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Companies gear up to launch 20 new models of electric 2-wheelers

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MUMBAI: As electric two-wheeler sales bounce back, manufacturers have lined up at least 20 new models for launch in the next eight to 10 months.

These models include the TVS Creon, Kinetic E Luna, Honda Activa, Suzuki Burgman, Vespa Elettrica, LML Star, Harley Davidson Live Wire and Hero Electric AE 47E. There are also a number of offerings from electric two-wheeler startups to hit the road, such as the Zero SR/F, Svitch CSR 762, Liger X and Gogoro 2 series.

Adoption of electric two-wheelers is growing fast, despite the recent issues related to the government subsidy, say experts.

While electric two-wheeler sales peaked in May this year, crossing the 100,000 mark, the volume had plummeted to under 46,000 units in June. However, strong general interest towards turning electric, coupled with the still available (albeit reduced) subsidy, has helped July volumes to recover to 54,292 units. This is expected to help sales volume to reach 750,000-800,000 units in calendar year 2023.

Sales of electric two-wheelers this year till the end July had crossed 400,000 units, accounting for 5% of overall twowheeler sales, according to data from consultancy firm Jato Dynamics.

Manufacturers are also gearing up for the festive season by launching new models, expanding dealer networks and allocating for additional capital expenditure.

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“In line with this growth, we are seeing our volumes also growing and we are gearing up for the festive season. We have begun taking pre-booking of our upcoming scooter — the 450S which is due for launch this month,” said Ravneet Singh Phokela, chief business officer at Ather Energy.

“In India the penetration rate (of electric two-wheelers) stood at 5.4% for Q4 FY23 and it is growing fast. TVS will capitalise on these opportunities by investing continuously in EV technology,” TVS Motor chairman Ralf Speth said at the company’s recent annual general meeting. The Chennai-based manufacturer plans to infuse additional capital and launch new models in the next couple of months.

According to data from the government’s Vahan Sewa portal, the top 10 players accounted for as much as 80% of the electric two-wheeler volume in FY23.

While these include established two-wheeler companies such as Bajaj Auto and TVS, most are recent entrants into the automobile space, such as Ola Electric, Ather and Okinawa, said Gagan Sidhu, director of CEEW – Centre for Energy Finance.

With the reduced subsidy, manufacturers have scaled up prices. Yet, many consumers are opting for electric twowheelers over fossil fuel-powered models, which have seen a stagnation in sales.

Meanwhile, several manufacturers are working on launching low-cost variants of their existing electric two-wheeler models with fewer features and smaller battery size, to make prices competitive.

Maharashtra continues to lead in electric two-wheeler sales volumes, accounting for 41,302 registrations in the April-June quarter, according to Sidhu. Goa had the highest electric 2W penetration of 19.05% in the quarter.

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