March sees sales of 1.36 lakh EV two-wheelers as FAME subsidy ends

March 2024 is the only the second instance of monthly sales surpassing 1 lakh units (and that too by a fair margin), the previous one being May 2023 (1,05,564 units), when buyers advanced their purchases ahead of the sharp reduction of the FAME II subsidy scheme from June 1, 2023.

By Ajit Dalvi calendar 03 Apr 2024 Views icon3513 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
March sees sales of 1.36 lakh EV two-wheelers as FAME subsidy ends

Retail sales of electric scooters and motorcycles in FY24 have hit a record of over 9.44 lakh units as a result of best-ever monthly sales of 1,36,559 units in March 2024. 

March 2024 is the only the second instance of monthly sales surpassing 1 lakh units (and that too by a fair margin), the previous one being May 2023 (1,05,564 units), when buyers advanced their purchases ahead of the sharp reduction of the FAME II subsidy scheme from June 1, 2023.

March 2024 was a month where most OEMs have notched their best-ever monthly numbers. And that’s thanks to e-scooter and bike buyers making a beeline to showrooms before the new Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme 2024 (EMPS) kicks in from April 1 for a four-month period. It has a total outlay of Rs 500 crore and is valid for four months from April 1 to July 31, 2024.

Under EMPS, electric two-wheelers are eligible for a subsidy of Rs 5,000 per kilowatt-hour (kWH) with a maximum limit of Rs 10,000 per vehicle. This would mean that, similar to the market scenario on June 1, 2023, electric two-wheeler prices will rise as most OEMs would typically pass on the load to the consumer.

Cognisant of this, most of the leading e-two-wheeler OEMs had rolled out special offers in March, looking to capture demand as it came their way. And the proof of their success lies in the March numbers. 

Of the 175-odd players in the fray, four OEMs in the form of two start-ups – Ola Electric, Ather Energy – and two legacy players – TVS Motor Co, Bajaj Auto – stand out. Not only are these companies the only ones to register six-figure sales but their combined sales of 7,24,662 units account for 77 percent of the total 9,44,066 retails in FY24. 

Ola Electric: 50,545 units

Ola Electric has closed FY24 with retail sales of 3,26,428 units, nearly doubling FY23’s 1,72,791 units. A strategic move to substantially reduce prices and offering buyers FAME subsidies up to Rs 46,780 for its popular S1 range of e-scooters (S1 Pro, S1 Air and S1 X+) in February and March 2024 have powered numbers at the end of the fiscal. The resultant surge of demand meant that Ola registered sales 33,921 units in February and 50,545 units in March, the latter its best-ever monthly sales as well as for a single OEM in India to date.

With this Ola has become the first Indian EV maker to sell over 3 lakh units in a fiscal and has a stranglehold on the segment with a massive lead over its rivals. In FY24, the company’s market share has increased to 35 percent from 24 percent the previous year, clearly establishing its supremacy in the expanding market. 

Strong demand for the iQube has given TVS Motor Co an EV market share of 19.37 percent in FY2024, up from the 11.27 percent share it had in FY2023.

TVS Motor Co: 26,478 units

TVS Motor Co has had a great FY24 with its iQube e-scooter and has more than doubled its FY23 sales. With retails of 1,82,933 units in FY24, the company recorded a sterling 125 percent YoY growth (FY23: 82,108 units). This gives it a market share of 19.37 percent, up from the 11.27 percent share it had in FY23.

Like Ola, Ather and Bajaj Auto, TVS clocked its best-ever monthly sales in March 2024 – 26,478 units – going ahead of its previous best of 19,135 units in November 2023.

Bajaj Auto: 17,933 units

Bajaj Auto has sold a total of 1,06,431 Chetak e-scooters in FY24, an increase of 273 percent YoY, albeit on a low year-ago base of 28,537 units. March 2024’s 17,933 units, its best-ever monthly numbers yet, capped off a strong fiscal for the Pune-based company in March. This performance gives Bajaj Auto a market share of 11.27 percent, nearly tripling its 4 percent share in FY23.

The company witnessed strong demand, particularly in the second half of the fiscal. What is creditable is that it has narrowed the sales gap with No. 3 player Ather Energy. At the end of FY2024, the difference was only 2,439 units. In fact, from October 2023 to March 2024, Bajaj outsold Ather for six straight months.

Ather Energy: 17,221 units

Ather Energy retailed 1,08,870 units in FY24, up 41.50 percent (FY2023: 76,939 units). This performance has given it a 12 percent market share, an increase on the 10.56 percent share it had in FY23.

Ather ended FY2024 with a flourish: 17,221 units in March 2024, its best-ever monthly sales. Ather now plans to roll out its family scooter named Rizta on Ather Community Day – April 6, 2024. The company plans to expand its market reach with the Rizta which will compete with the high-selling TVS iQube, Bajaj Chetak and Vida V1 Pro in the practical family-oriented electric scooter category.

The fifth position goes to the Greaves Electric Mobility-Ampere Vehicles combined entity with 55,043 units, giving it a 6 percent market share. Okinawa Autotech, which not too long ago was a major player, is at No. 6 with 20,873 units. Having begun FY24 with four-figure sales, the last four months of the fiscal saw its numbers slide into three figures.

Hero MotoCorp’s EV brand – Vida – is ranked seventh (17,691 units), followed by Bgauss Auto (15,234 units), Okaya EV (14,026 units), and Hero Electric (12,093 units). Kinetic Green jumps to 12th position with 9,703 units, thanks to the 3,963 units sold in March 2024, the acceleration coming from the recent launch of the E-Luna. 

Growth Outlook In FY25

While the initial cost of an electric two-wheeler remains higher, a growing number of consumers are making the transition to electric mobility because of high petrol prices. This is a key EV industry growth factor, which has proven to be an enabler for the transition to e-mobility, both personal and commercial.

Two-wheeled EV manufacturers are also benefiting from sustained demand for last-mile deliveries from urban India as well as town and country, which is acting as a sales catalyst for e-two-wheelers used for e-commerce and food deliveries. This is thanks to the key advantage stemming from TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), particularly for fleet operators who clock plenty of kilometres each day. Like the aircraft industry, e-vehicles used for fleet operations make money the more they are on the road. It’s a plug-in-plug-out seamless operation for them – while 50 percent of the fleet would be out on the job, the other half is getting charged, ready to replace their parched brethren when they come in for their ‘juice’ of electricity.

Meanwhile, with EV OEMs pursuing higher levels of localisation, there will likely be new product cost rationalisation. What is also helping their cause is Indian Tier 1 suppliers achieving strong progress in indigenous manufacture of EV components. A recent example is Sona Comstar, which has become the first supplier in India to receive automotive PLI certification for its hub wheel drive motor for electric two-wheelers.

Having recorded over 9.44 lakh unit sales in FY24 and strong 30 percent YoY growth, the e-two-wheeler industry will see slower growth on this high base. However, this will be with a wider array of products, surging demand from last-mile mobility operators and the continuing consumer shift from petrol to electric power.

 

 

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