Not what, how and when, anymore. It is all about Quantum, now!
The year 2021 saw sales of well over 2,00,00 units of 2W-EVs. A growth of well over 125%, over the previous year. While the growth percentage may be a base-effect, now for – at least – the EVs in the two-wheeler space is all about the Quantum or the Scale.
We did see paradigm-shifting happenings on the electric two-wheeler front, in the year 2021. The year 2022 is now, the year of taking a leap from the springboard provided by the preceding year. Just into the third month of the Year 2022, the signs of times to come, the stage of scale for the electric two-wheelers seems to be all set.
The stage is set primarily – to my mind – with key relevant players making substantial tangible and explicit moves. The focus for me is on relevant players and tangibility. Not on players who are just playing the game and not on (just) statements!
For instance, last month itself, Indian Oil, the Oil Distribution (distribution being the key) giant, announced the setting up of 10,000 Charging Stations at its Fuel Stations, over 3 years, starting with the year 2022. Again, last month itself, the other Oil Major, BPCL too has not only announced setting up of 1000+ EV Charging Stations by the end of the Year 2022 but has actually set up 10 such Stations along a particular route, i.e., the Chennai-Madurai highway under a framework of ‘EV fast-charging corridor’.
The action of EV-Charging Distribution/Logistics front is as important as EV-Manufacturing, to drive adoption and sales of electric two-wheelers. The actual action on the Indian Oil and BPCL front, therefore, with their penetration in Indian geography being beyond words, could indeed be the catalyst for Scale in terms of topline for the electric two-wheelers.
There has been major actual action on the EV-manufacturing, as well!
Around the end of last year, 2021, one of the key electric two-wheeler makers – Ather Energies, announced the commencement of its second manufacturing unit. Ather, one of the pioneers and a key player, plans to drive its manufacturing by over 333% (sic) to 4,00,000 units per annum from 1,20,000 per annum, as of now. Last month itself, the big-daddy of scale, for India at least, Reliance Industries made an explicit move and invested into Altigreen, unarguably one of the pioneers in the electric, two-wheeler and three-wheeler space.
The other key player in the EV-Manufacturing space, Greaves Electric Mobility (GEM), said it has sold over 10,000 units in December 2021, with the e-three-wheelers clocking a 101 per cent growth in sales from a year ago. GEM backed by the 163 years old Engineering & Automotive-Engines major, Greaves Cotton is indeed one of the key’est players in making electric two-wheelers come of age in India.
Apart from strong sales performance, GEM has taken some other tangible relevant steps, as well. During the October-December quarter, GEM acquired a 100% stake in electric three-wheeler company ELE (e-rickshaws) and also completed the acquisition of a 26% in another electric three-wheeler company MLR Auto (Teja brand). While these two companies are into three-wheelers and not two-wheelers, any real development on the electric vehicles front helps fuel development & scale on other parts of the EV-puzzle, like on EV-charging infra and on EV-battery manufacturing.
Giving massive real impetus to the story of scale, GEM has announced transforming its Ranipet, Tamil Nadu to a mega EV facility. An investment of Rs 700 crore has been earmarked for Ranipet over the next 10 years where the existing land parcel will see a complete makeover in the coming years. The capacity will be increased in three phases starting with 100,000 units going up to 250,000 units and thereon to 10,00,000 or a million units annually. Pertinently from Scale in 2022 perspective, Operations will kick off during the course of this calendar year, itself.
The Ranipet Plant has been envisaged as the mega-EV Facility. There’s a greater focus on the entire ecosystem. Apart from manufacturing electric two-wheelers, manufacturing of electric three-wheelers, vendor/OEM-base, testing-facility as well as R&D are all part of the plan.
Plan? Let us get back to actual/tangible action for scale, as is the focus of our discussion here!
The most-mega of all actions on electric two-wheeler quantum is here in the third month of the year 2022. The world’s largest two-wheeler maker, Hero MotoCorp has unleashed firm moves. Hero MotoCorp unveiled VIDA, an all-new brand-new identity for its emerging mobility solutions, including upcoming electric two-wheelers. VIDA, by the way, means LIFE in Spanish and Portuguese!
Pertinent to our discussion here, the first Hero-Vida electric two-wheeler will be launched another 4 months from now, on July 1, 2022. The production of the new Vida model will be done at Hero MotoCorp’s ‘Green’ manufacturing facility in Chittoor, India and dispatches to customers will begin in the year 2022, itself.
In a study published by McKinsey, in the financial year 2030, the demand for electric two-wheelers in India has been forecasted to reach around a 9-million units. However, the happenings in the year 2022… at the beginning of the year 2022 itself, it seems likely that by 2030, the electric two-wheeler market may touch the magical 10-million or 1,00,00,000 mark!
(Sanjeev Shukla is a corporate strategy and marketing leader with three decades of experience with Hyundai, Hero MotoCorp, Ford and the advertising world.)
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Autofintechs.com. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.)