Chinese carmaker Haima’s Indian entry & electric vehicle EV1 could be delayed

Sentiments towards China has changed rapidly in recent weeks, impacting strategies of many Chinese automakers that were eyeing the Indian market. Haima Automobile which was to launch in India in 2021 through a partnership with Bird Electric, could postpone now plans.

Sino-India relations are at the worst point in recent history and the Coronavirus outbreak had already forced brands to rethink strategies to enter new markets and segments. Speaking with Economic Times, Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director of Bird Group has said that the product design was supposed to be finalised earlier but the countrywide lockdown prevented managers from traveling between the countries. He further said that there will be more clarity on the India-China relationship soon and they would be making substantial progress then. Photos Bhatia shared with EVW at the Expo showed Bird and Haima teams working to adapt the design of the EV1 for Indian buyers.

Haima New Energy partnered with India’s Bird Electric to launch electric cars and showcased the Haima Bird Electric EV1 at the Auto Expo 2020. The hatchback was presented in the left-hand drive version and measured 3,680 mm in length and 2,340 mm in wheelbase and had two battery options – a 20.42 kWh battery pack with a range of 200 km and 28.5 kWh battery with a 300 km range. The car is driven by an electric motor that makes 30 kW of power, can go up to a speed of 120 km/h while fully rechargeable in 9-11 hours. The company claims that the car will have the biggest boot in its segment and will only cost 60 paise per km.

At the Auto Expo, Ankur Bhatia said they are looking at a FY2021 launch and a price range of Rs 10 lakh. Initially, the EV1 is expected to be brought in as CKD units and assembled at Bird’s Manesar plant. Bhatia also said that are looking to produce 5,000 electric cars in the first year and will have limited dealerships, concentrated mainly in North India.