Hero MotoCorp to enter EV market in 2022

by Firoze Irani, Autocar India 29 May 2021


Hero MotoCorp has revealed that it will enter the electric two-wheeler market in 2022. The company, which in April this year, inked a strategic partnership with Taiwan-based Gogoro to develop the EV and charging network in India.

During a recent conference call, Niranjan Gupta, CFO, Hero MotoCorp said that the company is on track to enter the electric two-wheeler segment in CY2022. He said that the automaker will have its own product, which has been developed at its R&D centres in Germany and CIT, Jaipur, ready alongside its project with Gogoro.

Gupta added that Hero MotoCorp’s product is primarily based on a fixed charging system, similar to most other electric two-wheelers on sale in India. However, the project it has coming along in partnership with Gogoro will be based on a battery swapping system.

Despite being opposite approaches, Hero is expecting both systems to work in parallel. Gupta also added that this would allow Hero to “play in both the spaces”. He said, “Gogoro has got ready and proven technology. They know how it works and there is a lot of learning that has gone into it in Taiwan, so that helps us in taking off the ground very quickly.”

While he didn’t reveal a specific timeline, he did say products from the Hero MotoCorp and Gogoro partnership will arrive in 2022. Hero hasn’t revealed much about its upcoming electric scooter, but it’s ‘Proto 01’ prototype from last year, suggests that it could be based on the Maestro Edge. Gogoro also hasn’t revealed much, but it did trademark ‘Gogoro Viva’ in India in 2019.

Hero’s growing presence in EVs
Hero MotoCorp, as is known, is one of the lead investors in the Bangalore-based electric scooter maker Ather Energy. The company, which has been a part of Ather’s growth story since 2016, currently has nearly 35 percent of shareholding in the EV maker. Hero MotoCorp, which first invested in the Bangalore-based EV start-up in October 2016, in Series B funding, and invested Rs 84 crore more in July 2020 to hike its stake in Ather to 34.58 percent, invested $12 million (Rs 89 crore) as a part of the Series D round in November 2020. Earlier this year, Ather opened a new smart manufacturing plant in Hosur, with a production capacity of 110,000 e-scooters and also 120,000 battery packs per annum.

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