India versus China, versus the rest

Updated: Jun 30 2009, 07:13am hrs
China is the worlds largest producer and consumer of electric two-wheelers. Of the 22 million two-wheelers sold in the country, 17 million are electric two-wheelers. A favourable policy framework has been key to this growth, says Naveen Munjal, chief executive of Hero Electric.

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.