By : SHWETA BHANOT MEHROTRA
Despite the turbulent times faced by the automotive industry due to the pandemic, Wardwizard Innovations and Mobility Limited, manufacturers of electric two-wheeler, ‘Joy e-bike’ has been going full throttle and has no plans of slowing down.
The company plans to launch three new two-wheelers this year, enter new export markets and segments, and expand their dealer network and manufacturing capacity to meet the anticipated demand for electric two-wheelers in both, the Indian as well as the overseas markets.
“The automobile sector has been at the receiving end of the global slowdown caused by the contagion. However, the EV segment continues to witness a piqued interest. The pandemic has made people more aware and conscious towards sustainable solutions available in the market,” says Yatin Gupte, Chairman & MD, Wardwizard Innovations and Mobility Limited.
According to ICRA, EV two-wheelers would account for 8-10% of the total new vehicle sales in India by 2025. “Outlook for e2W growth remains healthy and the segment is expected to lead in terms of auto electrification given the upfront price parity with conventional 2W supported by subsidies, and improving battery technology which has mitigated range anxiety and reduced charging infrastructure dependence,” says Shamsher Dewan, Vice President & Group Head, ICRA.
Several States have announced EV policies that augment Central Government's FAME-II in terms of upfront subsidies, along with three-five-year targets for electrification of vehicles, which will support EV growth. “A lot of traction is also seen in the B2B space, with ecommerce and food delivery players’ announcements regarding deployment of EVs in delivery fleets,” says Dewan.
Wardwizard Innovations and Mobility Limited recently inaugurated its ‘state-of-the-art’ manufacturing facility in Vadodara, Gujarat. The plant has an annual production capacity of 100,000 electric two-wheelers in one shift. While the company sources around 40% of components for the product range from abroad and 60% from local suppliers in India, the new manufacturing facility will enable them to localize their products 100%.
“Boosting the Made-in-India electric vehicle production, we will soon be introducing 100% localized high-speed electric scooters. This will meet the demand of the country and also for exports,” adds Gupte.
Citing the demand uptrend in the export markets, the company is also looking at setting up manufacturing facilities in Kerala and West Bengal with a total investment of INR 200 crore. “Around INR 175 crore has already been invested in the projects with the majority of it going into the Gujarat facility. Another INR 100 crore would be invested this year in a phase-wise manner on various things like three-wheeler development, other R&D activities and the rollout of new models,” explains Gupte.
Currently, the company exports its products to Uganda, where it is in the process of acquiring land to set up an assembly plant. “We are also planning to expand our market in other countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana,” says Gupte.
Quizzed on whether the company is looking at a tie-up with a big two-wheeler brand to further strengthen its reach and product lineup, Gupte says, “As of now, we are not looking for any sort of tie-ups. We as a company very strongly believe in our foundation and are determined to work in line with the vision.”
Currently, the company has around 350 dealers across the country and plans to expand it to a total of 600 dealers by end of this year. During the last quarter of FY21, Wardwizard Innovations and Mobility Limited, sold more than 1,623 units of electric two-wheelers as compared to 929 units in the preceding quarter. The company registered the growth of more than 74.70% within a quarter for its popular range of products including both electric motorcycles and scooters. Some of the e2Ws sold by the company under the ‘Joy e-bike’ brand include models such as Skyline, Hurricane, Thunderbolt, Beast, e-Monster, Monster (e-motorcycles), Glob, Wolf, and Gen Next Nanu E-Scooter (e-scooters).
In terms of popularity in the e-2W segment, scooters are in a lead vis-a-vis the motorcycles. This trend is expected to continue over the medium-term as scooters, with their urban centric clientele and lower engine power, are conducive for faster electrification. In terms of volume, ICRA highlights that low-speed (lead-ion battery) electric scooters constitute the majority of sales. “However, in the past 1-2 years, hi-speed, Li-ion based e2Ws have garnered consumer interest and popularity,” explains Dewan.
On the other hand, global markets are more bound towards high-speed products and the demand is different in terms of need and aspirations of the customer. “Those markets have a more matured mind set towards electric mobility and hence the demand for high power products,” explains Gupte.