We had earlier talked of the new obsession of technology firms with electric vehicles, and how it only made sense for some bigwigs to get into the EV space. We had listed Oppo as one such firm, among others. Looking at new hints on its progress in the EV space, it now seems like Oppo will be the first one among its counterparts to sell an electric vehicle in India.
A new report mentions that the company is working on bringing electric vehicles to India, and is already in the process of planning for the same. As per the report by 91mobiles which cites tipster Mukul Sharma, we might see an Oppo branded electric vehicle in India as soon as the end of 2023 or early 2024. For a company just starting out in the automobile industry, that is a pretty aggressive timeline for their first product.
Though it is no secret that Oppo has all the backing it might need for pursuing its EV plans. It has the capital, of course, along with crucial in-house resources like research and development, manufacturing capacities and sales and marketing teams. It will only need a tweak of the workflow and some new adoptions to get into the EV space.
Even then, we would not expect a state-of-the-art autonomous EV from the house of Oppo right away. It is very likely that the company will start with something small in the space, like an electric scooter. There is an obvious demand for two-wheelers in India and electrification of the segment is the only way forward.
That is also why we have seen automobile bigwigs like Bajaj and Honda get into the space, as well as numerous notable entrants like Ola, Okinawa, Ather, Emflux and others. There is a clear indication here, it is not tough to get into the electric two-wheeler segment in India. Though it might be tough to retain your market in the coming years.
But what if Oppo goes the other way - that is, to produce an electric car for India?
Well, it's not impossible. Oppo can try and aim for the big swing here, but if the timeline is what it is predicted to be, i.e. two years from now, there is little to no chance that the company will be able to come up with an electric car by then, created right from scratch.
That is because we have had many examples of companies aiming for this and failing. Some, like Dyson, had to shut down their projects altogether. Others repeatedly missed their timelines. Even the top automobile maker Tesla is notoriously famous for missing deadlines in this regard.
What would make more sense for Oppo, hence, is to come up with an electric scooter (or some two-wheeler form) first? Maybe work on the charging infrastructure alongside. Such a network is crucial for EVs and having one's brand name has always gone a long way for EV firms. Ather is a great example of that in India. Eventually, it can go on to introduce bigger electric vehicles in the country.
It will be interesting to see Oppo mark its debut in the EV space, as and when it does. The same holds true for its sister firms - OnePlus and Realme. The companies have already filed for a trademark and are expected to begin work on their EV projects soon. Whether they will be able to gain a noticeable share of the market remains to be seen.
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