With 581,000 e3Ws sold in 2023, India races ahead of China | Autocar Professional


In yet another proof of India’s growing status in the automotive world, the country has overtaken China as the world’s largest electric three-wheeler market. The International Energy Agency (IEA), in its Global EV Outlook 2024 report, has revealed that India’s electric three-wheeler industry has overtaken China as the world’s largest market.

According to the IEA, 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.

Every second three-wheeler sold in India is now electric. In CY2023, 581,696 e-three-wheelers were sold, up 66% YoY. In comparison, e3W sales in China fell 8% YoY to 320,000 units, which makes India the e3W market leader. 

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 (see Vahan-sourced data table above), 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.

In CY2023, EV sales in India charged past 1.5 million units. After clocking a million units for the first time in CY2022, the shift to electric mobility picked up even more pace last with sales growing 46% to over 1.5 million units and all segments – two- and three-wheelers, cars and SUVs, goods vehicles and buses – recording stellar growth.

While the electric scooter and motorcycle segment was the topper in terms of sheer volumes (over 572,000 units), the rate of transition to zero-emission mobility remains the fastest in the three-wheeler market, where now every second product sold is an electric model. The e-three-wheeler category saw sustained YoY growth in each of the 12 months of CY2023, benefiting from the demand for last-mile mobility.

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. 

The e-three-wheeler industry has the maximum players of any vehicle category in India – 496 companies! Of them, only 13 have exceeded annual sales of 10,000 units each (see Top 60 OEMs of CY2023 data table below).

These Top 13 OEMs, each with five-figure sales, cumulatively sold 270,403 units in 2023, effectively having a 46% share of the total e-three-wheeler market, leaving the remaining 54% of the market to the other 483 manufacturers to battle it out in the arena.

ALSO READ:  Electric 3-wheeler sales clock 66% growth in CY2023 to over 581,000 units

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