The Indian electric two-wheeler market is moving from turbulence to shakeout. Four major companies account for 76% of the market share
The Indian electric two-wheeler market is rapidly becoming an oligopoly with four companies – Ola Electric Mobility, TVS Motor, Ather Energy and Bajaj Auto (Chetak Technology) – holding a combined share of 15.8% in January 2022. In September, the share was 75.8%, down 0.6 percentage points from the previous month, but the share of the four companies is expected to increase further from October onwards.
In India, since the introduction of the second phase of FAME-India, an EV promotion initiative, in 2019, electric two-wheelers start-ups have been in a state of flux and more than 100 companies have entered the electric two-wheeler business, but three-quarters of them have stagnated, selling less than 1,000 units per year. Three companies, Okinawa Autotech, Hero Electric and Ampere Vehicle, which were among the top five selling companies in 2022, have also seen a sharp decline in sales after their subsidies were suspended due to fraudulent domestic production of electric components, a condition for the provision of FAME-India subsidies. On the other hand, the four main companies have increased sales of high-performance electric scooters with ex-showroom prices of 110,000-140,000 rupees (approx. 197,000-251,000 yen) after applying the subsidy as their main products. However, sales have been boosted by attracting relatively young middle-income consumers in major cities such as Maharashtra, the financial capital of the state, and Karnataka, the centre of the software and aerospace industries. In particular, electric scooters from Ola Electric Mobility, TVS Motor and Ather Energy are equipped with large touch-screen displays and various smartphone-linked connected functions, as well as a maximum speed of 78-116 km/h and a range of 100-181 km ( ARAI measurement mode) and excellent driving performance. However, as the top selling manufacturer, Ola Electric, is a start-up, quality issues are an issue, and TVS Motor and Baja Auto, which have expertise in quality control of ICE motorcycles, are increasing their EV sales share from August 2023 onwards.
Competition between the four main players is expected to continue, but if battery degradation and inadequate after-sales service for electric two-wheelers already sold come to light, latecomers Honda and Yamaha, which will launch electric two-wheeler products from 2024 onwards, could also be among the top five.