Hero AXLHE20 electric scooter to rival Ather 340 – Launch plans cancelled
The cost of the final product is deemed to be prohibitively high.
Hero Electric which is currently one of the leading players in the affordable end of electric scooter segment showcased a camouflaged early prototype of a premium scooter at the Auto Expo 2018. Codenamed Hero AXLHE20, the new product was supposed to expand the brand’s portfolio and target customers who are willing to pay extra for superior performance and technology.
However, the company seems to have shelved the project temporarily. Speaking to Money Control, Praveen Munjal, Managing Director, Hero Electric Ltd., stated that the final cost to the customer will be over INR 1.5 lakhs for the premium scooter in its current configuration. He also added that the company is currently looking at making changes to AXLHE20 in order to make it more affordable.
The changes could lead to downgrading the specifications including changing the type of motor and battery. The prototype showcased at the Auto Expo featured pre-production body parts which means, there is a also lot of ground to cover in terms of design. The premium scooter concept is powered by a 6 kW motor (8.15 PS) which is supported by a Lithium-ion battery pack.
The AXLHE20 is claimed to reach a top-speed of 85 kmph. The range on full charge stands at 110 km. In comparison, Hero Electric’s mainstream model, the Photon, has a top-speed of 45 kmph and a range of 80 km. It retails at around INR 47,000.
The premium electric scooter segment in India has been inaugurated by Ather Energy, a Bengaluru-based startup which is partly owned by Hero Motocorp (not Hero Electric). Despite the nascent stage of electric vehicle infrastructure in the country, a steep price tag (Rs 1.25 lakhs for 450), and limited geographic coverage of its retail network at present, Ather claims that its premium scooters are sold out for 2018, and a booking made now has a waiting period till Q3 2019.
Several other startups are working on their own premium scooters. In contrast, Hero Electric is planning to concentrate more on strengthening its presence in the mass market.