Electric Two-Wheeler Sales in India Jumps 132% to 2,33,971 units in 2021

The total sales of electric two-wheeler (E2W) in India, including high-speed (HS) and low-speed, surged 132 per cent to 2,33,971 units during January 2021 to December 2021 period, as compared to 1,00,736 units sold in the corresponding year 2020, as per the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV).

January 06, 2022. By Manu Tayal

The total sales of electric two-wheeler (E2W) in India, including high-speed (HS) and low-speed, surged 132 per cent to 2,33,971 units during January 2021 to December 2021 period, as compared to 1,00,736 units sold in the corresponding year 2020, as per the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV).
 
Further, the high-speed E2Ws, having a speed greater than 25km/hour and requiring a full license, registered a whopping 425 per cent growth with 1,42,829 units sold in Jan-Dec 2021 period, against 27,206 units in the year 2020.
 
While, the low-speed E2Ws, having speed less than 25km/hour and for which no license and no registration required, sales grew by 24 per cent during 2021 to 91,142 units, from 73,529 units sold in the corresponding period the previous year.
 
According to SMEV, the low speed has had negative growth in the past two quarters of 2021. The market share of the low-speed segment used to be upwards of 70 per cent in all the previous years, and that has dipped to less than 15 per cent in the last quarter of Oct-Dec 2021.
 
Significantly, the low-speed E2Ws are not subsidized under the FAME 2 policy that incentives only high-speed bikes based on their battery capacity at Rs 15000 kwh, which has made the entry-level high-speed E2Ws cheaper than many of the low-speed ones.
 
Commenting on the performance of the industry, Sohinder Gill, Director General, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), said, “we haven’t seen better days than the last few months in the entire EV journey. In the last 15 years, we collectively sold around 1 million e2w, 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 22. The recent positive changes in EV policy through FAME 2 are a game-changer and a decisive move by the government to ensure a cleaner and greener transportation sector, reducing reliance on expensive and contaminated liquid fuel. 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. Going by the recent monthly trends, the next 12 months may see 5 to 6 times the growth over the previous 12 months.”
 
He further said the E2W market is divided into 3 segments, low speed, city speed, and high speed. While the low-speed segment is waning away, the city speed segment (up to 50 km/hr) is gaining traction due to attractive pricing and lower replacement costs of batteries. Adoption in the high-speed segment, i.e., 70 km/hr, is low but may increase in the next few years as the battery prices come down.
 
“Currently, all-electric two-wheelers sold in India are called electric bikes or e-bikes, but in fact, they are either electric motorcycles (around 2% of the market) or electric scooters (98%) that can comfortably seat two people and look like their petrol two-wheeler counterparts. There are no e-scooters like the ones seen in North America or Europe on which a rider can stand and go short distances. Electric cycle sales in India (popularly known as e-bikes globally) are also negligible and just beginning to happen. However, in the next 2 to 3 years, we will have products across all segments, ranging from e-scooters, e-motorcycles, and e-cycles from large and organized players. In four to five years, we can now confidently predict that around 30% of the two-wheeler market will be electric,” Gill explained.
 
He strongly believes that both federal and state policies are acting as strong tailwinds to transform India’s mobility sector to electric and help achieve a reduction in atmospheric pollution as well as the ever-burgeoning crude oil import bill.
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