- Over the last few months, the supply chain has stabilized, which has helped us claim the top position in the e2W segment.
- With e2W being at the core of sustainable mobility transition, we expect 80% of the 2W market to completely shift to EVs by 2030.
- We plan to train and re-skill 25,000 mechanics, install charging stations, and expand our pan-India presence with 1000 touchpoints for faster EV adoption.
How has the business been at Hero Electric this year?
It is a year of growth and expansion for us with capacity building, network expansion, and infrastructure strengthening. In the last fiscal, we hit the 1 lakh unit sales milestone and are progressing towards achieving this year’s sales target. In the initial quarter, we witnessed a drop in sales that was a planned halt due to the ongoing global chip shortage. Over the last few months, the supply chain has stabilized, which has helped us claim the top position in the e2W segment.
Addressing the growing demand for e2Ws, we are building capacities through Mahindra’s Pitampur plant and an upcoming production line at our Ludhiana plant. We plan to train and re-skill 25,000 mechanics, install charging stations, and expand our pan-India presence with 1000 touchpoints for faster EV adoption.
Tell us about the plan to open a new R&D center and its significance.
Electric is the future in mobility, and Hero’s experience in the green mobility space makes it a perfect organization to explore, evolve, grow, and contribute to a greener tomorrow. The EV industry is at a nascent stage and will witness newer technologies and connected mobility solutions, which are only possible through R&D. Therefore, to stay futuristic and innovative, we need to constantly equip our products with new features and technologies for a seamless EV-owning experience.
The new R&D setup will be the nerve center of our future product development incorporating the latest and the best technologies in electric two-wheelers. The R&D center will collaborate with academia and incubators across the globe to work on mid and long-term strategies for our product.
What do you have to say about the present EV charging infrastructure in India?
Robust charging infrastructure is vital for electric mobility to become viable by addressing the range anxiety issue and building consumer confidence. These issues can simply be resolved with increased charging point facilities at home, residential apartments, malls, office complexes, etc. Moreover, the industry demands a widespread network that’s possible through increased investment and collaboration.
Hero Electric is focused on strengthening the EV network by partnering with many EV tech companies like Bolt, Charzer, Massive Mobility, and Log9 Materials to install over 1 lakh charging points across India. Further, we intend to tap into that infrastructure in terms of joint development of vehicles there, using sensibilities from the Indian market and our R&D capabilities for the electrification of the mobility segment in India.
Are there any specific untapped opportunities in the EV sector that if focused upon can lead to significant improvements?
The Indian electric two-wheeler segment surpassed all projections by clocking 231,338 unit sales in FY2022 versus 41,046 in FY2021. The electric mobility revolution enables riders to contribute toward clean mobility and a greener environment for a better tomorrow. The e2W and 3W segments are leading the adoption curve while the challenges in terms of range anxiety, charging infrastructure, and battery technology continues to hinder EV ownership. With e2W being at the core of sustainable mobility transition, we expect 80% of the 2W market to completely shift to EVs by 2030. The city speed segment is growing, and the market is improvising on drivetrains and batteries, auguring a shift, which will be catered to by higher-end products.
How do you see India’s EV sector evolving in the next 5 years?
The next few years are crucial for the EV industry as it witnesses increased demand, infrastructural development, technological advancements, growth in financial funding options, etc. The industry is also shaping up with evolving customer preferences with e2Ws at the core of the sustainable mobility transition. The industry estimates to have EV sales penetration of 30% for private cars, 70% for commercial vehicles, 40% for buses, and 80% for two and three-wheelers by 2030. India’s efforts toward shared, electric, and connected mobility can help us save one Giga tonne of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.
What can we expect from Hero Electric in the next couple of years?
At Hero, we are working towards enhancing our production capacities with a target of selling 1 million units in the next five years with an upside of 25 – 35 percent. We have recently performed the groundbreaking ceremony for our 2nd plant in Ludhiana and partnered with Mahindra & Mahindra to expand our production. Moreover, we have also announced the MoU signing of our third plant in the Salarpur industrial region of Rajasthan which is spread over 170 acres and will commence commercial production by the end of 2023.
Strengthening the EV ecosystem, we will continue with our initiatives of setting up charging stations, reskilling mechanics for EV servicing, etc. Hero Electric will focus on diversifying its product offering in the city speed segment considering the commuter segment is a large part of the two-wheeler market, followed by transforming the last-mile delivery segment for faster EV adoption. We will continue to focus on R&D and product development to offer innovative and technologically advanced features.