Let us talk about two of the best electric 2-wheeler makers in India that look the most promising at this point…
There is a massive push towards electrification of 2-wheelers and we have almost one new start-up debuting every other month. Growing sales of electric scooters and motorcycles also suggest that people are beginning to accept the idea and adoption could pick tremendous pace in the times to come.
While the legacy makers haven’t pushed the envelope, it is the new ones that are making a lot of noise. Among them here are my two top bets in the mass market segment.
Most Promising Electric 2-Wheeler Start-ups
Ather – Backed by Hero MotoCorp, clearly Ather is T-H-E maker that looks the most balanced. One ride of its 450X and you know things look sorted – big time! Making machines needs a lot of experience, understanding and hard work and while experience will come with time, Ather clearly is not gunning for insane numbers – of any kind! It took its time to understand the market and the products it has introduced so far are the most appealing – with quality!
Simple Energy – You may argue that Simple Energy does not have a product in the market at this point. All we have of them is some prototype that it has shown, apart from some promises. But I see it a little different! Simple had a product ready and going by the extreme low quality some rival products were launched with, it (Simple) could have been in the market many months ago. However, it choose to sit back and learn – do the product – understand the making and ensure eventual customers do not become its testers. This, obviously, is under the hope that the One that we are about to get this month will be full of quality.
Why NOT Ola – the largest seller – in the List…?
I am still skeptical about Ola despite it being the top seller in this space. Unlike the two I mentioned above, Ola did not make (and learn from) its products from the scratch. It had a lot of money – it bought some Netherlands based company (Etergo) that had a product called Appscooter. This Appscooter is what it is selling in India as S1 (and its variants), however, with a lot of Indianisation!
If just Indianisation could cause this insane amount of issues its products faced (some serious), I fret to think of the time when Ola will make its own, indigenous product. Though Ola does appear to be settling down with its issues, but here comes the second, and a bigger problem! It has announced to venture in the electric car space!
The problem with Ola is that it is trying to do a lot of things at an unbelievably low time. Making and selling reliable 2-wheelers (or even cars) takes a lot of time and effort and learning. But we must give it to them for being the most aggressive and clearly, they have pushed legacy makers to sit up and act.
It will be very interesting five years down the line and we will be the ones to witness all the transition. Let us see if any one of these makers make it to the top or will the legacy makers continue to run the show…?