How is the market for E rickshaws in India at this time

You could be a start-up entrepreneur buzzing with an idea but harangued with a shoestring budget and hence minus a car finding his way in the old bylanes of a cluttered Delhi. You could be out there to pick up some vital office stationery from a known shop where no car can ever reach.

Or you could be a homemaker having to change two metro stations on way to a cooking class that you must somehow not miss.

In another case, you could be an HR staffer in Dadar, Mumbai who needs to reach Prabhadevi at any cost for a scheduled assignment within an hour with no personal mode of convenience.

The role, honestly speaking, played by an E-rickshaw or as some sophisticated minds say, e-three wheeler, in each of these scenarios is big. It’s unique and it’s an apt fit.

Whether you need to reach the metro station or need to catch hold of that market where no car even ventures, what you need, just like an umbrella on a wet day, is an autorickshaw that can get the job done.

And in this part of the 21st century that is, ever so often, finding an E vehicle in its path, then the role of that Autorickshaw ride becomes ever so crucial. To a terribly cluttered mega-city, think New Delhi, Bangalore, or Mumbai, and to urban spaces that are left defunct by the noisy hell car horns create, an E rickshaw silences the morose and makes a smooth entry on the same old passages with a clear, fresh vibe.

And having said that, it’s rather interesting and exciting to note where the e rickshaw market stands in India as we speak.

  • In what can be called one of the finest updates pertaining to the E vehicles market and the wide gamut of product offerings in India, it’s a fine update to note that as of April 2020, there already were no fewer than 1.5 million battery-powered three wheelers in the country.
  • The aim of the industry operating E rickshaws in the country from April 2020 onwards, market studies confirmed, was to sell not less than 1,00,000 units on a monthly basis at a pan-India level.
  • Names like Mahindra and Piaggio have so far, dominated the shared mobility space in the country and brightly so.

Further to the above, the most fascinating update from this market space dominated by unorganized players is that during the peak pandemic, this was the only space that was growing amid a backdrop of an industry-wide slowdown in India.

Premier business and economic publication The Economic Times even noted the massive means of financial support that the e-Rickshaw market offers its operators; those entrusted with the task of running e-rickshaw rides in the country, “The daily rental for an e-rickshaw command a premium of around Rs 300 by fleet operators, which is also giving a fillip to its market demand.”

What also augurs well for e-rickshaw owners and operators of their fleet is that, when compared to the IC engine, then the cost of maintenance of an e Rickshaw is anything but steep, and is, in fact, reduced by 80 percent.

On another fresh note of optimism, there already are companies in India that are producing up to 300 electric rickshaws, i.e., vehicles per day. Think Mayuri for example! Moreover, the demand for lithium batteries in the e-Rickshaw space is only picking up. On that note, it’s pertinent to note that India, as its workforce continues to shift from the tier-II and tier-III cities into the mainstream big cities, will continue to rely on this mass mover and transporter of people in the times to come.

Maruti Suzuki, the EV space, and the point about subsidies

Maruti Suzuki: Impetus must be to reduce acquisition costs associated with EVs!

In a statement that is anything but disparaging and in fact, helps one understand the EV space in India better, Maruti Suzuki has started something interesting.

The famous carmaker has shared that efforts must be put into understanding how can the acquisition costs associated with EVs be brought down in the country. For that is the key from where Maruti sees the scenario.

For many existing players in a vastly competitive car space in the country, the focal point of attention, more or less, remains on subsidies where it comes to the electric vehicle space.

Things like what subsidies can the government offer- whether on the central or the state level- reflect the current mood or trend where the EV space is concerned.

It’s not hard to understand that too, truth be known. A lot, after all, goes into car making and the journey of the idea behind the conception of a car to the point where it actually physically reaches the roads is an onerous challenge, requiring ever so much on the part of the actual carmaker!

But is that all?

Maruti Suzuki, given that it simply hasn’t entered a vastly changing specter where one sees the car market today, seems to be apprehensive.

While the company has never said anything much too alarming about what India’s plans in the EV space may be, it has definitely alluded to the fact that it isn’t willing to enter the space just as yet.

A similar sentiment came to the fore in what the ED, marketing, and sales, Mr. Shashank Srivastava had to say very recently, “We can’t completely depend on government subsidies. The moment that subsidy moves out, EVs become expensive. We need to reduce the cost of acquisition by reducing the battery cost.”

Nissan unfurls massive $18 billion worth of plan for Electric Vehicles

If there was ever a time to go electric, then it’s now. That’s not only from the point of view of consumers who, conscientiously every passing day, are shifting toward electric vehicles but from the space of carmakers who are making great moves in the domain.

And one among the noted carmakers to have taken a giant stride toward the EV space is none other than Nissan.

Much like the famous Rolls Royce or Aston Martin that are no less than England’s National Treasure, Nissan, it must be said, is the Kokuho of Japan. And it’s not hard to gauge how!

In unfurling a massive plan toward producing electric cars, Nissan is the latest to progress toward that sphere of car production and tech that truly specifies what progress means.

Nissan is working toward releasing no fewer than 23 EVs by 2030. Of these, there would be 15 that will be completely battery-driven.

All of that massive planning and car production would mean the noted brand will be putting – and let that sink in 2 trillion yen over the course of the next five years. To make a sense of that, it’s $17.6 billion worth of investment.

Now how to make sense of this. 

When you have a famous carmaker, one that’s gone on to make headlines ever since its inception, circa 1933, you realise that the EV movement isn’t just a movement; but a revolution currently being spurred by some of the finest names in the car business.

And that massive sense lies in here toward adopting to a future that’s sustainable and scalable.

A report from a prominent auto portal also substantiated the feeling by stating the following in terms of its coverage on the celebrated carmaker:

Nissan Leaf was one of the earliest electric offerings in many markets and the Japanese car company is looking at expanding its battery-powered options with plans of having as many as 23 new models by 2030. This will include 15 all-electric cars. “We have a 10-year head start over competitors with electrification. We will leverage this experience and speed up the shift with further investment,” said CEO Makoto Uchida. “The time is right for us to shift gears from focusing on business transformation to creating the future.

“Watch this space for more developments on Nissan and it’s ambitious EV plans.

Just why’s Maruti not keen on entering the EV space as yet?

It’s more than a household name in India; it’s an epitome of dependability, trust, and that thing called bankability. It’s more than a carmaker, truth be known; it is a harbinger of quality and authenticity like few we have known.

Maruti is not just a car; it’s an emotion on four wheels. Ever thought about it like that? That’s the truth without turning it upside down.

And there comes a time in the life and journey of a brand where it has to make some hard but firm decisions.

Moreover, it so happens that Maruti has actually made one already. A big one. And it’s directly related to that very sphere of business and that fragment of auto trade, specifically speaking that have great ramifications for both the buyer and seller.

Any guesses as to why Maruti Suzuki wasn’t going to enter the EV space was concerned with the company finding it difficult to offer the right kind of product for the market have been disdainfully rejected for truth in the matter is something else altogether.

So what is it? Don’t be surprised but accept it with a pinch of salt. But the truth certainly is that not anytime soon are we going to see an EV offering from the house of that carmaker that faith and simplicity built.

Believing firmly in the fact that where it stands at the moment, then there just isn’t sufficient demand for EVs, Maruti has, thus far, expressed a different stand on the subject of EVs altogether.

So one thing can be certainly said about the famous carmaker that under no circumstances is it going to hurry up and jump into the EV line just yet.

Moreover, it is only after the year 2025 that Maruti will actually think about jumping into the EV race. That’s even as the country; its government, its communicators, all of them have begun pushing the agenda for EVs, or as they say, an EV-enabled India.

The following were the words of the company’s chairman Mr. RC Bhargava who had the following to say in regards to the brand’s current belief concerning the EVs:

“Unfortunately, we will not feel happy if we can (sell) 300 or 400 or 500 or even 1,000 cars (a month). For some reason, we have gone too much higher volumes, and volumes in 100s and even 1,000s, are very good, but they leave us a little unexcited…So we have to see if I start selling EVs I would like to sell maybe 10,000 EVs in a month or something like that!”

Therefore, exciting or challenging that the EV sphere may be, it doesn’t seem as though Maruti is perplexed or moved to a point of doing something much too sudden or drastic in the green sphere as just yet.

What makes India an ideal market for Electric Cycles?

Given the background that crowded and stuffy Indian roads can be ever an irritant to those who feel stuck in it, day after day, it just makes massive sense to set on anything electric and get done with having faced copious amounts of (unending) pollution.

The first revolution, lest it is forgotten, begins here and now.

That said, what data or bank of reasons are available in India to know that Electric cycles may just be the right call to action to not just dream- but adapt- to an all-electric future?

  • India has a strong demand for short distance commute. Where traditional cycles were getting the job done, electric cycles are now in demand.
  • How’s that? With more and more E-cycling enthusiasts mushrooming in different parts of the country, market sources say on an average, a person travels 20 km a day on a cycle.
  • The needs to commute over a short distance of time that can be covered well by a cycle are aplenty. Some have to run errands for the house. Others to deposit the phone or electricity bill. Then, there are those who need a parcel to drop over to someone’s house. Where’s the time and inclination to be seated over a car in short distances? E-cycles the ideal solution.
  • The cost of an E-cycle is actually much cheaper than that of an E scooter. The latter, often used for the not-so-short distances. For a country where a certain strata of population had always been using the cycle for short distances, imagine the plusses of now turning that support system electric?
  • If not more than around 20 million in India prefer commuting via a cycle to anything else. Is that not an opportunity in the country?

The above told, the coming up of massively interesting developments in India, such as the “Cycle valley” in Ludhiana is mainstreaming the effort of producing e cycles, over and above the idea of developing India as a global manufacturing hub of cycles! If there’s ever a fascinating time to make e cycles in the country, then it is here and now.

Is India an ideal market for Electric cycles?

Crowded, buzzing, and always bustling with action. Well, Indian roads for you. Much like a movie theatre screening a spine-bending action flick with bullets flying out of the screen much like popcorn from a vending machine.

Here, traffic is as much a reality as is drama in our lives surrounding a last-minute hotel booking cancellation, worst still- a flight cancellation at the eleventh hour leading to haggling between the commuter and the agent the other end.

Chaos. And chaos. Stymied with people. Well, don’t even talk about it.

Always a great need to introduce some order. And it finally seems that with the coming of the electric vehicle revolution, one that has changed the contours of the four-wheeler as well as the two-wheeler, things are finally going to get into shape.

A shape that has no space for pollution, ever a silent killer. Has to be nullified, neutralized. Call it what you may.

Against that narrative that the e-cycles too have picked up the pace, and interestingly so, in a market still queuing up for change, is rather interesting.

Just as interesting is the gaffe in making up things with regards to India’s EV revolution. That only electric cars and electric bikes are transforming the country to the path of accepting an alternate reality. An alternate reality that suggests that yes it is possible to adapt to eco-friendly ways and create a world that has just no space or takers for fuel-driven machines or wagons.

In that regard, some myth-busting about E-cycles is necessary.

For starters, it’s important to note that not just in India, but worldwide, the demand for E-Cycles is just as much as that of E vehicles and in some cases, way more than that of bikes and scooters.

So how is that?

The urban and semi-urban markets worldwide have taken giant strides toward accepting E cycles in the mainstream.

What’s led to a faster adoption of e cycles is the fact that where it comes to short commutes, then there simply can’t be a better option than E cycles. Smooth, comfortable, and made for commute sans hassles!

That being said, where does India stand on E Cycles? Moreover, what data is available for us to know that gone are the days where a commuter on Indian roads was doing nothing about being stymied by pollution and being strangulated on the mess that are overcrowded roads?

Bear in mind that the first step, if one were to step away from the chaos and feel none of that (unwanted) music is to ensure that one’s not contributing himself to it.

On that ground of logic, when you step into anything that’s electric- you are anyways contributing to start your own Electric revolution- aren’t you?

Ditto for EV cars and bikes. Not different one bit where it comes to Electric cycles.

(To be continued in the next piece)

How India’s festive season proved to be a bumper one for Hero electric?

You’re a hero if you are walking down the path of electric vehicles and if you are adapting to an EV-enabled future, then you already are a hero!

These seem to be the buzzwords associated with a brand that is truly speaking, a pride of India and a symbol of dependability.

And in a fashion that marks the triumph of the ‘Hero,’ for it is he for persists every time, one’s glad to know that the festive season in India turned out to be heroic for Hero Electric!

So how was that? What about the festive season turned out to be positive for one of India’s highest-selling two-wheeler brands of all time?

The largest electric two-wheelers maker, Hero Electric confirmed that it sold no fewer than 24,000 units of retail sales in the last few weeks.

In some ways, therefore, the period of time between October 1 and November 15 was a bringer of much joy to one of the most sought-after companies in the space of electric two-wheelers.

But there’s a context to it as well.

Any doubts, whatsoever, whether this indeed was a sign of massive stride forward for Hero Electric can be ascertained by what the company’s sales performance was during the peak festive period around this time, last year.

So what was it?

During October 1 to November 15, 2020, Hero Electric had sold only 11,339 units as of the last year. Make no mistake; it was a difficult time for the entirety of the business community in general, across divergent sectors.

Same for the world, not too different for India!

The COVID 19 virus had set in and had mauled industries extensively. But then, heroes aren’t those who sit back afraid, but rather those who return back to the scene with a bang!

Ditto for Hero Electric, the revered group that was established in 1956.

As explained beautifully by the Hindu Business Line, there was a special scheme and planning that led Hero Electric back to where it belongs: fronting headlines for progress.

In that regard, it’s important to note the following:

“Hero Electric’s ‘30 days, 30 bikes’ festive offer aided the upward sales momentum during this period. Under the offer, every day one lucky customer purchasing a Hero Electric two-wheeler got a chance to ride home their vehicle free, further fostering the spirit of a pollution-free festive season, the company said in a statement.”

Is Oppo actually coming out with an EV in India?

News that Oppo, a famous consumer electronics and mobile communications company is all set to unleash in the sphere of electric vehicles has spread like wildfire.

And frankly speaking, there’s not much surprise too in the way the news is being widely followed. What is a company that famously made and still very much makes popular handheld devices and other gadgets going to do in the sphere of EV is the subject of great intrigue.

And lest it is undermined, then even great wonderment!

Won’t you, for instance, be surprised one bit if say a Coca-Cola was to launch a perfume? Or say, Givenchy would come out with a sugar-free dessert item!

Mad marketing isn’t the only thing that drives the planet wild or for that matter insane creativity and innovation backed by great packaging; it’s bold business calls and some that are much too sudden that make the world go round and round.

The fact that Oppo is going to make EVs isn’t the only big deal at this time; news that where it comes to its operations in South Asia, or specifically speaking, the sub-continent, that Oppo has already filed for trademarks for EVs in India is the real piece of news.

Sudden. Pleasantly surprising even. Right?

But having said that, the key question at this point in time is to figure out a specific timeline (or if any) by when the company is actually planning to come out with an EV.

So what is known in that aspect?

It is believed that Oppo may actually offer an EV in the Indian market not before 2023 or during some time in 2024.

But does that seem like an aggressive timeline?

Well, it most certainly is. Why, one wonders?

It’s for the simple reason that for a company that’s not originally in the space of automobiles, coming out with an EV for the first-ever occasion and by as early as 2023 or 2024 means achieving quite an onerous challenge.

The presence of strong in-house sales and marketing teams, coupled with a robust capable-of-producing EV infra R&D department, it might not be such a big thing after all for Oppo to take the plunge. Or should one call it the leap of faith? Only time will tell! Watch this space for more updates on the Oppo EV!

India’s interesting plans toward an EV-enabled future

Nitin Gadkari, the honorable Road Transport and Highways Minister stated in no uncertain terms that the country is only “One electric revolution away.”

The country has a robust plan for what lays ahead in the year 2023. So how is that?

Apparently, according to confirmed news reports, India is going to install around 600 electric charging points for EVs over the course of 2022 and 2023.

And the above figure is exclusively pertaining to the major highways of the country.

In what can be called a big development where the highway space of the country is concerned, having necessary charging EV on that strata of infrastructure that is used massively and widely is only going to help the cause of the country.

It augurs well for an India already working on the path toward greater adoption of electric vehicles. Moreover, what is also worth noting is that India is also geared up for introducing a massive change. It’s a challenge that it has already undertaken in order to propagate further the righteous idea that is the electric car if it can be called that!

This being the challenge of lowering the costs of electric vehicles. The ideal to be achieved here is to make an EV about as affordable as a petrol or diesel-fueled car within two years.

Meanwhile, here’s what the Indian Chamber of Commerce had to say on the matter of Nitin Gadkari steering the ship toward an EV-enabled future:

“Gadkari predicted that within a span of two years, the cost of EVs will drop and will be priced at par with their petrol variants. The government is also working on expanding EV charging facilities, which is another major factor impeding the growth of EVs in the country.”

One notes, if these aren’t interesting times to be in India then what will ever be? Since when did one hear about the phrase EV as frequently in an India obsessed with fuel-powered cars as what one hears today?

BMW targeting three electric offerings in Indian market

As of November 25, BMW have declared that they are going to unleash no fewer than three electric cars in India. India, it ought to be noted, is a key market and not only for German carmakers but for the rest of the world.  

BMW’s ambitious plans, if one could call them so, are part of the company’s agenda of steering more growth and lending more impetus to its electric car movement in the country.  

It’s a land where some of BMW’s vastly popular offerings in the premium sedan and the robust SUV segment have already bore massive fruit. Think the 7 series and 3 series cars and don’t forget the high-selling X7 and X4 mammoths.   

That being said, the key question at this time is what are the electric offerings that will be provided by the niche German carmaker?  

For starters, next month will see BMW launch the all-electric SUV iX, which will be followed by a pure electric luxury mini hatchback. And that’s not all. What’ll arrive thereafter will be the BMW i4, the premium all-electric sedan.

So many beautiful offerings in a market that’s so often been BMW’d, i.e., floored by extensive German offerings! It seems that the times to come are going to floor India with the problem of plenty- not dearth- of choices.

Having said so, the CEO for India operations, BMW, Mr. Vikram Pawah reinstated, “We are launching the BMW iX in the next 30 days. The mini electric will be launched in the next 90 days, after that will come the turn of the first electric sedan from our stable, which will take up to 180 days.”

The great thing about the iX, study suggests, is the fact that there are two electric motors for the front and rear axel. The car, reportedly, can reach from 0 to 100kmph in 6.1 seconds.

That’s not all; BMW also declared that it is going to provide a home charging kit along with its cars and also stated that the upcoming months are an interesting time for the company and its offerings, particularly for a lot of excitement has been created with the launch of the iX, already available in Europe and USA.