Hero MotoCorp hunting for battery maker to power electric plans

Written by Roudra Bhattacharya | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 13 2014, 13:08pm hrs
Hero MotoCorp is looking at acquiring or tying up with battery makers of electric two-wheelers for access to latest technologies as it develops electric bikes and hybrid scooters for markets like the US and Europe.

Pawan Munjal, vice-chairman, MD & CEO of Hero MotoCorp, said, This is on my mind. We are looking at tie-ups and acquisitions, especially on the battery side. We are almost ready with our hybrid scooter Leap, but are yet to finalise the launch plans, and we are also working on an electric bike called SimpliCity.

Hero MotoCorp, along with its technical partners, has developed several new two-wheeler concepts, including the RNT diesel-hybrid bike it showcased earlier this year. Last year, the company announced a Rs 450-crore investment for its own R&D facility near Jaipur to develop products from the ground up it was earlier prevented from doing so under its JV with Honda, which ended in 2011.

Munjal said the company will launch its vehicles in the crucial US market around June 2016. We have already sent our vehicles for homologation (a process of market certification) in the US. We would set up our distribution, but are undecided on branding, he said.

Back home, Hero will start production at its 1.8-million-units-per-year fifth plant in Gujarat by October-December 2015 while it is also talking to various southern states for a sixth plant. Hero's domestic output is currently 7.65 million units.