Mahindra is currently working on developing an all-electric scooter that is based on the Gusto’s platform, revealed our sister publication Autocar Professional. Sources told Autocar Professional that rather than developing an all-new platform, engineers are working on electrification of an existing scooter.
A tweet by Anand Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra Group, while visiting the two-wheeler R&D facility in Pune said, “A peek at the electric variant under development.” The same facility is also reportedly working on the recently revived Jawa brand.
The Indian two-wheeler manufacturer underwent a major restructure in October 2016, announcing Peugeot Motorcycles (PMTC), Classic Legends and Mahindra Two Wheelers (MTWL) will be the three key pillars that will help to drive the business forward. While Mahindra acquired 51 percent stake in PMTC, it had also inducted the BSA and Jawa brands under its Classic Legends segment.
The electric vehicle programme involving the Gusto scooter is understood to be positioned under the MTWL vertical within the overall two-wheeler business.
Given the government's focus on electric mobility, many two-wheeler OEMs appear to be hitting the ground running.
Bangalore-based start-up, Ather Energy, is readying what it calls India’s first smart electric scooter the S340. Production is planned to begin by December 2017-January 2018. The start-up has been developing the S340 for the last three years and has received strategic investments worth Rs 205 crore from Hero MotoCorp in October 2016.
Hero MotoCorp officials have maintained that the company is following a two-pronged strategy on the potential of its electric two-wheeler business. “While on one side we remain invested in Ather Energy, on the other we are developing our in-house capabilities for developing electric vehicles for the future,” a senior company official told our sister publication Autocar Professional recently. The official remained tight-lipped on Hero MotoCorp borrowing tech from Ather Energy.
Bajaj Auto has also commenced development of electric vehicles by introducing its first battery-powered three-wheeler. Sources suggest that Bajaj has a tentative roadmap detailing its roll out of the electric three-wheeler in India in another 12-18 months. In a recent interview with Livemint, Bajaj Auto MD, Rajiv Bajaj, has revealed that the company is working on a new niche brand within the company named Urbanite. As Bajaj puts it, Urbanite will aim to, ‘do a Tesla in the two-wheeler space.’
The Pune-based start-up, Tork Motorcycles, is looking to enter the electric two-wheeler space with its battery-powered motorcycle called the T6X.
As scooped by Autocar India, TVS Motors is also testing its own electric scooter that is likely to launch late in 2018.