Global two-wheeler brands operating in India are bracing for the electric vehicle plunge as the electric two-wheeler ecosystem continues to improve in the country.
Although the electric vehicle market is still at an evolutionary stage, it appears to be the future of the automotive industry. The past few months have seen a growing momentum for electric two-wheelers in India and FY22 is expected to see total electric two-wheeler volumes surpass the 1 lakh mark.
At present, sales of electric two-wheelers in the country are driven by a few start-ups and many of them have established themselves with their technology and products.
However, most of the traditional players also have electric vehicles ready or are in the process of preparing them. Electric two-wheelers are expected to have higher penetration (with 3W) due to several factors such as lower initial purchase prices as the battery size may be smaller to support a normal daily ride of 30 at 50 km, the ease of getting closer to home to recharge it or even carry the battery home to recharge or exchange it without the use of a robotic arm.
“Traditional players are also expected to come up with their offerings and will leverage their brand, network, ability to design rugged products for the myriad of road conditions, etc. to gain a solid position in the market. electric vehicle segment, ”said Ashim Sharma, Partner and Business Performance Improvement Consulting Group Leader at the Nomura Research Institute.
Local ICE players such as TVS Motor and Bajaj have entered the segment with their electric scooters. Now, global players like Honda and Yamaha are undertaking feasibility studies and examining the evolving ecosystem here for their entry into the segment.
Considering the volumes generated by the world’s largest two-wheeler market, it can be said that start-ups have just started to scratch the surface as they establish a more solid foundation for electric mobility, which can be categorized as 3 categories – vehicle manufacturing, infrastructure and battery charging and exchange services for electric vehicles, says Motofumi Shitara, President of Yamaha Motor India Group.
Global two-wheeler brands point out that while there is a supportive ecosystem supported by a policy framework with attractive subsidy and incentive programs, there are greater investment challenges.
“We consider factors such as price, performance and infrastructure before deploying products for the Indian market. Mainly because the success of electric vehicles depends only on the acceptance of customers as a whole, which is only possible with good availability of infrastructure, universal charging stations, the production of batteries and the exchange of ‘infrastructure against electric vehicles,’ adds Shitara.
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) says the company certainly intends to have a presence in the country’s electric vehicle ecosystem. “The results of the current feasibility test are a work in progress. Some areas need to be worked out and posted that we can surely share more details about our plans. For now, we hope to introduce an electric two-wheeler in the next fiscal year, ”said Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Director of Sales and Marketing of HMSI, the largest player in the ICE scooter market in India.
Electric scooters emerged as the perfect choice to start with when playing electric vehicles, as subways and cities would be the first to adopt electric scooters.