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E-drive in India's two-wheeler market likely to hit capacity hurdle

The study said the rural market would not be affected by electric vehicles

Ajay Modi & T E Narasimhan 

Hero MotoCorp
Customers look at a Hero MotoCorp showroom in Ahmedabad (Photo: Reuters)

India, the world’s biggest with annual domestic sales of over 18 million units, may face capacity constraint in shifting to electric as leading players in the segment are yet to firm up plans for introducing electric vehicles. It is also expected that the rural market, which consumes 50 per cent of the two-wheelers, will not be ready for electric.

A study by along with component makers body said on Friday that only 35 per cent (11.61 million units) of the Indian could be electric by 2025. This means, the study expects 22 million two-wheelers to remain petrol driven in 2025. “At present, only Ather and Tork’s products (not yet launched) can match the performance of internal combustion engine two- wheelers,” the study said.

Both are start-ups, with Ather being backed by Hero MotoCorp, the country’s biggest two-wheeler maker. The study pegs the total domestic electric two-wheeler manufacturing capacity at 550,000 units.

The study said the rural market would not be affected by electric vehicles. This is because the rural market is price-sensitive and charging would be a challenge.

Rural is primarily a motorcycle market, while urban markets consume a mix of motorcycles and scooters. Scooters are expected to lead the drive in two- wheelers.

Unlike cars, where major players- Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors, M&M- have announced plans and started introducing products, it is the start-ups that are leading the electrification in two-wheelers. This is also visible in the ongoing Auto Expo, where multiple start-ups have showcased electric two-wheelers.

But action in electric mobility was missing as far as the leading two wheeler makers are concerned.

Pawan Munjal, chairman, MD and CEO at said the company was working on electric scooters and motorcycles.

First Published: Sat, February 10 2018. 05:57 IST