The Leading Electric Two-Wheeler Companies in India

The leading electric two-wheeler companies in India based on their sales figures for the financial year 2019-2020.

Two-wheelers, perhaps one of the few industrial segments where India does not have a disadvantage vis a vis global scale, are poised to lead the EV transition in India. This is on the back of existing players as well as a host of electric-only startups and firms that have mushroomed to grab market share early. The electric three-wheelers segment, thanks to its origins in the unorganised sector has been much more difficult to track, though it leads comfortably in gross numbers. 

The electric two-wheeler (E2W) segment has, since FY2016, growing at a CAGR of 62 percent, which culminated in sales figures topping 152,000 units in the last fiscal. However, according to an independent research agency that figure shows that the year-on-year growth for FY2020 is quite low when compared to the previous two years when the market expanded over 100 percent in both years. Though on a very small base.  

This drop was largely attributed to the newly introduced FAME II, which caught the EV sector, and more importantly the elector two-wheeler segment off-guard. The Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicle (SMEV) had gone to the extent of saying that the second phase of the government scheme which was devised to support thrust the EV segment had failed its biggest market in the two-wheeler segment.

Hero Electric Launched Its Newest Electric scooter called Dash

Hero Electric Dash

SMEV had said that after getting a “shock” when FAME II was implemented from April 1, 2019, the industry had devised ways to keep afloat by selling low to mid-speed vehicles, which don’t qualify for incentives at a heavy discount but incurring losses in the process. And that mass segment electric two-wheeler makers are learning to “live without government support” as the FAME II scheme to promote electric mobility has not met its objective.

As per SMEV data, sales of FAME II qualified electric two-wheelers in April-December 2019 period stood at just 3,000 units as against 48,671 units in the year-ago period when FAME I was in place, a decline of 93.84 percent. On the other hand, as per industry estimates, non-subsidised electric two-wheeler sales stood at 49,000 units during the period as compared to around 10,000 units in the year-ago period when FAME I was in place.

Okinawa Operations

Okinawa Electric Scooter

Recently we covered a story that stated that based on a CXO survey of Industry experts the electric two-wheeler market in India is expected to cross 2 million units over the next five years. A more optimistic outlook presented in a new report by the same research agency that conducted the survey – JMK Research, predicted that a percentage of E2W in overall two-wheeler sales in India will increase from 0.6 percent (FY2020) to about 13 percent (FY2025), clocking about 34 lakh units of E2W annual sales in FY2025. Witnessing a CAGR from FY2020 to FY2025 of about 87 percent.

According to the survey, most industry experts feel that the electric two-wheeler (E2W) market size is likely to cross 20 lakh units in the next 5 years in India. And 60 percent of the survey respondents also predicted that the expected share of E2Ws in total two-wheeler sales in the next 5 years could vary from 6 percent to 15 percent. (The current share of E2W in total two-wheeler sales in FY2020 was about 0.7 percent).

The one thing for certain is that the market will grow exponentially as battery prices drop and more feasible policies are introduced. So, here we take a look at the top 10 electric two-wheeler companies in India based on their sales figures for FY2020.

OKINAWA

Okinawa Autotech Pvt. Ltd, a 100 percent Indian electric two-wheeler manufacturing company that was established in 2015 ranks first in India for electric two-wheeler sales in FY2020. It is the biggest player in the segment (<25kmph) selling more than 10,000 units through a  300 strong dealer network that is being expanded further. The firm is supposed to be a  massive 36 percent of the market for now. The firm has a full range of six two-wheeler models, from Raise (Rs 40,000) to iPraise at Rs 1.20 lacs approximately. 

HERO ELECTRIC

Falling under the umbrella of one of the largest two-wheeler companies in the world in Hero MotorCorp, Hero Electric is the second largest E2W firm in India for FY2020. Building on a decade of success, the firm sold 7400 units in the fiscal year to hold a 27 percent market share. With its close ties to Ather Energy as a strategic investor, look for more action from Hero soon. The firm offers a wide range of models based on usage, with the Photon Li and Lp its latest offerings. The Li model features two Li-ion batteries that offer a 110 km economy range on a single charge, with charging times as low as 4.5 hours. The product retails for just over Rs 75 thousand.

ATHER ENERGY

Ather Energy Exchange Program

Ather 450 Electric Scooter

The newest, flashiest entrant in the segment is Bengaluru-based startup Ather Energy. Expanding at a very brisk rate the Bengaluru-centred electric scooter company has started growing its market for its premium two-wheeler as it looks to go national very soon. The firm sold more than 2900 units in the fiscal year, holding a 10 percent market share just in its second year of existence. It hopes to sell 30,000 units (pre-COVID) in 2020-21, and later this year, start a second manufacturing facility with a capacity of 100,000 vehicles, in Hour, Tamil Nadu. The firm, even as it expands its footprint, has announced some innovative marketing schemes, including exchange offers for scooters from competitors like Honda, TVS, etc. The firms’ flagship scooter – packed with features – the Ather 450 retails for Rs 1.5 lakh upfront or for Rs 1 lakh if the customer opts for the monthly battery subscription.

AMPERE VEHICLES

Fourth in the list behind Ather Energy, is the oldest player in the segment – Ampere Vehicles, also from Bengaluru.  This 12-year-old firm, which has been powered by women from the very beginning with over  30 percent of its workforce made up of women, has been an ever-present in the India e-mobility transition. The company sold just around 2500 units in the fiscal year, which secured it a 9 percent share of the market. The firm is fresh from the launch of its Magnus Pro scooter, which has a 1.2 kW BLDC Vector Sine Wave motor that is paired with a 60V 30Ah advanced lithium-ion battery.

REVOLT MOTORS

A completely new entrant to the electric mobility segment is Gurugram based startup Revolt Motors. With the former founder of Micromax Mobiles, Rahul Sharma behind it, expectations are high from Revolt. The firm claims to be selling India’s first AI-enabled electric motorcycle packed with multiple features. The firm managed to hit the 1000 mark for sales in the fiscal year, despite taking orders for only 6  months. The firm holds a 4 percent market share. Its feature-packed RV 400 electric bike is offered on a monthly subscription model or an upfront cost of Rs 1.03 lakh.

Other active market players include Avon Cycles, NDS Eco Motors, Avan Motors, and Electrotherm (Yobikes), which together hold a 4-5 percent market share at the moment.

Revolt Expansion

Revolt RV 400 Electric Bike

It is interesting to note that as per the SMEV, high-speed vehicles market in FY2020 is only 15,200 units as it has ( in accordance with the FAME 2 guidelines) considered high-speed vehicles which have a top speed > 40 kmph speed, instead of 25 kmph speed.

According to a new report by JMK Research, on comparing the last three years’ sales trend in the high speed (>25 kmph) E2W space, it is seen that in FY2020, sales have dropped significantly for all players except Ather, due mainly to the absense of subsidies now. Hero Electric took the biggest hits it as it saw a fall of about 42 percent in its annual sales, while Okinawa sales dropped by 4 percent.

Notable absentees in the list, like Bajaj Electric, or even TVS Motors, both industry majors with a solid reputation to boot, have been slow off the block, caught between protecting their existing market share in the petrol segment and opening up an electric front.  While Bajaj just resurrected its  Chetak brand to launch its first electric two-wheeler (Rs 1 lakh) recently, TVS has also launched its first, iQube (R 1.15 lacs) in Bengaluru first. With their obvious strengths, expect these firms to be more than honourable mentions in this list next year.

{The data for this story was sourced from the E2W India Market Outlook Report, May 2020, by JMK Research. Click here to read the full report.}

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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