It is an incredible thing to see that the automobile industry trends are tweaking towards eco-friendly initiatives. And you can find two-wheelers running in this direction, giving a sudden rise in the electric bike business in the country. But, even if it is a dire need to move towards electric vehicles, the two-wheeler thing doesn’t seem to be appealing to the Indian audience.
If you are in the ‘to-be-or-not-to-be’ mode of starting an electric business in India, then this article has been curated only for you. We will be discussing the insights and scope of the electric business in India, which will help you determine if it is a feasible business idea or not.
Current Status of electric bikes in Indian minds
Let us first know what do Indians perceive about electric bikes. When it comes to bikes, people want speed and range. They want them to be excellent functioning and provide a massive performance level. Unfortunately, electric bikes come with weaknesses and do not provide the speed level that regular bikes do. There was a huge difficulty blending the electric motor with the standard motorcycle. But now, the batteries seem to be improving, and electric bikes can be seen as a possible eco-friendly trend in the automobile industry.
Even if Indians seem to be rebuilding their mindset regarding electric bikes, we can expect that there will be a boom soon.
History of electric bikes in India
In 2014, Kiwami came into existence, thanks to Japanese technology and the collaborative effort with Terra Motors. Priced at INR 18 lacs, this bike was accompanied by superb acceleration and covered 200 km at a speed of 160 kmph. It was a hand-built bike that needed at least 6 hours for recharging. However, the pricing didn’t seem to justify the Indian pockets, and hence, it resulted in a total failure.
Problems faced by electric bike businesses in India
Before we get to the solution part and the overall scope of electric bike businesses, let us understand the problems faced by them. We have tried to simplify for your better understanding.
- Petrol-based bikes are available at lesser initial acquisition costs as compared to electric bikes. Hence, electric bike business owners have to pour considerable amounts of money into procuring the bike. If you have a limited investment and capital capacity, it will surely be a problem for you.
- The electric bikes offer a limited range, and this becomes the second most drawback while selling the vehicles to the Indian audience. How can you convince a customer that the bike is the best, and that’s why people do not prefer it to purchase?
- The range issue arises because of the recharging of the vehicle scenario. As electric bikes need to be recharged frequently and not refuelled like ordinary vehicles, it becomes a huge problem of limited range. Customers find it difficult to find recharging stations and get their vehicles recharged. It is easier to find a refuelling station and hence, they prefer the regular bikes over the electric ones.
- The government has not yet provided sufficient resources to recharge electric bikes. They should install an adequate number of stations to encourage the usage of electric bikes in the country.
- Moreover, the private entities do not seem to be interested in the same. They can take up the responsibility of installing and maintaining recharging stations, but it is a far-flung possibility. Since the revenue opportunities are lower in the case of electric bike businesses, they do not come forward.
- The manufacturers of electric bikes have to depend largely on imported components, and this results in a weaker supply chain.
Scope of electric bikes in India
The above information is disappointing for all of you reading this article. But what follows in the scope section might make you wonder the truth? Of course, we don’t bluff, but we will pass the truth to you.
- There are several cost-conscious electric vehicle users in India who are indirectly opening the market for the same.
- Even global and eminent leaders such as Yamaha and Suzuki Motors are trying to invest in electric bike businesses in India. So, the above myth of private entities not participating can be overruled to some extent.
- In 2018, the annual domestic sales of vehicles went up to 19 million, and India became the largest market for bikes and cars. It is expected that the sale of electric vehicles will increase by 2 million every year by 2030.
- If you compare electric scooters with electric cars, then the former is more advantageous and saleable. Firstly, electric bikes are lighter and can be powered with reasonable batteries. The charging points can even be installed at homes, and hence, the charging issue is resolved considerably. Moreover, the pricing can be reduced strategically and will be similar to those of petrol-based bikes.
- The Make in India initiative adopted in May 2017 has explained well for the electrification of vehicles and to be increased by 2030. They offer subsidies to the buyers, but it has been opposed by the other car manufacturers and is still striving hard.
- Currently, the government offers incentives to the manufacturers of electric vehicles and not simply on sales. Hence, if you are a manufacturer, you can claim benefits in batteries and smart chargers.
- Several giants in the industry are testing the electric bike industry, and we can soon expect excellent outcomes of it.
What do the experts say?
The global CEO of Hero Electric has surely declared India as the revolutionary place for electric two-wheelers and will be worth every penny invested in this business.
Manufacturing electric bikes seems to be a herculean task, but you can consider a dealership of the same.
- Several companies such as Bajaj, Hero, and Mahindra offer dealership opportunities you can easily grab. The investment required to start a dealership entity is INR 10 to 40 lacs.
- You will require at least 1100 sq. ft of space to start this concern.
- You need to fill in the dealership firm, which will be scrutinized by the makers. They will send an executive to check and evaluate your space for verification. If they are satisfied with all the details you furnish, they will hire you as a franchisee or a dealer. However, you need to be fully educated about the kinds of electric bikes and other formalities before you set up an entity.
- You can hop on to the relevant site of the manufacturer and check the details to become a dealer. As each maker has a varying process for recruitment, it is essential to be well-versed with it.
In short, the scope of the electric bike business in India is promising and can be harnessed, provided you have the interest and knowledge for the same.