Mahindra's electric three-wheelers maintain strong growth trajectory in April-July

Mahindra Last Mile Mobility, which has sold 20,056 e-three-wheelers that account for 83% of the company's total three-wheeler wholesales in April-July, continues to witness strong demand for its eco-friendly passenger and cargo carriers.

By Ajit Dalvi calendar 20 Aug 2023 Views icon11071 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Mahindra's electric three-wheelers maintain strong growth trajectory in April-July

India’s electric vehicle market is headed towards another record-breaking year in 2023 and has raced past 800,000-unit sales in the first seven months of the year. The two- and three-wheeler sub-segments have been the movers and shakers of India EV Inc, given their affordability index compared to their much more expensive four-wheeled passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle siblings. In the first quarter of FY2024, 300,099 electric three-wheelers were retailed in India, up 79% YoY with Mahindra Last Mile Mobility being the market leader in a field which has no less than 450 players.

Mahindra Last Mile Mobility (MLMM), which has expanded its manufacturing capacity in April with a new line for its Treo e-three-wheelers at the Haridwar plant, currently has six EVs on sale – the Treo, Treo Yaari and e-Alfa Mini for passenger transport and the Zor Grand, Treo Zor and the e-Alfa cargo for goods transport.

In early August, the company expanded its electric three-wheeler portfolio with the addition of the e-Alfa Super passenger model. This comes on the back of MLMM achieving cumulative sales of over 100,000 three-wheeled EVs in early June. Having surpassed the first 50,000-unit sales in July 2022, the run from 50,000 units to the 100,000-unit milestone has taken less than a year, indicating the rapid pace of demand for the company’s electric three-wheelers and the benefit that comes from being a first-mover in the sector.

In FY2023, MLMM sold a total of 58,520 three-wheelers, up 94.55% YoY (FY2022: 46.54%), of which 63% were EVs – 36,816 units, up 48% YoY (FY2022: 17,522 e3Ws), giving the company a market-leading share of 14.6 percent.

In fact, cumulative sales for the first four months of FY2024 at 24,261 units are already 41% of FY2023's total sales, with eight months of the ongoing fiscal still to go. 

Demand for MLMM’s EVs is the highest – at 20,056 units, e-three-wheelers account for 83% of total sales, followed by diesel (12.44%) and CNG (5%).

In the ongoing fiscal year, MLMM is continuing to witness a strong growth trajectory. A deep dive into the company’s wholesales data reveals interesting takeaways (see data table above). The company, which retails three-wheelers with electric, diesel and CNG powertrains, is seeing strong month-on-month growth and, as a result, robust year-on-year growth.

Sales have grown month on month in the April-July 2023 period – from 5,552 units in April to 5,851 units in May to 6,377 units in June and to 6,481 units in July. Cumulative electric-diesel-CNG three-wheeler sales for these four months are 24,261 units, up 62% YoY. Of the three fuels, demand for MLMM’s electric three-wheelers is the highest – at 20,056 units, e-three-wheelers account for 83% of total sales, followed by diesel (12.44%) and CNG (5%).

Passenger-transporting Mahindra Treo is MLMM's best-seller in April-July 2023 with 8,719 units, followed by the e-Alfa Mini e-rickshaw (5,780 units), the Zor Grand goods EV (2,390 units).

The electric three-wheeler sub-segment, which comprises passenger-transporting e-rikshaws and cargo-carrying variants, continues to witness strong double-digit growth thanks to sustained demand for passenger transportation and from last-mile operators for e-commerce applications, food deliveries and other applications.

As per the data available, in terms of model-wise sales, the top three EVs are the passenger-transporting Mahindra Treo is the best-seller in April-July 2023 with 8,719 units, followed by the e-Alfa Mini e-rickshaw (5,780 units), the Zor Grand goods EV (2,390 units).

The company's best fiscal sales yet were FY2019's 66,699 units, up 22% on the previous year. Given the current momentum of sales for MLMM, particularly for its electric models, it can be surmised that the company is headed for a record-breaking year of three-wheeler sales, both in terms of overall sales as well as e-three-wheelers. 

MLMM three-wheeled EVs are also driving entrepreneurship, as seen in these examples. (L-R) A garbage tipper, coffee shop, mobile health centre and as a bicycle carrier too. Photos: Suman Mishra / X(Twitter).

MLMM is witnessing growing demand from fleet buyers. This is one batch of e-Alfa Minis delivered in Assam. (Image: Mahindra Last Mile Mobility)

New competition coming . . .

As per the government of India's Vahan website, which details retail sales of vehicles in India, MLMM has sold a total of 17,383 electric three-wheelers in the April-July 2023 period.

From amongst the legacy players, Piaggio Vehicles with retail sales of 6,830 units in April-July 2023 is the one which stands out with its Ape Electric. Of the non-SIAM members like YC Electric (13,148 units) and Saera Electric Auto (9,002 units) are the current second- and third-ranked e-three-wheeler OEMs in India.

Nevertheless, given the strong market acceptance of electric mobility in the three-wheeled segment, it won’t be long before bigger players enter the market. TVS Motor Co is known to be developing an electric three-wheeler, which is set to be launched in the second half of FY2024. And Bajaj Auto, which is the overall three-wheeler market leader (135,637 units in April-July 2023) with a 68% share, is testing the EV market with its recently unveiled 178km-range EV-RE, Maxima Cargo and Maxima Cargo XL models.

MLMM, meanwhile, is getting future-ready in terms of capabilities and capacity. On April 25, 2023, the company had the ground-breaking ceremony for a new EV plant in Zaheerabad, Telangana. The new facility will house a state-of-the-art battery assembly line, producing power packs and manufacture electronic as well as drivetrain components for electric three- and four-wheelers.

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