Sub-Rs one lakh e-scooters in demand as sales dip for two-wheelers, Auto News, ET Auto
Electric two-wheelers under the ₹1 lakh price bracket are bucking the trend of shrinking sales seen in entry-level internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, becoming the favoured alternative at a time when fuel and operational costs are peaking.
“It’s true that e-two-wheelers priced under ₹1 lakh are gaining volumes,” said Sohinder Gill, chief executive of Hero Electric, which retails a major chunk of such motorcycles.
The ₹70,000-90,000 e-two-wheelers are turning out to be the sweet spot for customers, said Gill, who is also the president of the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV).
This is the price segment – for bikes below 125 cc – that accounts for nearly 80 per cent of the volumes in the entry-level ICE two-wheelers.
Retail e-two-wheeler sales have been on an upswing and accounted for 3.8 per cent of the total two-wheeler sales in June 2022, up from 2.7 in January. Okinawa leads the pack, with sales at 47,121 units followed by Hero Electric at 44,084 units.
The entry-level, or the commuter ICE, segment has been under pressure over the last four years.
In the quarter ending June 2022, the motorcycle segment comprising up to 110cc bikes saw a drop of 42 per cent at 1,277,000 units. In 2018-19, sales stood at 2,212,000 units.
In the case of up to 125cc scooters, sales dropped 36 per cent to 1,150,000 units in the quarter ended June 2022. In 2018-19, entry-level scooter sales stood at 1,809,000 units, according to SIAM data.
Robust demand in all markets
Some players like Ather, Ola Electric, and Revolt only stock electric products above ₹1 lakh.
Ather Energy is reportedly developing a new e-scooter for the Indian market priced under ₹1 lakh. The Bengaluru-based company is witnessing a slowdown in sales, which it says is due to the transition to a new product.
There is enough demand and pending bookings going forward, an official said. Ola Electric, which recently stopped production for nearly a week at its Tamil Nadu plant, is also seeing a slowdown in sales, according to a person in the know.
Sales have been falling since April 2022, owing to the recent spate of incidents where several electricity-charged two wheelers have caught fire. Greaves Electric Mobility’s e-two-wheeler business under Ampere Electric offers four models in the price range of ₹40,000 to ₹80000, focusing on providing affordable e-scooters to the masses with high-end features.