Suzuki Motorcycle India (SMIPL), the market leader in the growing 125cc scooter segment, plans to introduce an electric scooter by 2020-21, Satoshi Uchida, managing director, SMIPL told Autocar Professional on the sidelines of the launch of its 125cc Burgman Street scooter in Delhi today.
The rough product roadmap for its electric two-wheeler line-up includes introducing an electric scooter prototype / first-generation electric scooter in India by 2020-21.
Elaborating on his company’s plans, Uchida disclosed, “In electric mobility, I think maybe there is more potential for electric scooters than for electric motorcycles. We estimate that about 40 percent of all scooters could be electric but this is what I am talking about how the scene could be in 2030. So this is still 12 years to go from now. The question is how to proceed in terms of developing a model to address this anticipated market. So, I am looking at the first prototype by 2020 or let’s say the first generation of an electric scooter from Suzuki between 2020-2021.”
It is understood that with any new technology or any new product penetrating an all-new category, OEMs mostly learn by floating first-generation product(s) in the market and then they subsequently evolve the same under its future-generation models.
“I think the first-generation, electric scooter from Suzuki may evolve under several aspects such as the battery performance, running range, pricing and others. In this case, we will learn about the acceptance of the customers in India and other similar markets too. This is because the technology needed for electric vehicles is the same such as the battery or the electric motors. The exteriors, of course, will be as per Indian tastes. So my plan is to introduce the first-generation electric scooter from Suzuki in India. The second generation of the planned electric scooter may come in another 2-3 years (by 2023-24),” he added.
According to the top boss, Suzuki will employ platform engineering (battery, motor and other essentials) but importantly Suzuki India will be very much involved in the developmental process. In a manner similar to products made for India, like the Gizzer, Intruder and now the Burgman, the electric scooter will also be designed with Indian scooterists in mind.
Suzuki’s electric scooter development, understood to be underway at Suzuki Motor Corporation’s global R&D in Japan, will keep India and the other similar markets in the overall plan.
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