Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma has announced that he will soon launch an electric two-wheeler brand in India by June this year. Micromax has long been a peoples champion brand, that could easily be associated with the democratisation of smartphones in India. In recent years, the brand has been tottering, unable to keep pace with the fast evolving consumer electronic goods market. This could be one of the reasons that their founders are looking for greener pastures. Sharma made the announcement yesterday, saying that the brand will assemble the electric two-wheelers in India, but will still look to import electric motors, batteries and cells. Although they do plan to manufacture the controller units in India.
Not to be misconstrued as a Micromax brand, especially considering their announcement last year that said they would enter the electric vehicle market, this will be a Solo venture by Sharma under an independent brand name. Details of the brand name, its mission statement and what we should expect are likely to be made available closer to the launch date. What we do know as of now, is that there is a 45- member panel that is looking into the R&D of the vehicles and likely trying to gain a better understanding of the Indian market. Concurrently, Sharma also disclosed that the brand will start with an investment of Rs 500 Crore and a 1 lakh sq feet facility in Haryana’s Manesar just outside Gurgaon.
As of now, the brand’s vision is to sell out of both franchises and online mediums, with vehicles delivered right to your doorstep, with a launch target set for the end of June. What will be interesting is to see, Sharma’s pricing strategy consider the present market environment. Brand’s like Hero Electric already hold a large market share for electric vehicles, with Ather Motors taking the premium way. Neither have really been able to impress as far as sales vis-a-vis conventional vehicles.
It would seem that the time is right, for a high-value-for-money electric vehicle with a strong price point that is comparable to ICE vehicles without missing out on all the cool features that high-end electric vehicles get. This is something that Micromax had achieved in India with mobile phones, it remains to be seen whether they can repeat the same success with electric vehicles.
Image Source: Smart-Energy