Hero MotoCorp plans over a dozen EVs, to roll out Vida motorcycle range

The automaker’s Vida range is likely to have 10 models, including scooters and motorcycles in the long term, while four motorcycles are being planned under Zero’s partnership.

By Kiran Murali and Ketan Thakkar calendar 25 Jan 2024 Views icon4313 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Hero MotoCorp plans over a dozen EVs, to roll out Vida motorcycle range

Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two-wheeler maker, has planned an ambitious electric vehicle roadmap with over a dozen model launches planned in the coming five years across segments and price points. Having ruled the roost in the mainstream mass-market segment for decades, Hero MotoCorp is making a significant shift in its strategy, eyeing the premium and electric vehicle segments with an investment of Rs 10,000 crore.

Apart from expanding its Vida electric scooter portfolio to four models over the next 12 months, Hero MotoCorp intends to have a portfolio of six electric motorcycles under the Vida range and another four motorcycles under its alliance with Zero Motors starting from 2025-2026, as per the company's presentation to investors this week.

Autocar Professional had reported earlier this week that Hero MotoCorp is likely to showcase its first electric motorcycle in the next two to three years with a high-performance model and it could be priced in the upper end at around Rs 4-5 lakhs. The automaker’s Chief Executive Officer Niranjan Gupta also said the company would launch three new electric scooters in the next 12 months period or next financial year.

“Over the next 12 months period, we will launch a mid-priced and economical model through the VIDA range, apart from the business-to-business product for last mile connectivity business,” Gupta said.

As per Hero MotoCorp’s product strategy, electric motorcycles will be added to the Vida range from 2025-2026 onwards. The portfolio is likely to see a total of six motorcycles in the performance, premium, mid-premium and mid ranges. Currently, the Vida range has only one offering which is Vida V1.

The company is looking to improve the retail network and charging infrastructure ahead of the product offensive. Vida has a presence in 100 cities across the country right now, and the automaker will expand it further to 100 more cities in the next financial year.

Meanwhile, Hero MotoCorp, in partnership with Zero Motorcycles, is developing a platform that will be used to deliver four electric motorcycles. The motorcycles, based on the single platform will be in two categories – two in the high-performance range and two in the mid-high-performance range.

Gupta said that the only case for EV in motorcycles in the initial stages is in high-performance models where customers can pay a price of Rs 4-10 lakh. “It's not about just launching that (high-performance) product. We must then use that powertrain, understand that, and later on see the application of that at a lower version to commuter motorcycles. So that's why we have tied up with Zero,” Gupta said on the sidelines of Hero World 2024.

Hero MotoCorp has made an equity investment of close to Rs 500 crore in California-based electric motorcycle maker Zero. The companies are now jointly developing electric motorcycles, combining Zero’s expertise in powertrains and electric motorcycles with the scale of Hero MotoCorp’s manufacturing and distribution.

Shifting Gears

Over the last couple of years, the mid-size and premium motorcycle segments have shown strong resilience and potential for future growth on the back of the rising aspiration of young riders and better finance options. With the entry-level and commuter segment in the slow lane, automakers are putting more focus on mid-size and premium segments to improve the companies’ profitability.

Hero MotoCorp is strengthening its premium portfolio with the introduction of XTECH variants and entry into the 440cc motorcycle segment. This week, the automaker recently introduced Mavrick 440, the first motorcycle under the Hero brand to be developed on the Harley Davidson platform. The Mavrick will be the most expensive model in its portfolio.

With the partnership with Harley-Davidson, Hero MotoCorp is looking to enhance its brand image in the premium space as the automaker eyes a portfolio of more than half a dozen premium motorcycles.

On the retail front, automakers are also redefining the showroom experience with premium ones for high-end and electric models. Hero MotoCorp is also working to improve customers’ shopping experience with Premia and Hero 2.0 store formats.

Currently, there are 300 Hero 2.0 and three Premia showrooms across the country. The company plans to expand the number of Hero 2.0 showrooms to 400 by the end of this financial year and Premia stores to 100 by June that will offer premium models such as Mavrick 440, Harley X440, and Karizma XMR, in addition to the Vida range.

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