India Becomes World’s Largest Electric Three-wheelers Market, Overtakes China

India has around 500 e3w players, but only 13 companies have annual sales of 10,000+ units each

India and China, the leading markets for electric three-wheelers (e3w) worldwide, collectively sold nearly one million units in the calendar year 2023, constituting 21% of the global three-wheeler market.

In India, sales of e3w surged by 66% year-over-year (YoY) to surpass 581,000 units. Meanwhile, demand in China declined by 8% to 320,000 units, resulting in India becoming the top player in the global e3w market.

India’s rise to the world’s largest electric three-wheeler market solidifies its position in the auto industry. The International Energy Agency (IEA), in its Global EV Outlook 2024 report, highlighted that India’s e3w industry has surpassed China to claim the top spot.

As per IEA, the global three-wheeler market experienced a 13% growth in CY2023, reaching a total of 4.5 million units. E3W accounted for 21% of this figure, amounting to 945,000 units, marking a significant increase from 18% in 2022. Moreover, electric three-wheeler sales exhibited robust year-on-year growth of 30%.

High load e3w of EulerMotors in India (Source: EulerMotors)
(Source: EulerMotors)

Both the countries accounted for more than 95% of the global electric three-wheeler market. However, India saw a significant increase in e3w sales, with over 581,000 units sold in the calendar year 2023, marking a remarkable 66% Y0Y growth. 

According to the IEA, this surge pushed India ahead of China, where e3w sales declined by 8% YoY to 320,000 units, positioning China as the second-largest electric three-wheeler market globally.

As per data, China’s e3w sales in CY2022 would have been around 347,840 units, considering the 8% YoY decline observed in 2023. This suggests India may have surpassed China to become the leader in e3w sales in 2022.

Electric vehicle (EV) sales in India exceeded 1.5 million units in CY2023, marking a significant milestone. Following the achievement of one million units in sales for the first time in 2022, the transition to electric mobility accelerated further, with sales rising by 46% to surpass 1.5 million units. 

Electric scooter and motorcycle segment recorded the highest volume, with sales surpassing 572,000 units. (Source: Mahindra Last Mile Mobility)
(Source: Mahindra Last Mile Mobility)

The electric scooter and motorcycle segment recorded the highest volume. However, the transition to zero-emission mobility is occurring most rapidly in the three-wheeler market, where electric models now account for half of all sales. 

Throughout CY2023, the e3w segment experienced consistent YoY growth, driven by the increasing demand for last-mile transportation solutions.

The e3w industry in India has the highest number of players compared to any other vehicle category, with nearly 500 companies involved. However, only 13 companies have achieved annual sales of over 10,000 units each. 

These OEMs, collectively selling over 270,403 units in 2023, command a significant 46% share of the total e3w market, leaving the remaining 54% for the other 483 manufacturers to compete.