EV sales zoom amid Covid doom
New Delhi THE ongoing 2nd wave of Covid-19 pandemic in India has not dampened the spirits of electric vehicle (EV) industry with this particular automobile sector registering a positive trend in second consecutive year. Bizz Buzz spoke to EV automobilemanufactures, and other allied companies to know the reasons behind the emerging popularity of this segment.
Earlier in May, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) released the data on sale of vehicles for April. As per the data,electric vehicle sales in April zoomed 83 per cent to 817 units compared to the same month a year ago. SIAM, however, doesn't count EV three-wheeler segment as it largely remains with the unorganised sector.
Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM,said, "Presently the share of new EVs in the overall vehicle sales of SIAM members is miniscule and we believe that with rise in demand of EVs in due course, there would be more models and variants of EVs, thereby ushering in an overall growth in the Indian vehicle market".
Ankit Kumar, CEO, GoZero Mobility, an e-bike startup, said that Covid-19 pandemic, first and second wave, had little impact on the demands but the manufacturing aspect has been hit significantly. The company has two assembling units in India, one based in Kolkata and the other in Gurgaon with a combined manufacturing capacity of 4,000 units/year. "The impact of 2nd wave has not been much as compared to the 1st wave, the nation-wide lockdown in 2020, which impacted everything. In the second wave, we got some exemptions under State-wise lockdown.Our factories are open in Gurgaon and we are trying to work on small-shift basis. We've kept our profit margins pretty much intact for this year". Gujarat-based Savy Electric Vehicles Ltd., which manufactures three-wheeler EVs, was catering largely to the tourism and hospitality as of March 2020. It is now venturing into medical and pharma sectors and tying up with State governments for heavy load duties.
"We are accepting government tenders for heavy load garbage vehicles. We hope this will reduce the loss we incurred in the last year. But this year as well we might be witnessing lower profit margins. We are expanding our business and operations through dealer network," DhawalSoni, Marketing Head, Savy Electric Vehicles said.
With growing popularity of EVs in the domestic market, many EV companies are drawing up plans to launch their products in the country. One such company is Sema Connect which established EV infrastructure in the United States. Prashant Radhakrishnan, Vice President, Head of Sales and Marketing (India), SemaConnect, said," the decision to launch our products in India was taken in 2020 and there were some driving factors behind it. We wanted to expand our market base. We've been in India for a long time, our complete manufacturing has been from India, we saw a lot of interesting new products coming into the market. We knew that India is now getting ready to drive into EV space in a big way".
India is now in the top five passenger vehicles markets in the world. Given the government policies and entry of new two-wheeler brands such as Ather, Bajaj Chetak, TVS and now Ola Electric in the EV space, we decided to enter the market, he added.