India's auto show set to feature electric cars, scooters

(Corrects dateline to Greater Noida, India (not New Delhi))

By Aditi Shah and Praveen Paramasivam

GREATER NOIDA, India (Reuters) -Electric cars, scooters and trucks are expected to take centre stage at India's biennial car show which kicks off on Wednesday on the outskirts of New Delhi after a year-long postponement because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Firms from Hyundai Motor to SAIC Motor, BYD and Tata Motors are set to focus on electric cars. Meanwhile Suzuki Motor Corp's India unit Maruti Suzuki and Toyota Motor are expected to showcase other technologies as well, in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The clean vehicle push comes at a time when the Indian government is looking to cut emissions and pollution in major cities while also reducing its oil import bill. India is offering companies millions of dollars in incentives to build electric vehicles (EVs) and their parts locally.

India is set to become the world's third-largest market for light vehicles including passenger cars, displacing Japan in 2022, according to a forecast by S&P Global Mobility before numbers for the year are finalised. Industry-wide sales grew an estimated 23% in India to 4.4 million vehicles in 2022.

Electric models make up less than 1% of total car sales in the country, and the sector is gaining momentum, but the market share remains far short of the government's lofty target of 30% by 2030.

Electric-two wheelers have been leading EV sales charts in India, accounting for 62% of the EVs sold in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, according to industry data. Electric scooter sales are set to make up more than 5% of total scooter and motorbike sales in India in the current fiscal year, analysts estimate.

As well as established industry names, the auto show will also feature electric mobility start-ups including Greaves Cotton, Matter Motorworks, Tork Motors and Omega Seiki Mobility, expected to showcase e-scooters, 'last-mile' delivery vehicles and people carriers.

(Reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)