Electric two-wheelers don’t require charging infrastructure: Naveen Munjal, Hero Electric

Range anxiety remains a top concern people have against electric vehicles. However, with electric two-wheelers, it isn't the lack of charging stations that should be a deterrent to buying them. Hero Electric's Naveen Munjal tells us more.

By:December 26, 2019 5:20 PM

hero electric naveen munjal

The biggest concerns over the adoption of electric vehicles in India are the lack of charging infrastructure and the length of charging times. But ever so often, it has been said by people in positions that can make a change that a good approach to a smooth transition to electric mobility is to begin with public transport and two-wheelers. This year in July, government advisory body Niti Aayog came up with a proposal that all two-wheelers under 150cc should be all-electric starting 2025. This got major two-wheeler manufacturers in a knot with the likes of Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company outrightly opposing the proposal. Their concerns are not unfounded considering that India is the world’s largest two-wheeler market and the majority of these sales come from the segments below 150cc.

2019 proved to be quite an eventful year when it comes to electric vehicles in India and the world over. We came across a number of new startup companies that have already launched electric two-wheelers in the country or are preparing to launch early next year. For example, Revolt Motors, Gemopai, Benling India, Ultraviolette Automotive, Evolet, Orxa Energies, Polarity, and others.

naveen munjal hero ealectric

We’ve had a word with most of the men and women leading these companies and one opinion has been found to be similar – charging infrastructure is not required for the smooth functioning of electric two-wheelers on our roads.

In a recent conversation with Naveen Munjal, Managing Director, Hero Electric and President, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), he said that Hero Electric’s current focus is on electric two-wheelers that serve as reliable and convenient commuters. When asked about whether Hero Electric would roll out a performance electric two-wheeler, he opined that it is rather simple to increase top speeds but then you’d have to increase the size of the batteries which means adding more weight which beats the purpose of convenience.

For example, most Hero Electric two-wheelers come with portable battery packs that weigh under 10 kg which is feasible to carry to your office or to your apartment to charge. Compare this to electric two-wheelers with higher top speeds and the battery weighs some 19 kg which could put off some buyers who have a bit of a walk to get to their apartment from the parking.

The point to underline here is that the concepts of battery swapping stations and battery packs that can charge in under five minutes need more work. For now, to get electric mobility off the ground is through two-wheelers which promise about 60-80 km of range in one charge and buyers who plan to use these for limited runs within the city. Munjal also said that about 80-90% of Hero Electric buyers use their two-wheelers for runs of 4 km or under. And that is why charging infrastructure isn’t the need of the hour for electric two-wheelers and also, their current absence is not a reason to feel anxious towards two-wheeled electric mobility.

480 km range in just 10 minutes of charge! New electric car battery that could be charged even faster

He added that it is a lot to do with perspective as well, saying that we’re all very used to fuel filling stations but in fact, to top up an electric two-wheeler’s range, you don’t even have to do a trip to one of the stations – you can do it at home.

Towards the end of the conversation, Munjal said that Hero Electric will be present at the upcoming 2020 Auto Expo with new products that will be launched over the next 10-11 months. We’ll be present at the Auto Expo floor to bring you details live from the venue so do tune in on 5-6 February 2020.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Latest Auto News