Hero Electric has raised Series B funding of Rs 220 crore, led by Gulf Islamic Investments (GII) along with participation from OAKS (the EV maker had earlier raised an additional Rs 140 crore from OAKS in 2018). This is the biggest funding Hero Electric has raised till now; before 2018, the Hero group family supported the company. “We will allocate this investment towards expanding production capacity, strengthen market leadership, invest in futuristic technologies, and grow our overall footprint,” Naveen Munjal, MD, Hero Electric, told FE. “The EV market has undergone tremendous change over the last few years since we raised our first round of funding. Today’s policies are extremely conducive for the growth of the segment, and we aim to sell over 10 lakh electric two-wheelers per year in the next couple of years.”
Right now, with petrol prices rising and FAME-2 providing higher subsidies to EVs, Munjal added it’s a golden moment for the EV segment. “Earlier if electric two-wheelers were more affordable than petrol two-wheelers only in terms of the total cost of ownership, now even in terms of sticker price EVs are more affordable,” he said. Hero Electric’s Optima HX, a ‘city speed’ variant with a speed of more than 42 km/h and a range of 82 km, costs Rs 53,600 in Delhi, which is more affordable than a petrol two-wheeler of a similar size. The company’s most expensive vehicle, the Photon HX (range of 108 km), costs Rs 71,440.
Munjal added that range anxiety is no longer an issue as far as its vehicles are concerned. “We offer EVs that can run 80 km to 210 km. Our EVs have modular batteries. The battery weighs around 9 kg and a customer can take out the battery from the two-wheeler and charge it at her home, even as another battery stays inside the vehicle.” Hero Electric is also expanding its charging infrastructure. “We have already installed 1,650 charging stations across India, and the plan is to increase it to about 20,000 in the next two years,” he said. “We have seen that wherever we’ve installed charging stations, sales in that area have gone up tremendously, even though we’ve noticed that customers don’t use that charging infrastructure because they are charging at their homes.” Hero Electric, in FY22, plans to sell 1 lakh electric two-wheelers and is looking to build a manufacturing capacity of 3 lakh units per year over the next two years, and 10 lakh units per year after that.
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