India’s Hero Moto, the world’s largest motorcycle maker by sales, on Friday launched its first electric scooter across the world, as it tries to catch up with new businesses that have pioneered the transition to clean transportation.
Like some other legacy automakers in India, Hero Electric has lagged behind in launching two-wheelers, giving first-mover advantage to startups like Ather Energy, which is backed by Tiger Global, and SoftBank Group-backed Ola Electric.
“While we may have had our desire to launch this product earlier, we had to do it exactly for the good of all,” Chairman Pawan Munjal told reporters at the launch event in Jaipur.
India wants e-scooters and e-bikes to make up 80 per cent of total two-wheeler sales by 2030, up from around 2 per cent today. While rising fuel prices are driving people away from petrol scooters while sales are picking up, the recent incidents of fires in electric scooters have raised safety concerns, jeopardizing consumer confidence. has gone. There are concerns that it could derail the growth of a sector that is vital to the country's carbon reduction goals. The price of Hero's debut model Vida Plus will start from Rs. 1,45,000 – more than most electric scooters in India – and will have a minimum range of 143 km on a single charge, similar to the Ather. The company has made a string of investments in electric vehicle startups. In September, Hero said it would invest $60 million (nearly Rs. 500 crore) in California-based Zero Motorcycles to jointly develop electric motorcycles. In January, it announced an investment of more than $56 million (nearly Rs. 460 crore) in Ather and in 2021 it partnered with Taiwan's Gogoro for its battery sharing infrastructure. Hero will start taking bookings on October 10 and deliveries will begin in December.