Hero Cycles is planning to invest around Rs 1,000 crore to support its e-cycles business. The money will be utilised for strengthening global design and R&D and for setting up a manufacturing unit. A part of the investment might also be used for building a strong retail distribution network.
Recently, the company partnered with Japan’s Yamaha Motor Co Ltd to launch the 'Lectro E-cycle powered by Yamaha', India’s first center motor E-cycle, which is priced at Rs 1.35 lakh, and targets adventure e-cycling in India. The high performance E-cycle powered by Yamaha is the latest addition to Hero Cycles' popular E-cycle range - Lectro. Lectro EHX20 is the first branded E-cycle which is driven by a center motor. The E-cycle can travel 60-70 km on a charge time of 3.5 hours.
The premium product is the first outcome of the three-way strategic partnership formed last year between Hero Cycles Ltd, Yamaha Motor Co Ltd and Mitsui & Co Ltd. The alliance, brought together by Mitsui & Co Ltd, is aimed at creating technologically superior high performance products through collaboration between Hero Cycles and Yamaha Motor's electric drive units, with go-to-market sales, distribution & marketing support by Mitsui & Co Ltd, said Aditya Munjal, Director of Firefox Cycles Limited and Hexi.
The company is planning to sell around 45,000 units of Lectro this year, with around 50 per cent to be exported to the UK and EU. Hero Cycles will use its already existing distribution network through UK-based Avocet Sports, which it acquired in 2015, to export and sell Lectro in Britain and the EU. In the domestic market, the company is targeting mainly metros and urban markets.
Hero Cycles' electric portfolio has been growing aggressively over the last 6 months and in the last three months, it grew at neary 50 per cent month-on-month, said Munjal. He believes, with electric vehicles receiving a huge policy push from the government, the market for e-cycles likely to grow over the next few years.
Incorporated in 1956, Hero Cycles Limited is the largest cycle manufacturer in the world. The company has a manufacturing capacity of 7.5 million cycles per year. The group also owns UK-based Avocet Sports and FireFox Cycles in India.
While Avocet Sports was Hero Cycles’ first overseas acquisition and marked the company’s entry into mass segment of the European cycle market, the acquisition of Firefox Cycles was a strategic move to cement its position in the fast-growing premium bicycling segment in India.