India’s largest scooter manufacturer, was withdrawing from any further investment decisions until they have some clarity on the government’s proposals for the electrification of sub-150cc two-wheelers in the country. This decision is a result of report released by the Niti Ayog, proposing that all sub-1500 two-wheelers in India will have to be converted to electric vehicles by 2023.
Two -wheeler manufacturers in India have mentioned before that this swift move has led to them to divert large amounts of engineering resources into BS-VI engine development. Stricter emission rules means that most, if not all two-wheelers will use fuel-injection systems. This along with inflation in production of other safety features, increases prices by 10-15 per cent. Mr Kato said that a sales slowdown because of this was anticipated. He also mentioned that was not anticipated was the further decline in sales numbers after the elections. Sales for a number of two-wheeler, and passenger car manufacturers have reduced by 15 to 25 per cent.
There are two major concerns over the electrification of two-wheelers at such pace. One is the travel range that the electric scooters provide. Two wheeler owners in India tend to ride longer distances within a city, and the current builds only allow for a best of 70-75 kilometers per charge. And two, they feel while India produces enough of electricity, the back-end grids need to be upgraded across the country in order to meet charging load requirements of millions of two wheeler users.