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Electrotherm eyes US-EU markets for Yobykes

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai/ Ahmedabad 

In talks with Centre, state to introduce subsidies for e-scooters

Ltd (EIL), India's largest operated two-wheelers, is now looking at exporting its to developed countries like the US and in Europe.

Back home in India, it is trying to push its case with the Centre and the state governments for abolishing taxes on electric vehicles(EVs) and offering subsidy on buying EVs. Electrotherm as a group targets to touch revenues worth $1 billion within the next two years from around Rs 2,000 crore now.

The division currently contributes around 5-6 per cent of the net turnover.

The company has been so far exporting small numbers of its bikes to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It now has set an eye on tapping the market in developed countries that also offer incentives to buy electric vehicles. Electrotherm's managing director said that "We plan to develop vehicles that will meet the regulatory norms in these countries, and we will sell the same vehicles here in India as well." He, however, pointed out that things are still in a preliminary stage and it is too early to talk about the export volumes or a timeline.

Meanwhile, the company is busy pursuing state governments to waive off the excise duty on electric scooters, as this impacts sales considerably. As for example, the same scooter that costs around Rs 33,000 in Delhi that offers a 29.5 per cent subsidy on EVs costs around Rs 48,000 in Gujarat where it attracts a 14 per cent duty as well as the state offers is no subsidy on such vehicles as well.

"The state governments tend to assume, that subsidy is a thing for the Centre to decide, and take no initiatives.", retorted Bhandari adding that the Centre has already taken steps like issuing notifications like road taxes are not applicable on EVs. When asked whether the company is taking up the issue on tax before the Union Budget due this month, Bhandari said that talks were on with several state governments as well as the Centre. One actually ends up saving on petrol import and petroleum subsidy, he felt , adding that back of the envelope calculations show that in four years 75,000 riding in the country have saved more than Rs 165 crore on petrol import and over Rs 12 crore on petrol subsidy.

He added that China has seen a healthy clip in the sales of electric vehicles thanks to subsidies. Around 30 million electric two wheelers sell every year in China while in India the number is much lower at just 100,000 units. The market is growing at the rate of 10-15 per cent per year. The total population of electric two wheelers in the country now would be around 3 lakh vehicles.

EIL is, however,confident of doubling its sales to around 45,000 units in 2010-11 on the back of new launches this year and the 'alpha weaver' technology-based batteries it has developed for its scooters.

First Published: Mon, February 08 2010. 00:32 IST