It was late in December 2019 when we exclusively reported on Chinese carmaker Haima Automobile confirming its plans for an India entry in partnership with Bird Electric, which is a part of the Bird Group. The company has now made its India debut at Auto Expo 2020 with a three-model display. We can now confirm Haima will enter the Indian market early in 2022 with one of the models on display at the Expo.
In an exclusive interaction with Autocar India, Ankur Bhatia, executive director, Bird Group, confirmed that their plan is to bring the Haima E1 EV to India in completely knocked down (CKD) form and assemble it locally, starting 2022. While Haima will be revealing the E1 EV tomorrow (February 6) at Auto Expo 2020, Bhatia also highlighted the fact that the model’s appearance will change by the time it is launched in India.
“We’re making significant changes to the shape of the E1 EV, but the platform will be the same. We chose this one because it has a tallboy design and gives you a lot of room inside, and ingress and egress is far easier than in certain other cars. Ground clearance will remain the same, but the shapes, the bumpers, we’re working on at present,” said Bhatia.
Bird Electric plans to assemble the Haima E1 EV at its facility in Manesar, with a targeted production figure of 5,000 units a year.
More importantly, Bhatia confirmed the company intends to keep the E1 EV's appeal as a low-cost, high-range EV intact.
“We’re still in the process of working out the final price, but right now, without the FAME subsidies, we’re estimating it to be around the Rs 10 lakh mark,” added Bhatia.
Two more Haima models are on display at the Expo – the 7X MPV and the 8S midsize SUV. While they aren’t currently on the cards for India, Bhatia said both have been showcased to gauge market interest, and the company is also open to the idea of assembling those two models here.
Bird Electric intends to retail the Haima E1 EV via outlets in select cities initially. The Bird Group is presently a dealer partner for BMW in Gurgaon.
To give you a quick recap, the Haima E1 EV is sold as the Aishang EV 360 in China, and while it isn’t exactly powerful or quick, it has a claimed range of up to 352km on a full charge.
Would you buy the Haima E1 EV for around Rs 10 lakh? Let us know in the comments.