Royal Enfield has developed prototypes of electric bikes and formed an internal team to not just develop products but to choose the right segment for entering the electric motorcycle space, a top company official said.
Speaking to Moneycontrol, Vinod Dasari, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Enfield said, “Electric is something we have been thinking about for quite some time. We are trying to figure out exactly which segment is the right segment for us. Electric is something we take very seriously.”
Eicher Motor-owned Royal Enfield is the leader in the 350cc and above bike segment in India with brands such as Classic, Himalayan and Interceptor. The company is the first from its industry to share plans about electric motorcycles.
“It is not about whether electric (mobility) will come or not but it’s a question of ‘when’. We did make some prototypes, we have looked at several segments and we will be adding to the team in the near future,” added Dasari.
Last year, the electric two-wheeler market saw a jump of 20 percent in volumes to 152,000 units compared to FY19. This was heavily dominated by cheaper and low-powered electric scooters.
Other bikes makers such as Bajaj Auto, TVS Motor Company, Hero MotoCorp, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha have been working on electric scooters for the domestic market.
Some start-ups such Ultraviolette, Tork Motors, Ather Energy, Revolt Intellicorp and Okinawa have either launched or are in advanced stages of launching an electric motorcycle.
Looking at the booking trend in July, demand is back to pre-COVID levels and is no longer dependent on pent-up demand like June, Dasari added.
Royal Enfield’s July volumes stood at nearly 38,000 units. Though was down 23 percent compared to July 2019, it was slightly higher than the total 36,500 total of June.
To match up with the increase in demand, most of which is coming from the rural pockets and to cater to the festive demand that will start kicking in, Royal Enfield will be starting a second shift at its Chennai manufacturing plant.