After Bajaj and TVS, India’s largest two wheeler maker Hero Motocorp was planning to launch an electric two-wheeler by first half of 2022, a senior executive of the company today said.

Hero's entry into the electric vehicle market will give a push to India’s electrification plan. “Though there is no firm timeline, we will be looking to enter the EV market by calendar year 2022,” Niranajan Gupta, Chief Financial Officer at Hero said.

It must be noted that Hero Group already has an electric mobility division -- Hero Electric -- which is likely to remain a separate entity. In August 2019, Hero Electric launched two e-scooters -- Optima ER and Nyx ER

Simultaneously, the company’s strength in the entry level segment is going to be an added advantage as this segment is expected to be the first to switch over to electric in the coming years, according to experts.

The company last month had tied up with Taiwanese electric two-wheeler maker Gogoro to accelerate the shift to sustainable electric mobility in India which will see the Indian bike maker develop Gogoro's battery swapping stations. Additionally, the collaboration also includes Hero-branded EVs that will be powered by Gogoro Network vehicles.

Battery swapping is seen as an effective way to get around the problem of lack of charging stations in India and is believed to be highly effective for B2B fleet and delivery services.

“Gogoro has a rich learning in the battery swapping segment. We are going to utilise that. You can see a lot of action on the electric vehicle front in the first half of 2022

The company has also invested in EV start-up Ather where it is the largest shareholder with a 35 per cent stake.

Hero's direct rivals Bajaj and TVS have already forayed into the EV space with the Chetak and iQube, respectively.

Hero has a three prong approach to approach the EV market- its investment in Ather, our own research development at Jaipur and Germany, and the internal start-up.

“The future is electrification. We are seeing that happening across the world. All of them are progressing at a fast pace. Ather has been expanding very fast, opening up more and more dealerships. It recently introduced products that have been well accepted by the market. The founders are following their vision in a focused approach,” Pawan Munjal, chairman and chief executive of the company had said recently.

Original Source (with minor editing) - Business Standard

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