strong 30% year-on-year growth.

The Global EV Outlook is an annual publication that identifies and assesses recent developments in electric mobility across the world. It is developed with the support of members of the Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI).

The two major global markets for electric three-wheelers are China and India, which together account for more than 95% of all electric and 80% of conventional three-wheelers (petrol, diesel, CNG). With over 581,000 electric three-wheelers retailed in CY2023, India recorded handsome 66% YoY growth and, as per IEA, raced ahead of China where sales declined 8% YoY to 320,000 units, making it the second-largest electric three-wheeler market in the world.

Speaking on the development Ayush Lohia, CEO, Lohia Auto said that this remarkable feat underscores India's rapid adoption of electric mobility solutions.

"In 2023, India surpassed China to claim the title of the largest market for electric 3Ws, boasting over 580,000 sales. This remarkable feat underscores India's rapid adoption of electric mobility solutions. Government subsidies have played a pivotal role in this achievement, incentivizing consumers and manufacturers alike to embrace cleaner transportation alternatives. This milestone not only reflects the nation's commitment to sustainability but also sets a precedent for global leadership in the transition towards eco-friendly transportation," he added.

According to Vahan data, in 2023, a total of 5,81,696 E3W were sold of which 34,333 were sold in January, 36,032 in Feb, 45,281 in March, 38,051 in April, 4,634 in May, 48, 052 June, 53,750 in July, 56,759 in August, 57,450 in Sept, 56,832 in Oct, 53,766 in November, and 56,756 in December.

Interestingly, as per Vahan data, 350,238 e-three-wheelers were retailed in CY2022. Given the 8% YoY decline in CY2023, China's estimated CY2022 sales would have been 347,840 units, which means India just might have been the e-three-wheeler leader in CY2022.

However, Ravindra Patki, Partner, Vector Consutling Group said that applying systems thinking reveals that swiftly transitioning from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles may not yield expected benefits, especially in India where 60 per cent-70 per cent of energy comes from thermal plants unlikely to change soon.

"Rushing into electric cars would shift emissions from tailpipes to coal-powered smokestacks. India's carbon footprint in transportation needs a phased approach starting with hybrid vehicles and progressing to electric post-establishment of nationwide solar charging infrastructure," Patki added.

Meanwhile, Saurav Kumar, Founder & CEO, Euler welcomed the development and said that it does not surprise him that India has overtaken China as the world's largest electric three-wheeler market as India has always the potential to achieve the targets.

This e-three-wheeler sub-segment, which comprises passenger-transporting e-rickshaws and cargo-carrying three-wheelers in India, continues to witness strong double-digit growth thanks to sustained demand for passenger transportation and from last-mile operators for e-commerce applications, food deliveries and other applications.
Priyanka Tanwer

Feature Writer

With eight years of experience covering various beats for the digital and print media, now covering electric vehicles and sustainability for Entrepreneur India, keeping a nose for innovation and new technology in this futuristic sector.     
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