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‘Electric scooters to account for half of sales by 2027’

One out of every two scooters sold in the local market is likely to go electric in the next five years, said a top executive at Pune-based Bajaj Auto. Rakesh Sharma, executive director, Bajaj Auto, told ET that if cell prices reduce and demand-side incentives extended by governments stay in place, 40-50% of scooter sales in the domestic market will come from electric models by 2027.

“The industry reached the tipping point after petrol crossed the ‘100 mark. Consumers have realised it is cheaper to go electric,” said Sharma. “There are a couple of challenges. With demand exceeding supplies worldwide and new capacities (for batteries) yet to come on stream, costs have gone up. Then there is the question of subsidy (whether it will get extended beyond next fiscal).”

The Centre has recently indicated it is unlikely to extend subsidies under its flagship FAME II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicle) scheme beyond March 2024 amid allegations of a dozen EV 2W makers wrongfully claiming subsidies without meeting localisation norms.

Sharma said the potential for growth though is immense if the policy framework remains supportive. “The adoption we are seeing in the market is taking place across demographics, geographies and socio-economic classes,” he said. Bajaj Auto is looking at introducing 3-4 products on the platform to meet the requirements of different sets of customers.

“As we scale and the market develops, there will be sub segments. We will expand the Chetak portfolio – there will be a youthful variant, a standard variant, a high performance vehicle, a variant with higher range to address the needs of different customers,” Sharma said.

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