Demand for electric two wheelers is expected to witness an upsurge in the coming years
A segment initially nourished largely by startups and tech firms, the electric two wheeler space has started to get attention from mainstream manufacturers. TVS, which already has iQube, has now revealed mega plans to boost its EV footprint.
The company is planning to invest around Rs 500-600 crore in FY22, most of which will be used for EVs and emerging technologies and products. Around Rs 150 crore will be exclusively channelled for EV projects, which will include development of electric three-wheelers.
TVS iQube in 20 new cities
According to KN Radhakrishnan, director & CEO of TVS, there are plans to introduce its iQube electric scooter in 20 new cities. This expansion is expected to be completed by end of current fiscal. As may be recalled, iQube was originally launched in Bengaluru. Later, it was introduced in Delhi as well.
In the next phase, iQube could be launched in other top cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata. Several Tier I cities are also expected to be covered.
TVS has not revealed the list of cities yet. The preference is likely to be for cities that have greater acceptance of electric two wheelers. Availability of battery charging infrastructure could be another factor for selection of cities that will get iQube.
Rivals working on similar plans
TVS plans reflect industry trends, wherein other electric two wheeler manufacturers are working on similar expansion plans. For example, Ather Energy has already expanded operations to top cities as well as several smaller cities. It has plans to cover more cities this year. Ather is also working to boost its network of charging stations.
Bajaj Auto has similar plans for its Chetak electric scooter. Chetak was originally launched in Pune and later introduced in Bengaluru. By the end of this financial year, Bajaj has plans to launch Chetak in 30 new cities.
Another company with aggressive EV plans is Ola Electric, which is currently building a mega manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu. When completed, Ola will be able to produce around 10 million vehicles per year. Ola is also developing an extensive network of high-speed charging stations.
In first year, more than 5k Ola charging stations will be set up in 100 cities. This will be ramped up to over 1 lakh charging stations spread across 400 cities. Easy availability of fast charging stations is a prerequisite for increased acceptance of EVs.
Other companies such as Husqvarna and KTM are also working to introduce electric two wheelers in the Indian market. Mainstream manufacturers such as Hero MotoCorp, Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha are also expected to enter the EV space soon. Hero MotoCorp has already partnered with Taiwan-based Gogoro to develop electric vehicles and battery swapping infrastructure.