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Two-wheelers drive back to the future, the electric way

Some of India’s two-wheeler makers are revisiting the past. Encouraged by the electric-powered rebirth of the Bajaj Chetak – which has been a runaway success – and a thriving domestic electric two-wheeler market, two more iconic 70s brands are electrifying their yesteryear favourites.

Kinetic is looking to address the needs of ‘Bharat’ (rural and semi-rural areas) with its e-Luna, a step-thru (cross between a motorcycle and cycle). LML, meanwhile, has positioned its upcoming feature-packed Star electric scooter in the mass premium segment.

A total of 859,000 electric two-wheelers were sold in India in calendar 2023, up 36% year-on-year, according to the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association.

While the e-Luna is set to be launched in February, LML’s Star is likely to go on sale in the first quarter of FY25. Both brands will rely on their strong legacy to make a successful comeback in this intensely competitive market.

With Ola, TVS, Bajaj and Ather controlling over 90% of the market, and more competition expected with the entry of Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki later this year, LML and Kinetic will need to offer a lot more than just the ‘halo.’

“A lot of people remember Luna as a cute brand and we’ll definitely leverage that to give it special fun feet,” said Sulajja Firodia Motwani, founder and chief executive, Kinetic Green.Her father, Arun Firodia, chairman of Kinetic Group, originally launched the Luna moped in 1972. “The e-Luna was his idea,” said Motwani. “He told me there would be a lot of clutter in the market with the electric scooters. Hence, make a product which is unique and something which can stand on its own feet. Make a product for the masses like we did in the 70s and 80s.”

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