7 Jun 23

BYD removed 42,000 gasoline car equivalent of CO2 in India

The green formula of electrification is simple: High demand fed by electric vehicles (EV) results in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, despite the lack of renewable energy output and charging infrastructure. And this is what we are witnessing in India today. 

The two radices of the equation are India and the Chinese EV maker BYD: 

  • India set a record last year by surpassing the one million mark in EV sales for the first time, witnessing a 206% year-on-year growth in sales. 
  • BYD sold over 1.85m EVs in 2022, more than tripling its sales of 2021 and becoming the world’s largest EV maker. All-electric vehicles represented 49% of BYD’s sales, increasing 184% year-over-year. 

According to the company, most of these vehicles were produced by BYD India, which helped cut the country's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 118m kg. According to India Times, the emission cut in India consists of not just BYD electric passenger cars but e-trucks, e-forklifts and e-buses. The exact amount is equal to the emissions from (according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency):

  • 21,379,543 gallons of gasoline. 
  • 18,664,047 gallons of diesel. 
  • 96,537,679 kg of coal. 
  • 439,457 barrels of oil.

As of May 2023, BYD has trimmed 33bn kg of carbon emissions globally by selling over 4.1m new energy vehicles (NEV).

Defying coal with electric vehicles 

Overtaking China as the world’s most populated country with over 1,415bn people, India has a frenzy towards electric vehicles, favouring low-budget two-wheelers and increasing appetite for electric passenger cars. 

Expanding charging infrastructure and government incentives spiked the electric two-wheeler growth in India in 2022, with a 291% growth in a year. China, the leading exporter of electric two-wheelers to India, has supported this growth significantly. But as the electric passenger segment is also growing, India’s electric two-wheeler market seems to be the tip of the iceberg. 

The electric four-wheeler segment of India grew 178% year-on-year, with 41,675 units registered, according to EVreporter. Facing an enormous potential, BYD took all the advantage of being the top NEV manufacturer and started penetrating the vast Indian market. 

Why are electric vehicles indispensable?

India has all the reasons to go for a full-blown electrification journey: 

  • India has beaten Japan and will become the third-largest vehicle market in the world in 2022.
  • The government wants EVs to grab 30% of the private car, 70% of the commercial vehicle and 80% of the two and three-wheeler market by 2030. 
  • BYD India is a domestic booster for EV sales, while Tata Motors leads the EV market with 85% of the market share.
  • Tata Motors has installed over 4,300 charging points across the country so far. 
  • New lithium reserves discovered in Kashmir and Jammu regions are expected to increase the EV battery market. 

The EV trend will benefit the energy infrastructure of India too. According to NITI Aayog, the public policy think tank of the Indian government, the amount of electrical energy EVs can convert from the grid to their engines is around 60%. In comparison, it is 17-21% for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. 

The coal issue 

According to research published by Nature Communications, depending on when and where they are charged, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) can reduce CO2 emissions dramatically in India but also kick them up: 

  • 40% reduction in the northeastern states.
  • Over 15% increase in the eastern/western regions (higher GHGs emitted when charged overnight and in the summer).
  • Self-charging gasoline-electric can reduce GHG emissions by 33%, 
  • Electric two-wheelers can achieve up to 20% reduction in emissions. 
In the above image, positive values represent emission reduction, while negative values mean all-electric cars emit higher GHG than fossil-fueled cars. The unbalanced values across regions reflect the power generation profiles of each region, as India still heavily relies on coal to generate electricity. According to the research, renewable energy supplied 7% of India’s total electricity demand between 2014-2019, while coal generated over 70% of the country’s total electricity in 2018/2019. Source: Nature Communications.


Rising among rivals

India has many local and also foreign electric passenger car producers, the leading ones listed below: 

Tata Motors - As the EV battery market leader, Tata Motors is a new entrant to the EV segment in India. 
Mahindra Electric - The manufacturer of India’s first electric car, The Mahindra Reva, Mahindra Electric is a pioneer in India and focuses on developing batteries and installing charging stations. 
Ashok Leyland - One of the world’s largest bus manufacturers and market leaders for trucks in India, Ashok Leyland designs e-buses specific to Indian conditions and deploys battery swapping stations for e-buses. 
Olectra Greentech - Developer of e-buses with iron phosphate batteries, Olectra Greentech, is working on plans to open a factory in Hyderabad with a capacity of 10,000 e-buses annually. 


BYD is eager to defy the coal-based industry of India with its electric vehicles. Also, ready to take full advantage of being India’s leading Chinese EV maker. One rival, Great Wall Motors, had to cancel $1bn investment plans last year after failing to receive regulatory approvals from India. 

From Citroen India to MG Motor, BYD has taken the upper hand in the Indian electric passenger market. By 2030, BYD is planning to grab 40% of it. 

Main image: Shutterstock

Authored by: Mufit Yilmaz Gokmen