February 21, 2024

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The Ultimate Driving Machines

Different game plans of legacy players and startups in the EV two-wheeler space, Auto News, ET Auto

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At the start of the new Bajaj Pulsar in Pune recently, Rajiv Bajaj threw the gauntlet at two-wheeler startups that are fuelling the electric auto (EV) revolution in the place with their prolific bulletins, enormous investments and item launches.

“Good Indian twowheeler providers are not as lightweight as some startups would like to feel.… Are you heading to guess on the legacy providers, as you simply call us, or the startups?” questioned the MD of Automobile Bajaj. “I would guess on Wager (Bajaj, Enfield and TVS) — they are champions. And champions consume OATS for breakfast — Ola, Ather, Tork and SmartE,” he included, a mite boastfully.

Bajaj’s cheeky comments occur at a time when fight lines are drawn in between legacy players and startups – about 260 of them, at last depend — for a even bigger share of the Indian two-wheeler market place, regarded as the greatest in the environment in phrases of quantity. It logged about 21 million models in domestic product sales in FY2019 before Covid-19 introduced it down to 17.42 million in FY2020 and fifteen.12 million in FY2021.

In accordance to facts compiled by Jato Dynamics, EV two-wheeler product sales have been 96,011 in January-Oct 2021, a jump of 411% about the year-back time period. Nevertheless, EVs are only 1% of total two-wheeler product sales. For contrast, appear at the petrol two-wheeler product sales about the identical time period — 9.61 million models.

The legacy players and startups are using distinctive routes in the EV match — their match options and timelines are distinctive, primarily based on their estimates of when the place will see mass adoption of electric vehicles.

The federal government has currently set an ambitious concentrate on of 80% penetration of electric twowheelers by 2030. The buyer is also supplying more attention to electric scooters than ever before, many thanks to more possibilities in the market place, fall in battery rates and increase in fuel rates, EVs’ attaining cost parity with typical two-wheelers since of subsidies, reduced functioning costs and a desire to go environmentally friendly.

Two wheels, dual routes: Different game plans of legacy players and startups in the EV two-wheeler space

Whilst the buyer is keen and curious, established players like Bajaj and TVS have taken a calculated and conservative tactic, apparent in the way they marketed their two electric scooters, Chetak and iQube, respectively. Both equally scooters have been supplied for sale in find cities in a phased method, as opposed to the pan-India launches and swift deliveries of its ICE goods.

At the identical time, startups are amping up the action by showcasing new electric designs, announcing generation specifics and seeking big bookings. In July, Ola been given about a hundred,000 bookings in 24 hours for its S1 scooter. This was spurred by the enormous hoopla all over the item and its Futurefactory in Tamil Nadu, which could be the greatest production facility in the environment for electric scooters, with an mounted potential of 10 million models a year.

Conventional Players

Legacy companies are on a wait around-and-view mode as they think the changeover to electric two-wheelers will have a gradual beginning in India before choosing up speed. Hero Electrical, advertising about 33,000 models this year, is obviously the chief of the pack. Okinawa has offered about 18,000 models and Ather 11,900 models. The two legacy players, TVS and Bajaj Automobile, are lagging the startups in the product sales of EV two-wheelers this year, advertising only about 3,000-odd models every.

Legacy players are biding their time for EV penetration to unfold in India. “In developed markets like Europe, two-wheeler penetration (of EVs) is about six-eight%. India can access these concentrations in the following two-a few years, but as positive forces converge and the need-offer balance in batteries is arrived at, it would really gallop later on,” claims Rakesh Sharma, ED, Bajaj Automobile.

“We are building capabilities in R&D, offer chain, production and a good offline-on the web buyer experience. This in addition our present capabilities can be a impressive mix to guide in the new sector,” he provides.

The two-wheeler major is setting up its presence in all major cities and cities “although all round at this phase our targets are not volumetric at any value but capabilities at any cost”, claims Sharma. “For focused concentrate we have established a new company to guide us into this brave new environment,” he provides, referring to the subsidiary that was declared in July.

TVS Motor is using a similar route to provide their electric mobility remedies for the Indian market place. “We have fully commited `1,000 crore in the new EV vertical. We see the (electric scooter) section top the way as buyers undertake electric mobility,” claims KN Radhakrishnan, director & CEO, TVS Motor Co.

With FAME II subsidy and falling battery value, the buyer acceptance will speed up by 2025, he claims. “We are readying a total portfolio of two- and threewheelers in the variety of five-25kW, all of which will be in the market place in the following 24 months,” provides Radhakrishnan.

Hero MotoCorp, the greatest two-wheeler player in the place, has but to introduce its own EV in the market place. It looks to be using an even more conservative tactic than other legacy providers, inclined to burn up income only if the need occurs. The company, on the other hand, claims it is targeted on manufacturing EVs and is aiming for global EV leadership by 2030. All over fifteen% of the company’s total volumes will occur from markets outside India by 2025, claims Pawan Munjal, chairman and CEO, Hero MotoCorp.


Ola has a distinctive system: it desires to disrupt the market place and persuade all Indian two-wheeler customers to switch from petrol to electric by 2025. It is bringing together technological improvements and huge economies of scale for an aggressive pricing system.

“The Indian purchaser is really value-mindful. We are building some critical technologies ourselves — the battery pack, the motor, the auto laptop or computer and the software program. These are all intended, engineered and created in-residence, supporting us to appreciably minimize the all round cost of the item,” claims an Ola spokesperson.

Bounce, a Bengaluru primarily based startup which pioneered ride-sharing, is now into production electric scooters. “With the impending start of Bounce Infinity, our new scooter with swappable batteries, we are hoping to near product sales at about a hundred,000 models in the coming months,” claims cofounder Vivekananda Hallekere. The tactic is to take away the value of the battery from the value of the scooter and in its place provide battery swaps as a provider.

“This delivers down the total value of the scooter by at minimum 40%. Assortment stress is also addressed. This would make it uncomplicated for millions of Indians to entry EV scooters at reduced costs and not worry about infrastructure-related difficulties. Adaptable ownership designs this sort of as subscriptions, rent-to-own, outright ownership and get-back again assures are going individuals faster from ICE to EVs,” claims Hallekere.

As purchaser selection widens, the EV market place will increase at a faster speed. Ather Energy’s chief company officer, Ravneet Phokela, claims, “We have currently arrived at the inflection level for the adoption of two-wheeler EVs in India. The ship for huge improve has sailed.” The EV motion is boosted by a surge in need from tier-2 cities. “Our present-day production potential is a hundred,000 annually and we see ourselves breaching this in the following 9-12 months. The company options to make investments `635 crore about the following 5 years to cater to the soaring need,” claims Phokela.

“I see a even bigger change to EVs in the following two-a few years,” claims Jeetender Sharma, founder of Okinawa Autotech, which options to clock product sales of a hundred,000 models this year — a few times its product sales about the past year.

Field observers, viewing this fight from the sidelines, are not placing their bets on both team but. “Automotive company is a person of scale and all those with experience in production, internet marketing and distribution will win the race in the very long time period,” claims Ravi Bhatia, president, Jato Dynamics. “For the legacy players, this is also early in the match. Because they are knowledgeable they can enter the arena when the time is appropriate,” he provides.

Legacy players may well be treading bit by bit, but they have production experience and distribution setup, which will help them promote competitively priced electric goods as and when expected, claims Kaushik Madhavan, VP, mobility, Frost & Sullivan. “Startups have no tried-and-examined system. They need to detect the appropriate buyer and effectively position the item.”

“It is obvious that legacy companies really do not want to upset the ICE apple cart. Their token presence in the EV scooter company is intended to basically test the waters before using the plunge. Startups, meanwhile, feel the time has occur for them to seize the initiative and usher the revolution,” claims an sector observer, who did not wish to be named. “This is at the core of what’s unfolding in the Indian two-wheeler market place at the moment.”

Hemal Thakkar, director of Crisil Research, claims the conversion to EVs will be about eight-10% of two-wheeler product sales until 2025. It will acquire momentum only soon after that.

Can a person guess on the legacy players to force up generation as need grows or will startups make buzz and generate new customers for its goods? That’s a question even Bajaj just can’t really remedy now.

Also Read

With two-wheelers accounting for 80% of auto product sales in a place where community transportation is insufficient and automobiles are out of access for most, the probable for growth in the electric section is tremendous: BloombergNEF expects electric motorcycles and scooters to account for 74% of all this sort of vehicles offered by 2040, up from fewer than 1% now.