With Bajaj, TVS already offering an electric two wheeler; other leading OEMs are planning to launch one in India
As EVs take centre stage and with growing popularity among consumers, many established two-wheeler manufacturers have started making plans to enter this segment. One such company is Yamaha that is carrying out a feasibility study to assess the possibility of launching electric two-wheelers in the Indian market.
Technology already available
Yamaha already has electric two-wheelers in other global markets. For example, it has EC-05 electric scooter in Taiwan, which is manufactured in collaboration with Taiwan-based Gogoro Inc. More than 1,200 battery swapping stations have also been setup by Gogoro, something that makes it easier for users to recharge their scooters.
So, if Yamaha’s EV plans get the go ahead, it should not be difficult to launch products like EC-05 in the Indian market. Yamaha could probably introduce some changes to suit Indian ride conditions.
It will also need to focus on sourcing parts locally in order to reduce production costs. Another possibility could be that instead of going with a new brand name, Yamaha could launch electric versions of its existing products such as Fascino and Rayzr.
Primary focus on petrol powered two-wheelers
Yamaha has stated that it will continue to focus on developing more efficient and less polluting two-wheelers that utilize internal combustion engines. The company has updated its portfolio to BS6, but will continue with the development of newer, more efficient internal combustion engines. A complete switch to EVs can take several years, so it’s imperative that companies like Yamaha continue to focus on the current technology to maintain their competitiveness in the market.
In addition to electric two-wheelers, Yamaha will be evaluating the possibility of investing in development of power units and batteries for EVs. Another opportunity that can be considered is infrastructure development, which will be done in collaboration with third parties. The infrastructure needed for electric two-wheelers is currently underdeveloped in the country. It will require significant investment in building recharging stations and setting up battery swapping stations.
Rival to Bajaj Chetak and Ather
As of now, Yamaha has not indicated any deadlines for its plans to launch electric two-wheelers in the Indian market. However, as electric vehicles are the future of mobility, there’s a high possibility that the company may execute its EV plan in the country.
Till recently, the electric two-wheeler segment was primarily dominated by start-ups and tech companies (Ather 450x for example). The EV segment is evolving fast now with biggies like Bajaj and TVS launching their products in this space (Chetak and iQube).
Even Ola, which comes from a different industry segment, has announced plans to setup the largest electric scooter manufacturing facility in the country. With the goal to create an all-electric ecosystem by 2030, we can expect a lot more activity in this segment in the coming years.