After zeroing down on the use of renewable energy to power electric vehicles (EV) charging stations, Indian motorcycle giant TVS Motors is now betting on entering the electric two-wheeler market directly, starting with the launch of iQube Electric.
The motorcycle maker unveiled its first electric scooter iQube, on January 25, priced at INR 1.15 Lakh. The electric scooter comes with three lithium-ion battery packs, which comes with a three year or 50 Km warranty and 75 Km range per charge.
Moreover, TVS Motor has also provided a home charging unit that allows iQube Electric users to charge their vehicles at home. The scooter is also installed with a regenerative braking system that maximises charge during the ride as well.
The scooter is powered by a 4.4 kW motor, which allows it to go at a top speed of 78 Km per hour. The company also claims that the scooter is much more cost-effective than a traditional petrol scooter.
TVS’ iQube also has features like geofencing for controlled rides, battery status alerts on smartphones, navigation assistance for finding the nearest charging points and speeding checks.
Currently, the scooter is only available in Bengaluru, but TVS Motors is planning to enter three to four other cities in the next fiscal year. The company’s manufacturing unit, which is set up in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, has the capacity to produce 1K units annually.
At the unveiling, TVS Motors’ joint managing director Sudarshan Venu also announced that it will be rolling out more EV models in a phased manner. He also spoke about the lack of charging infrastructure that might come off as a hurdle for TVS Motors’ expansion plans.
“You have to get somebody to install the chargers at home … Hopefully, Bescom (the power distributor in Bengaluru) will come up with some charging infrastructure that everyone will use…,” Venu added.
Moreover, TVS Motors has taken it upon itself to train mechanics and technicians, in order to provide better services to the customers.
TVS Motors has made attempts to enter the Indian EV market both directly and indirectly, whether through investing for building an efficient and sustainable charging infrastructure or by enabling other EV makers to produce units.
This year, TVS Motors has also decided to invest INR 6 Cr in clean energy generation through solar and wind power for its EV charging infrastructure, under its ‘Group Captive Mode’ initiative.
In 2017, TVS Motors invested in Bengaluru-based electric two-wheeler manufacturer Ultraviolette Automotive. So far, TVS Motors has invested close to $2.5 Mn in Ultraviolette Automotive for 25.76% stake in the company. In 2019, Ultraviolette launched its zero-emission connected electric motorcycle F77.