Total two-wheeler EV registrations grew almost 30% month-on-month to 85,683 units in March
Ola Electric’s two-wheeler EV registrations rose 20% to 21,220 units in March, while TVS Motor was at the second spot with 16,731 units
Ather Energy’s vehicle registrations surpassed the 10,000 mark for the first time in March this year and stood at 12,067 units
Electric two-wheeler registrations surged sharply in March, after months of slump amid the ongoing controversy around the government’s FAME-II scheme, crossing the 85,000 mark for the first time.
With Ola Electric continuing to lead the race, followed by TVS Motor, total two-wheeler EV registrations grew almost 30% month-on-month (MoM) to 85,683 units last month, as per Vahan data (as on April 1).
After reaching a peak of 77,094 registrations in October last year, the registrations for the electric two-wheeler segment were on a decline till January. In February, registrations grew 2% MoM to 65,976 units from 64,637 in January.
While the government is yet to decide the fate of at least 14 two-wheeler EV manufacturers who are under the scanner for allegedly claiming FAME-II subsidies without adhering to the minimum localisation norms, many of them, including Ampere Vehicles, Revolt, Hero Electric, and Okinawa Autotech, saw an upsurge in demand in March.
However, it was Ola Electric which once again emerged as the winner, with nearly 25% share in two-wheeler EV registrations in March. Despite the criticism on social media about its poor after-sales service and concerns over vehicle reliability, the Bhavish Aggarwal-led startup’s registrations rose 20% to 21,220 units in March from 17,716 units in February.
This was the first time Ola Electric surpassed the 20,000 mark. In a statement issued on Friday (March 31), the startup said it clocked its best month ever in March, with sales of over 27,000 units.
It is pertinent to note that last month Ola Electric said it would offer a free upgrade of the front fork arm of S1 scooters. The company’s announcement followed a series of complaints by Ola Electric customers about the front fork arm of the Ola S1 series escooters.
However, the startup said there were no problems with its front fork arm. Meanwhile, Ola Electric opened 50 experience centres across cities in a single day this week. Currently, it has over 400 such centres across the country.
In a recent tweet, Aggarwal said that Ola Electric is looking to open a 500th experience centre by end of April and 1,000th by August 15 this year.
Also, he has announced a price drop of its Ola S1 Pro Scooter to INR 1.25 Lakh from INR 1.30 Lakh earlier.
TVS Motor continued to remain in second place in March with total registrations of 16,731 units, up over 32% from 12,649 in February.
Bengaluru-based Ather Energy’s vehicle registrations surpassed the 10,000 mark for the first time in March this year. Its vehicle registrations grew to 12,067 units in March from 10,069 units in February and 9,230 in January.
While these companies are leading the two-wheeler EV adoption race in India, they are also under the government’s scrutiny. Earlier this year, allegations were made against Ola Electric, Ather Energy, TVS Motor, and Hero Motocorp’s Vida about them claiming FAME-II subsidies by artificially keeping their vehicle prices lower. As per a latest report, representatives from these companies met government officials to present their side of the story.
However, it still does not seem to have created any material impact on their vehicle demand.
Performance Of OEMs Caught Up In FAME-II Subsidy Storm
After facing a severe decline in demand over the last few months, Greaves Cotton’s Ampere saw its vehicle registrations cross the 9,000 mark last month for the first time since October last year, when it had sold 10,065 units. Ampere’s EV registrations jumped 59.5% MoM to 9,333 units in March. In February, its registrations grew slightly to 5,850 units from 4,371 in January.
On the other hand, RattanIndia’s Revolt, which is currently one of the few electric motorcycle manufacturers in the market, saw more than a 1,000% MoM growth in ebike registrations to 1,131 units in March from just 79 units in February and a mere 14 units in January. This is a significant recovery for the company whose vehicle registrations hovered around the 2,000 mark in mid-2022.
Hero Electric also saw over 13% MoM growth to 6,652 registrations in March. Meanwhile, Okinawa Autotech seems to be still struggling in catching up with its 2022 numbers, which had touched almost 15,000 vehicle registrations in the month of October. In March, its EV registrations rose 17% MoM to 4,505 units from 3,846 units in February, In January, its registrations stood at 4,408 units.
In fact, Hero Electric and Okinawa were among the first EV manufacturers whose FAME-II subsidies were stopped by the Centre for violating localisation norms. As per a report, the Centre will soon finalise its action against the two OEMs, which might include legal actions and penalties.
The probe against Jitendra EV, Ampere, Revolt, and many others is reportedly still ongoing.
The Big Picture
As per the Centre’s latest data, India had a total of 21.7 Lakh registered EVs as of March 6.
Vahan data suggests that there were a total of 1.40 Lakh EV registrations in March, up from 1.07 Lakh units in the month prior. Till April 1, total registrations across all EV categories stood at about 3.50 Lakh units in 2023.
Electric two-wheelers contributed a little over 6% to the total two-wheeler registrations in the country. A recent Redseer report projected that the electric two-wheeler penetration in the country will grow to 60%-80% of the total two-wheeler market by 2030.