TVS Motor Company will invest more than originally planned in electric vehicles to accelerate the launch of new products and increase production capacity.
The Chennai-based company will make its only electric two-wheeler, iQube, available across the country by the end of the year, up from a handful of cities now.
“For new products, especially for EVs, we are investing more than what we had planned at the beginning of the year, which is why there is an additional Rs 200 crore,” said KN Radhakrishnan, director and CEO of TVS Motor.
The maker of Apache and Jupiter two-wheelers had lined up Rs 100 crore for EVs in FY22 but decided to revise the amount upward recently. Consequently, capital expenditure for FY22 has been increased to Rs 800 crore from Rs 600 crore planned earlier.
“We have a capacity of 10,000 per month as of now for EVs. Next year, we will enhance this capacity, the work for which has already started. This will be for iQube and other EVs that we have planned,” Radhakrishnan added.
Kochi became the latest city to have the iQube, TVS’s first all-electric scooter, which was launched in January 2020. The battery-powered scooter with a range of 75 km is available in New Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Coimbatore and Bengaluru.
Officials at India’s third-largest two-wheeler maker said more cities will be added progressively and the vehicle will be available across the country by the end of the current year.
“As of now, the investment planned for this year is for creating and building a product portfolio, next level of capacities and market development including the ecosystem,” Radhakrishnan added.
Rivals such as Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto are stepping on the accelerator on electric vehicles. Hero has committed to enter the space in FY22, while Bajaj Auto has created a new subsidiary that will house its EV business.
The surge in activity by these companies is concurrent to startups such as Ola Electric, Ather Energy and Ampere Vehicles, which have launched their electric vehicle models or are in advanced stages of doing so.
“(TVS) management has highlighted increased focus on EVs with a strong product pipeline and a Rs 1,000 crore investment plan. EV launches are targeted at segments such as premium scooters, high-performance sporty motorcycles, commuter space, delivery market and three-wheelers,” financial services group Emkay said in a report.
TVS has set up an EV-dedicated team with over 500 engineers housed in a separate vertical.
“It is also developing an integrated vehicle architecture with a critical backend manufacturing of batteries and other critical parts managed in-house. It is eyeing partnerships to create an ecosystem of public charging infrastructure,” Emkay added in its report.