Prime Minister Narendra Modi's e-vehicle dream has got manufacturers ignited. A host of e-scooters, e-bikes and e-quad bikes are about to be launched this year even as the 2023 deadline for stopping registration of petrol engine two-wheelers and three-wheelers is less than five years away.
Both traditional two-wheeler manufacturers and startup e-vehicle companies have upped their game to usher a second level of e-vehicle penetration in India. They are primarily targeting the 37 crore internal combustion petrol two-wheelers that are plying across India today. On offer is also the share of a Rs 9,800 crore annual two-wheeler market pie.
The government's Faster Adoption of Electric Mobility (FAME-II) scheme has also increased the subsidies to be offered to e-vehicle manufacturers and consumers. A number of custom duty exemptions on crucial parts of e-vehicles like drivetrain and battery packs were announced in the Union budget by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The latest entrant to the market is the Haryana-based laminate manufacturer Rissala Group backed 'Evolet' brand of electric vehicles. Rissala Electric Motors (REM), the startup parent, has already established an assembly and production facility in the state.
"There is a steady flow of enquiries on the new models of scooters, bikes and quad bikes we are launching. We already have orders for upto 20,000 bikes to be supplied in the rest of the year," said Prerna Chaturvedi, CEO and spokesperson for REM. The company launched three e-scooters and one e-quad bike on Tuesday and showcased two e-bikes, including the sports e-bike Hawk, to be launched later in the year.
Among existing e-vehicle brands, Okinawa, Revolt Motors, Tork Motors and Bangalore-based Emflux Motors are also scheduled to launch their e-bikes and e-scooters this year. Among exiting two-wheeler manufacturers, TVS Creon e-scooters, Bajaj Urbanite e-scooters and Vespa Elettrica e-scooters are also scheduled to be launched in the festive season ahead.
Going ahead, a number of manufacturers are also planning their battery manufacturing facilities alongside these vehicles. Companies like Revolt Motors and Hero Electric have already established battery manufacturing and upkeep plants along with their battery technology partners.
Evolet is also eyeing to have a manufacturing plant for lithium-ion and lead acid e-vehicle batteries in the near future. Till the time domestic battery technology is bettered, most manufacturers are pushing their lead acid products as these are cheaper than the lithium-ion variants of the same vehicle. This difference could be as much as 25 per cent of the vehicle cost.
So far, these e-bikes, scooters and quad bikes are in the Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 100,000 price range. On Tuesday, Evolet showcased e-scooters priced below Rs. 40,000 and bikes priced at below Rs. 1 lakh.