World EV Day 2020 Special: Top Five EV Two-Wheeler Milestones Of India
Modified On Sep 14, 2020 05:54 PM By Benjamin Noel Gracias
We celebrate this day by retracing our country’s EV journey
September 9 is celebrated as World EV Day across the globe and used as a means to recognise the contribution of electric vehicles towards a cleaner environment. We have decided to celebrate this day in our own way by looking back at the important milestones in our country’s two-wheeler EV journey.
Ather Shows the Electric Way
Bangalore-based EV startup, Ather Energy, was the first indigenous EV brand that went the whole hog. In June 2018, it not only introduced an electric scooter but also a dedicated charging infrastructure. Even its 340, 450 and 450X electric scooters pushed the envelope in terms of performance and technology both in India and on the world stage. We got an opportunity to ride its latest creation, the 450X, and here are our riding impressions.
We Get Electric Motorcycles As Well
While electric scooters dominate the electric two-wheeler industry, a few startups have been working on electric motorcycles as well. Revolt launched India’s first electric motorcycles in the form of the RV 300 and RV 400 in August 2019. While these motorcycles catered to the practical side of things, Bengaluru-based electric startup, Ultraviolette Automotive, unveiled its sporty F77 electric motorcycle in November 2019. Besides a powerful motor, the motorcycle also gets premium underpinnings. Another Bengaluru-based startup, Emflux Motors, is working on an electric superbike and super naked. We also get an electric mini-bike in the form of the Joy e-bike Monster.
Major Bikemakers Join the Electric Bandwagon
Motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto went back to its scooter-making roots and introduced its first electric scooter, the Chetak, in January 2020. TVS Motors toyed with the idea of an electric scooter with its Creon concept at Auto Expo 2018 and finally launched the iQube electric scooter in January 2020. Hero MotoCorp recently showcased its upcoming eMaestro electric scooter while Vespa is working on a made-in-India electric scooter. These developments are a good indicator of how serious the Indian auto industry is about electric vehicles.
Auto Expo Shows the Future of Scooters in India
Another great indicator was the Auto Expo 2020 which was dominated by electric vehicles. The expo was not just about the vast number of electric scooters and motorcycles, but also the customisation possibilities with an electric platform. We saw a couple of electric maxi-scooters from Everve and Okinawa, an electric trike from Hero Electric as well as a faired electric motorcycle.
Government Pushes for EV Subsidies
While the Centre’s FAME II pushed for electric vehicle subsidies and improved charging infrastructure, the State governments of Delhi and Telangana plan to offer a waiver on road taxes and registration charges for electric vehicles plus an additional incentive of up to Rs 30,000 on the purchase of new electric two and three-wheelers. The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has developed a new hybrid powertrain technology for two-wheelers that enables them to run on both fuel and battery power. This setup can be retrofitted to existing petrol-powered two and three-wheelers and is said to offer better performance and fuel efficiency with reduced emissions.