Hero MotoCorp Chairman, Pawan Munjal has said that electric bike prices to be three times the cost of a petrol-powered motorcycle, especially when compared to the current prices of 100cc commuter bikes in India. Currently, the price of 100cc commuter bikes is in the range of Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000. Mr Pawan Munjal feels until the cost of batteries does not reduce, electric bike prices will continue to be high and will not replace the 100cc four-stroke petrol-powered motorcycles anytime in the recent future.
In an interview with Times Of India, Mr Pawan Munjal said, "It is a big concern. The scale-up to electric can't be sudden from 2030 but rather needs to be done gradually,". He added that Hero has begun developing electric two-wheelers that it plans to introduce over the next few years.
Hero MotoCorp's development of electric bikes comes over and above its investment in start-up Ather Energy, which is looking to launch electric two-wheelers in India. "Serious work is being carried out by Hero on the matter, and we are testing electric prototypes."
He even requested the government to be clear in its intentions to set up support infrastructure for electric mobility. "There should be clarity. There should be a roadmap. Please let us know." He assured that the industry would support towards attaining the goal towards electric mobility once several problems were clarified. "We are making significant investments towards this effort."
In regards to incentives, he added that the present cost structures would not assure affordability. "How can our customers afford the vehicles. The companies cannot be subsidising the purchases."
DriveSpark's Thought About Electric Bike Prices
Hero MotoCorp is presently focusing on premium motorcycles by unveiling the Xtreme 200R and an entry-level adventure motorcycle, the XPulse, which were showcased at Auto Expo 2018. Hero MotoCorp will wait till there is a robust electric vehicle policy before it shifts gear and begins offering affordable electric bikes in India.