Shailesh Bhandari, managing director of Electrotherm India, adds that China has quickly upgraded from cycle to electric two-wheelers. Over 70% of the e-vehicles sold in China are the basic 250-w, 20 km per hour vehicles. The growing need for personal transport, tremendous government support, encouragement to switch to an electric vehicle, separate lanes for cycles and e-vehicles and the availability of brands have been the major factors boosting growth in that market, he adds.
The estimated sales of e-two wheelers in 2008 in Japan was 3,00,000 units, in Europe 550,000 units, South-East Asia 800,000 units, and in the USA about 1,70,000 units. The USA and countries in Europe offer subsidies to customers buying e-vehicles.
Bhandari says that the future for the Indian two-wheeler market lies in electric vehicles. Factors such as high fuel prices, poor transport infrastructure, a growing economy where each member of a family needs a personal vehicle, growing environment consciousness will help the transition, though it may not be as fast it was in China.