Semiconductor shortage starts chipping into electric two-wheeler sales

With retail sales of 3,328 units in May, Ather Energy was the only electric two-wheeler manufacturer to have witnessed double-digit growth over the previous two months, albeit a low base.

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The electric two-wheeler industry is witnessing a surplus demand, thanks to the rising fuel prices and also the multiple product offerings in the market. In fact, looking at the multiple products in the market, it seems the consumer is spoilt for choice. 

But at the same time, the OEMs have started feeling the pinch of shortage of supplies, which is affecting their ability to produce the vehicles and meet consumer demand. Looking at the sales for the month of May 2022, a total of seven electric two-wheeler manufacturers retailed 32,641 units, which is 22 percent lower than the previous month and 23 percent lower compared to March respectively. Now, arguments have been made that the situation could be a reaction to the various e-scooters catching fire, but it will be too premature to come up to such a conclusion.  

Okinawa Autotech has found itself in the leadership position after several months of coming behind market leaders. In May, the company sold 9,303 units, down 16 percent over the previous month, but an uptick of 12 percent over the month of March. This helped the company pip Ola Electric to become the leader in the electric two-wheeler space, albeit a slight margin of just 72 units.

For Bangalore-based Ola Electric the company delivered 9,231 units, which was 27 percent lower compared to the previous month, but a pointer higher than the month of March. It is interesting to note that unlike its competitors the company has been opening its bookings window in tranches.

Greaves Cotton-owned Ampere Vehicles reported sales of 5,836 units, down 11 percent over April and 8 percent over March respectively. The company recently announced augmenting its manufacturing capacity of e-2W by operationalising the Ranipet plant with the current production capacity of up to 250,000 vehicles per year and expanding the product portfolio with the introduction of Ampere Magnus EX.

With retail sales of 3,328 units in May, Ather Energy was the only electric two-wheeler manufacturer to have witnessed double-digit growth over the previous two months, albeit a low base. In contrast to the competition, the company saw an uptick of 36 percent over April and 49 percent over March respectively.

For the month of May, the country’s largest electric two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero Electric which didn’t ship a single product in the month of April, reported sales of 2,850 units, which also is one of its lowest. This in fact, is the biggest drop in sales in the list of electric two-wheeler makers. Compared to the month of March, the sales were down 78 percent, while compared to April it was down 57 percent respectively.

It is interesting to note that the company has been quite vocal in its approach and has on occasions attributed the situation to the ongoing semiconductor shortage which has impacted not just the Indian but the global automotive industry.

The other players Pure Energy EV and Jitendra EV Tech reportedly sold 1,466 units and 627 units respectively for the month of May.

Looking at the current situation, OEMs world over are grappling with supply chain shocks, and the geopolitical situation has just added to the woes. According to industry watchers, the semiconductor shortage is well expected to continue till 2023. 

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