E-bike sales continue to rise, and so does demand, ET Auto

Sales of electric two-wheelers hit a new high in September, driven by new product launches, increased production capacity, longer range of the vehicles and festive demand.

As much as 15% of the scooters retailed in the country last month were electric. If the other segments of two-wheelers are also included, electric vehicles accounted for 5%.

Running Costs
According to former Niti Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant, the two-wheeler market should become EV-only in the next four years. The government is extending tax benefits and subsidies to accelerate this environment-friendly shift, he said. Data from the government’s Vahan portal show 51,586 electric two-wheelers were registered in September, accounting for 5.05% of the two-wheelers sold in the month. The share was 2% at the beginning of 2022 and less than 0.5% two years ago.

Retail sales of electric two-wheelers have been consistently moving up month on month since May.

Cumulative registrations in the first nine months of 2022 have reached 388,000 units, already 2.7 times higher than those in the whole of 2021, according to Vahan data. Higher running cost of petrol and increased availability of EVs from legacy two-wheeler makers are helping boost adoption by consumers.

Rise in Demand
The running cost of an electric two-wheeler is just ₹0.35 per km, compared with ₹2.20 for the petrol-powered ones. This translates into a saving of about ₹100 per day if one is driving about 50 km per day.

Ravneet Phokela, electric two-wheeler maker Ather Energy‘s chief business officer, said he was not surprised with the steep rise in demand. He believes improved semiconductor supplies and increasing model availability would help meet the demand.

“We expect, based on the underlying momentum, a penetration level of the scooter is slated to reach about 25% by end of the current fiscal year and 45-50% by the end of 2025,” said Phokela. Ather Energy had a market share of 11.9% in September with retail sales of 6,176 units.

Growth at a Steady Pace
The penetration of electric two-wheelers has been deeper in states with higher per-capita GDP. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Delhi formed 69% of the high-speed electric two-wheeler sales last month.

A large part of electric vehicle penetration is pushed by state-level incentives, which are about ₹5,000 per Kwh. This is probably a reason for the share of electric two-wheelers sales in Delhi reaching 8%.

Manish Raj Singhania, president of the Federation of Automotive Dealers Association of India, said there had been a lot of excitement in the EV segment across verticals, bringing a whole new set of customers to the industry.

“The segment is growing at a steady pace, and we expect it to gain a larger industry share rapidly over time, especially in the three- and two-wheeler categories,” he said.

The entry of mass-market industry leaders into the electric two-wheeler space will help restore the confidence among the public, especially over safety, Singhania added.

  • Published On Oct 10, 2022 at 08:51 AM IST

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