The likes of Ather Energy, 22KYMC, Okinawa Autotech among others have paved the way for e-scooter ecosystem in the country
There is little doubt that the Indian electric vehicle push will be largely driven by the electric scooter segment that has witnessed increased traction in recent years. In fact, there is a great deal of anticipation in the electric scooter space with Bajaj Auto recently unveiling the Chetak Electric. The first-ever electric scooter from the stables of Bajaj Auto is expected to crank up competition in the e-scooter space in India with established player like Hero Electric and startsups like Ather Energy, Okinawa Autotech, Ampere Electric Vehicles and 22KYMC competing for a larger slice of the market. The Chetak Electric is likely to be commercially rolled out in a phased manner in cities like Pune and Begaluru in early 2020.
Hero Electric is one of the first movers in the e-scooter space having launched its Photon in 2014 and despite having to weather competition from a slew of startups, it has been steadily consolidating its market presence with the roll-out of Dash earlier this year – this launch coming close on the heels of launching the extended range versions of its two electric scooters - Optima and Nyx. The company also has another product, Flash considered an entry-level electric scooter targeted towards first-time electric vehicle buyers.
The slew of e-scooter manufacturers like Ather Energy, Okinawa Autotech, Ampere Electric Vehicles and 22KYMC despite the presence of a vastly experienced e-scooter player like Hero Electric, have managed to carve out their presence in the Indian market. Okinawa Autotech has been around in this e-scooter space for three years now having forayed into this segment in early 2017 with the launch of Ridge and subsequently also brought out the Ridge + packed with new features. The Gurugram-headquartered company has been going strong on the product roll-out front this year – it launched the I-Praise at the start of the year and rolled out PraisePro a few months back.
Coimbatore –based Ampere Electric Vehicles that was acquired by Greaves Cotton last year, has been making the right noises launching the Zeal earlier this year. The company has rolled out two products V 48 and Reo Li-ion in mid-2018. But it is Bengaluru-headquartered Ather Energy that is generating a lot of buzz in the e-scooter space. The company that has received funding from Hero MotoCorp as well as from Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal came up with two highly advanced e-scooters – S340 and S450 in July 2018. Ather Energy has already gone beyond Bengaluru and commercially launched these products in Chennai and will soon roll out in Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Hyderabad – a clear indicator of the growing demand for e-scooters.
22Kymco - a joint venture between 22Motors and Taiwan-based Kwang Yang Motor Company (KYMCO) – is also riding high with its Flow e-scooter powered by Kymco’s IONEX swappable batteries. Andhra Pradesh-based Avera Electric Vehicles earlier rolled out Retrosa e-scooter (only available in Andhra Pradesh).
As far as pricing of e-scooters in India are concerned, Ather S340 and Ather S450 priced at Rs 1.9 lakh and Rs 1.24 lakh respectively are the most expensive electric scooters available in the Indian market. Okinawa I-Praise and Avera Retrosa are two other e-scooters priced above the one lakh mark at Rs 1,11,990 and 1.08 lakh respectively.
Range anxiety is a concern area for Indian EV players, but a close look at the range offerings of some of the e-scooters should be comforting for end-users. Okinawa I-Praise offers a range of 160-180 km on a single charge while 22Kymco delivers a range of 160 km. Avera Retrosa offers a range of 120-140 km. Such kind of range capacities on a single charge should be more than ideal for day-to-day needs of end-users.
The coming months and years will clearly witness heightened activity in the electric scooter space with Bajaj Auto’s much-awaited first e-scooter offering in 2020.