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PHOTO CAPTION: BSA Motors executives astride company's electric motor scooters at 2010 Auto Expo in New Delhi.

Electric Scooter Sales in India Remain Sluggish

Of the original 300 players in the market, only four-to-five serious electric scooter manufacturers remain.

Published: 12-Jan-2010

Sales of electric scooters in the country have been sluggish even as manufacturers are trying to improve their products and service network and match consumer expectations.

K K Bhan, managing director of Ultra Motor India, said the category was not growing as anticipated. ‘‘Last year, the industry sold 110,000 e-bikes; this year, it will be less than that. Volumes are small and margins are tight. India is a difficult market to crack,” he said. The nascent industry has been battling on several counts. Though the running cost is low (an eight-hour battery recharge consumes one unit of energy), the battery in an e-bike has to be replaced every 20,000 km, or roughly every year, which costs Rs 8,000-10,000.

“Consumers in India don’t think of the battery as a fuel tank, but as a spare part,” said Bhan. Similarly, even though a customer, on an average, may be driving 30-40 km a day, he is concerned about the limited range (60 km per charge) of these bikes.

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