The Indian e-cycle market trending its way to 2022

by Team Conscious Carma

The climate change coupled with the pandemic has led to an unprecedented increase in the number of cyclists all around the globe.  Be it to cover short distances or to stay healthy, people are getting on to cycles.  And e-cycle is going to be the most trending mobility vehicle in the year 2022.

The pressing need to curb carbon emissions together with significant improvement in technology has put a global focus on e-mobility in recent years. As India aims to tread the model of smart and sustainable cities, e-mobility is poised to play an important role in achieving this goal Aditya Munjal, CEO, Hero Lectro

Conscious Carma in a candid chat with the country’s leading e-cycle manufacturer, Hero Lectro on the growing share of e-cycles in the e-mobility market of India and the way ahead.

1. What does 2021 reflect on India’s e-mobility scenario

The Indian e-cycle market is growing steadily at a CAGR of 55% as per the forecast period of 2021-2026, and the pandemic has acted as a major trigger in the adoption of e-cycles, with consumers seeking healthier, sustainable and affordable mobility solutions. Today, about 300 million people in the country commute for various needs and about 70 % of that number commutes within 20 km daily. According to our consumer audit reports, a huge segment of our customers (30%+) have adopted e-cycles for their daily commute and we have recorded over 100% growth in sales from May to October 2021 over 2020. Increasingly, people are beginning to understand the value proposition of e-cycles and are willing to switch from their regular modes of commute, which is a very positive sign for the sector. 

2. Can you please list down some of the initiatives and policies are taken by the government to promote the e-mobility sector

The Indian government has introduced various e-mobility initiatives in order to provide an eco-friendly alternative for both commercial and private transportation. While various state governments have rolled out policies that actively encourage the use of EVs, consideration for e-cycle inclusive initiatives are at a nascent stage. There are certain efforts by the state governments to improve cycling infrastructure, for example, as part of a recent project, the Delhi government is redesigning 540km of the city roads and adding more cycling tracks to it. The Delhi Development Authority in Dwarka is also developing a 16 km cycling corridor while the South Delhi Municipal Corporation is looking to set up 82 e-cycle stations connecting residential areas, metro stations and landmark spots in the city.

Though e-cycles are known to be the highest selling products across all forms of e-mobility, we still have a long way to go as far as incentives for this segment.  While India is only beginning to take a step towards democratizing e-cycles usage, countries such as the UK and Europe have extensively invested in this space.

Paris is known to have 1,400 docking points with 20,000 bicycles, while London has 750 docking stations with close to 12,000 bicycles. The UK government has also introduced subsidies on the purchase of e-cycles, which according to research reveals that 66% of the country’s population is looking to adopt e-cycles because of this initiative.

We, at Hero Lectro, are working with central and state governments to include e-cycles under various government schemes so that e-cycles can be more affordable and accessible to a larger segment of society. Our vision is to grow the category of e-cycles In India and make it mainstream. In the long term, we want to democratize e-cycles across all segments and all strata of society and make it an integral element of personal mobility in the country.

3.. Consumer behaviour towards e-mobility

We have seen a growing level of awareness around e-mobility in the country, with higher interest and acceptance for EVs among consumers. Since the pandemic, the emergence of short-distance commutes has grown and people are willing to make a shift towards an affordable, sustainable and efficient mobility solution.

We see users taking a use-case approach, on both the personal and commercial fronts. While some are using it for micro-mobility needs such as running errands, many others are using it for reasons such as fitness, commute to work etc.

We see the youth, in the age group of 18-35 as the biggest adopters of e-cycles, given their inherent nature to experiment as well as seek newer and more connected experiences. And because of that we believe that e-cycles today are not just a means of commuting but also a smart connected device for their lifestyle needs.

4. Similarly, what are the actions taken by Hero Group towards e-mobility business and action plan for 2022

We see several factors that will accelerate the growth and adoption of e-cycles in India. With rising fuel costs, increased congestion, pollution, parking hassles, and time to travel, e-cycles are best poised to address these challenges owing to their cost-effectiveness, ease of use, low maintenance safety and added benefits such as fitness and sustainability.

Today, we have a robust omnichannel sales and distribution network with  600 outlets + eCommerce channels, across 150 cities in India. We have seen healthy contributions from across Metros, Tier II and Tier III cities. Because of the multiple use cases of an e-cycle and the benefits, it provides from both savings on travelling cost, health and even the environment, the adoption of Hero Lectro E-Cycles has been panned India.

As we move into 2022, we see commute as the biggest use case for e-cycles, both from a personal and commercial perspective. With most companies returning back to offices over time, e-cycles are estimated to gradually replace public transport utilities, and we intend to tap into the office going community to drive the adoption of e-cycles. With the eCommerce business booming in India, we see the logistics and last-mile delivery segment as a huge opportunity for growth, and to that extent, we are in talks with e-commerce partners and rental companies to add e-cycles into their fleet.

From a regulatory perspective, we are working with central and state governments to include e-cycles under various government schemes so that e-cycles can be more affordable and accessible to a larger segment of the society. Our vision is to grow the category of e-cycles In India and make it mainstream. In the long term, we want to democratize e-cycles across all segments and all strata of society and make it an integral element of personal mobility in the country.

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