Hero Electric sees rise in demand for EVs post-Covid-19 lockdown

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 04 May 2020

Hero Electric, one of the leading electric two- and three-wheeler maker, says with more and more Indians adopting the social distancing norms, the private vehicle sector is poised to witness a significant momentum in the country making way to a substantial increase in the adoption of electric vehicles as the idea of clean-energy alternatives are becoming more mainstream.

The company says that post Covid-19, the global EV and EV infrastructure market is projected to reach 4.18 million units by 2021 from an estimated 3.42 million units in 2020, at a CAGR of 22.1 percent and India is expected to be a significant contributor to this growth.

According to the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) in FY2020 India witnessed sales of around 156,000 electric vehicles (two-wheelers, passenger vehicles and buses). The numbers did not include the e-rickshaw segment, which SMEV says is still largely with the unorganised sector with a reported sale of around 90,000 units.

What’s making Hero Electric hopeful is the fact that the impact of Covid-19 witnessed air pollution plummet to unforeseen levels at 60 percent in New Delhi, presenting an opportunity towards the adoption of smarter and sustainable mobility solutions as consumers have taken note of the dramatic improvement in the air quality since lockdown. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is likely to change the way Indians commute.

The OEM believes that while majority of Indians would prefer private vehicles to reduce the odds of catching the contagious virus, they would also look for safer and economical commuting options leading to a further increase in the adoption of low and city speed electric scooters, due to the low purchase price and extremely lesser running costs besides ease of use, and easy maintenance. Switching from ICE-vehicles to EVs would also reduce any travel pitstops at the fuel stations given the fact that the green vehicles are supported by portable batteries further increasing the concept of contactless transportation thereby enhancing consumer confidence in these troubled times.

Sohinder Gill, CEO, Hero Electric said, “The latest Harvard report of the adverse effect of air pollution particularly the PM 2.5 emitted from IC vehicles on Covid-19 patients is an eye opener. Given the upcoming ‘new normal’ era, consumer focus on sustainable mobility options, preference of sensibly priced electric two-wheelers, and reluctance in going back to the overcrowded public transport system; Hero Electric foresees an exponential increase in the number of electric vehicles on road post lockdown. We have with us a wide range of electric scooters that have zero tail pipe emissions, priced between Rs 40,000 to Rs 70,000 and have extremely low running costs.”

The company says that considering the present scenario, it is almost certain that the Indian automotive sector will not be going back to the old normal market anytime soon. The new normal will bring in many challenges but multiple opportunities with it as well and Hero Electric says it is aptly prepared for it.

To make the adoption of EVs effortless, Hero Electric says it has recently announced an online sales scheme on its entire range. Taking the online-first approach, Hero Electric says it has been able to act very quickly and take advantage of the time on hands by introducing a lucrative online scheme – Rs 5,000 cash discount (all models) and Rs 3,000 cash discount on Glyde and e-Velocity, along with referral discount of Rs 1,000 - for potential Hero Electric customers and the response has been rather encouraging. The OEM says limited to all online bookings made starting from April 17 till May 15, 2020, customers can take delivery of vehicles any time after the lockdown opens.