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India saw triple-digit growth in the sale of electric two-wheelers in 2021

India saw triple-digit growth in the sale of electric two-wheelers in 2021
6 Jan, 2022
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Sales of electric two-wheelers (E2W) in India increased by 132% year-on-year (YoY) in 2021, the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) said in a new report published on January 6.  

A total of 233,971 electric two-wheelers were sold during the year as compared to 100,736 a year ago.  

Hero Electric with 34% of the market share was the top seller of registered electric two wheelers in India in 2021. Okinawa (22%) and Ather (12%) were the other two companies with double-digit market share in the top ten.   

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The high-speed electric two-wheelers that can go beyond 25kmph and require a full licence to operate, grew at an even higher 425% YoY as compared to low-speed counterparts which grew only by 24%. Low-speed electric two-wheelers can muster speeds under 25kmph and require no licence or registration. According to SMEV, low-speed electric two-wheelers were in demand until 2020 and accounted for 70% of all sales. However, interest in it has waned in 2021, especially in the October-December quarter when its market share dropped to less than 15%. 

Also read: What to expect from India’s EV industry in 2022

SMEV has attributed this to the subsidies on high-speed electric two-wheelers under the FAME 2 policy that have made them more affordable as compared to low speed two wheels. FAME 2 or Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India is an incentive-based scheme by the government of India to subsidise the making and buying of electric vehicles including two-wheelers. According to Sohinder Gill, director general of SMEV, the recent changes in EV policy through FAME 2 were game-changing for the EV industry.   

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“In the last 15 years, we collectively sold around 1 million electric two wheelers, e-three wheelers, e-cars, and e-buses, and we will most likely sell the same 1 million units in just one year beginning January 2022,” said Gill.   

Gill believes that in the next 12 months, the sales will grow 5 to 6 times more.  

“Customers have now started shifting in large numbers from petrol two-wheelers to electric ones due to attractive prices, lower running costs, and lower maintenance. A significant percentage of customers also factor in the environment and sustainability in their decision to buy an electric two-wheeler,” he added.  

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Electric motorcycles accounted for only 2% of the market, while the rest were electric scooters, said Gill, even though all electric two-wheelers sold in India are called electric bikes or e-bikes. Electric cycle sales in India have been negligible and traction in them has just started, he added.