Hero MotoCorp has been also been developing EV models independently at its R&D centres in Rajasthan in India and at Stephanskirchen in Germany
We already know that Hero MotCorp, headed by Pawan Munjal, plans on heavily investing in the electric vehicle space in the near future. However, there is a big hurdle that the company needs to overcome before it can actually step into the EV space. The world’s biggest two-wheeler manufacturer cannot use the ‘HERO’ brand name when it comes to electric mobility.
The fight between two Hero’s
This name has been reserved for ‘Hero Electric’, which is a separate firm altogether and headed by another Munjal family member- Naveen Munjal. For the uninitiated, Naveen is Vijay Munjal’s son, cousin of Pawan Munjal. Naveen has been running the Hero Electric two-wheeler business since 2007.
Naveen claims that his company has received “global rights over the Hero brand name in perpetuity” for electric mobility be it for personal use or the commercial market, reveals ET Auto. According to a family settlement of 2010, Hero MotoCorp and its promoters are barred from using the ‘Hero’ brand name for any segment of vehicle- two-, three- or four-wheelers which are powered by a battery. The Global rights for green technology have been allotted to Naveen Munjal-run Hero Electric.
Naveen said that his company would take legal recourse in case of a violation by Hero MotoCorp. He, however, added that Hero MotoCorp can enter the business of electric mobility using a different brand name, since there is no non-compete/prohibition on other clan members. But considering that the brand name is important, it will be a difficult task ahead for Hero MotoCorp in the EV space, without the HERO branding.
Earlier this year, Hero MotoCorp announced its alliance with Taiwan-based electric mobility manufacturer- Gogoro, to develop EV’s in India. In addition to development of electric two-wheelers, Gogoro will also share its expertise with urban battery swapping and smart mobility innovation. The company will also help Hero to build a widespread charging network across India.
Hero MotorCorp EV plans
In May this year, Gogoro filed patents for Viva electric scooter at the intellectual property office in India. These trademarks were in the form of both its design as well as its name.
This suggested that Viva would be launched as a rebranded Hero MotoCorp electric scooter in the country. Hero MotoCorp has planned to officially step into the EV space by launching its first electric two-wheeler in March 2022 which is expected to be the rebadged Gogoro Viva.
Other than this, Hero MotoCorp has another battery-powered e-scooter on its way next year in the form of Maestro Edge Electric. Test mules of the electric scooter have been spotted on multiple occasions in recent past. However, Hero MotoCorp would want to settle all disputes with Hero Electric or think of another brand name for its upcoming EV lineup.