High-speed electric 2-wheeler sales cross 140,000 mark in 2021

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 06 Jan 2022


The year 2021, has been a rollercoaster ride for the automotive industry with mixed set of news be it fuel prices touching new records to semiconductor shortage to massive marketing campaigns by electric vehicle start-ups. The silver lining amongst all has been the fact that sales of FAME II compliant high-speed electric two-wheelers has touched 142,829 units, a four-fold increase albeit a low-year ago base.

On the other hand, the overall e2W sales (low- and high-speed) came at 233,971 units with 61% percent of sales coming from the high-speed category, according to data shared by the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), the apex body representing the electric vehicle industry.

SMEV says the low-speed category saw negative growth in the last 2 quarters of the year gone by. The low-speed e2W category used to have a market share of more than 70%, which dipped to less than 15% in the Q4 CY2021. The apex body says since the low-speed E2Ws do not qualify for subsidies the entry-level high-speed e2ws have become cheaper than many of the low-speed ones.

Sohinder Gill, director general, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles said, “We haven’t seen better days than the last few months in the entire EV journey. In the last 15 years, we collectively sold around 1 million e2w, e-three wheelers, e-cars, and e-buses, and we will most likely sell the same 1 million units in just one year beginning January 2022. The recent positive changes in EV policy through FAME II are a game-changer and a decisive move by the government to ensure a cleaner and greener transportation sector, reducing reliance on expensive and contaminated liquid fuel. Customers have now started shifting in large numbers from petrol two-wheelers to electric ones due to attractive prices, lower running costs, and lower maintenance. A significant percentage of customers also factor in the environment and sustainability in their decision to buy an electric two-wheeler. Going by the recent monthly trends, the next 12 months may see 5 to 6 times the growth over the previous 12 months.”

SMEV says the electric two-wheeler market can be divided in 3 segments – low speed (upto 25kph), city speed (upto 50kph), and high speed (70kph+). While the low-speed segment is waning away, the city speed segment is gaining traction due to attractive pricing and lower replacement costs of batteries. Adoption in the high-speed segment is low but may increase in the next few years as the battery prices come down.

“Currently, all-electric two-wheelers sold in India are called electric bikes or e-bikes, but in fact, they are either electric motorcycles (around 2% of the market) or electric scooters (98%) that can comfortably seat two people and look like their petrol two-wheeler counterparts. There are no e-scooters like the ones seen in North America or Europe on which a rider can stand and go short distances. Electric cycle sales in India (popularly known as e-bikes globally) are also negligible and just beginning to happen. However, in the next 2 to 3 years, we will have products across all segments, ranging from e-scooters, e-motorcycles, and e-cycles from large and organised players. In four to five years, we can now confidently predict that around 30% of the two-wheeler market will be electric. Both central and state policies are acting as strong tailwinds to transform India’s mobility sector to electric and help achieve a reduction in atmospheric pollution as well as the ever-burgeoning crude oil import bill,” concluded Gill.


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