BII bullish on Indian EV ecosystem, expects to invest $300 million by 2027

For British International Investment (BII) in India, the climate, in general, has the highest attention and within that EV is probably going to be the
...
EV
For British International Investment (BII) in India, the climate, in general, has the highest attention and within that EV is probably going to be the largest area for us to invest. (AP)
EV
For British International Investment (BII) in India, the climate, in general, has the highest attention and within that EV is probably going to be the largest area for us to invest.

British International Investment, UK's development finance institution, is betting big on the Indian electric vehicles ecosystem and expects to invest another USD 300 million in the next three years, according to its MD and Head of Technology & Telecoms, Abhinav Sinha.

The company, which has backed Mahindra group's electric vehicles (EV) arm besides other startups like Euler Motors, Turno and Battery Smart, has already invested around USD 300 million in the Indian EV sector and sees further investment opportunities in EV manufacturing, components and financing segments in the country.

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"India has quite an evolved auto market... On the EV side, the penetration right now lags behind the rest of the world... The (overall) penetration of EVs in India is something like 6 per cent and we see it quite easily expand, double and more than double quite quickly," Sinha told PTI in an interview.

He further said, "The leader today is China, but for India to be significantly ahead of where it is today... we think it's a very achievable sort of an objective... So we're quite bullish."

Sinha was responding to a query on how British International Investment (BII) sees the EV ecosystem in India compared to the other markets in the world and investment opportunities in the country.

By 2030, he said there will be a "massive level" of EV penetration in public transportation in India and there will be "quite a bit of traction on the passenger (electric) cars, as more and more people adopt it".

"I would imagine even if it's not as much as China, it'll be ahead of Europe and the US in the way it's going and all the push coming from the government as well as the logic of total cost of ownership," Sinha said.

On BII's investments in India, he said, "We have invested (USD) 300 million so far in this whole EV space... we've backed Mahindra in India, on their EV platform and that's a very significant investment for us, almost USD 250 million."

Moreover, it has also made investments in Euler Motors, a startup commercial EV manufacturer, Turno, an EV distribution and financing for small businesses and individuals and Battery Smart, a battery-swapping network for electric two- and three-wheelers.

When asked about BII's further investment plans in the Indian EV ecosystem, Sinha said, "It's hard to say an exact number but we have invested USD 300 million over the last three years and I would expect a similar sort of pace going forward."

On the strategy for future investments, he said, "What we realised is that a lot of focus has to go on earlier stage investments and these tend to be smaller, even though the number of our typical sizes in these spaces are like USD 5 million to USD 10 million investments. Maybe the numbers may not stack up quite a bit initially but as these companies become bigger we then follow with another investment."

For BII in India, he said climate in general has the highest attention and within that "EV is probably going to be the largest area for us to invest."

"So, we will continue investing in the manufacturing side and we will extend that in the components and the financing side. It is a space which will take a lot of investment. We will invest across the entire value chain," Sinha said.

First Published Date: 23 Jun 2024, 15:04 PM IST
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