Suzuki Motorcycles has recently made it public that, alongside its new range of electric cars it is also planning to launch an electric scooter in India by 2020. Suzuki Motor Corporation’s two-wheeler division is said to be developing suitable models for Indian auto market. After launching the scooter, company will introduce electric motorcycles in India, sources said.
It is reported that company officials in India have requested due support from its Japanese headquarters. This will help in developing suitable new electric scooter and motorcycle for Indian conditions. A team of five personnel and KPMG have been commissioned by Suzuki Motorcycles India to formulate solutions for the planed electric two-wheeler.
Speaking to ET Auto, Satoshi Uchida, MD – Suzuki Motorcycles India, said that electric scooters are still very expensive. Team is making efforts to find out innovative models that are accessible and have decent range. He reiterates that they will launch the dreamed e-scooter by 2020.
A battery manufacturing unit is planned to be set up in Gujarat. Suzuki has partnered with Denso and Toshiba. They have committed to having a combined investment of INR 1,700 Crore for this project. Seven years ago, way back in 2011, Suzuki Motorcycles had come up with an e-scooter, e-Lets. The Suzuki e-Lets fitted with a tiny 100-volt battery that has a restrictive riding range of 30 km when fully charged. The zero-emission scooter could not become popular because of its limited range.
In 2011, technologies available for electric scooters were not as advanced as they are today. Hence it was not easy to manufacture and market such zero-emission e-scooters. With the passage of time, new technologies have come up, the price of electric batteries has been moderated. It has now enabled motor companies to produce such e-scooters at a reasonable price. It is expected that the new Suzuki e-scooter is believed to be far superior to its previous models.
Government of India is promoting electric 2 wheelers and envisaged a better future for electric 2 wheelers. We can expect large numbers of such vehicles on Indian roads in near future. It is a timely step taken by the company as more and more consumers are looking for eco-friendly two wheelers in India.
After launching the e-scooter in 2020, Suzuki has a plan to launch an electric motorcycle specially designed for Indian consumers. At Suzuki, they understand the complementarity between their effort for electric two-wheelers and that of its four-wheeler counterparts. They believe that the e-scooters will augment the sale of their four-wheeler vehicles in Indian market.
Sources said Suzuki Motorcycles India has launched the Burgman Street gasoline-powered scooter on 19th July this year. In line with its popularity, the motor company has been selling around 40,000 units of the Suzuki Access 125 in India every month. The new model – Burgman is most likely to surpass the previous model in popularity and sale.
Future for electric scooters is bright in India as India always had a strong market for scooters.