Lohia Auto is a part of Rs 630 crore Lohia Group and it is one of the leading electric vehicle manufacturers in India.
As the Indian electric vehicle industry grew by over 37 per cent as per Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles in the quarter ended March, 31, the electric vehicle manufacturers are upbeat on the future of the sector in India. Lohia Auto, a part of Rs 630 crore Lohia Group, has increased its expenditure on R&D and has tied up with US-based UM Motorcycles to launch its cruiser bike in India. The cruiser bikes are expected to be priced between Rs 1.45 lakhs to Rs 1.70 lakhs and its top speed will be around 125 kmph. In his interaction with FE Online, Ayush Lohia, CEO of Lohia Auto talks about firm revenue and other projects. Excerpts:
Q. You have tied-up with US-based UM Motorcycle for cruiser e-bikes. When can we expect its rollout?
We have tied up with UM for petrol run cruiser bikes which we will rollout in the month of August.
Q. Since 2008, how far have you reached in terms of business growth?
Since our incorporation, our main goal is to maintain our customer trust by providing 360 degree service. When we started we were only into electric 2W, but now with our own in house strong R&D team we are manufacturing Diesel 3W, and In-house and indigenous development electric Rickshaw with almost 100% localisation. With the multiple products, we have double our sales over last year and hope to grow further and aim to do 500 cr turnover by 2020.
Q. How do you see the growth of electric scooter & Electric Rickshaw segment?
The revolutions of electric vehicles have already started in India and we see a tremendous growth for electric vehicles in India. Central and state governments are encouraging Electric Vehicles and recognizing that in future India don’t need to depend on fossil fuel imports and can leap frog to Electric Vehicles. We see a strong growth on the back of central government support in electric Scooter business. By 2020 central government plans to spend Rs 14000 crore. On the other hand electric rickshaw has able to prove itself as only viable option for last mile connectivity. We see a tremendous opportunity as it poised to replace pedal rickshaw and can be a solution for people transportation from Bus Stand, Railway or Metro station and can be a very cost effect no pollution solution for transportation.
Q. What are the main hurdles in the way of growth of electric bikes/scooter segment?
Electric vehicles are almost 1.5 times of gasoline vehicles and State government levies like VAT, RTO etc nullify the benefit of central government subsidy, Consumers Awareness and benefit of electric vehicles are still not known, Government has to create Charging Infrastructure to promote these vehicles. Technologies not yet updated particularly batteries. Also, electric vehicles are incomparable to equivalent vehicles, unless supported from outside.
Q. What is your future expansion plan?
The combined manufacturing capacity of this plant is 1 lakh vehicle annually. Lohia has undertaken an investment of Rs 50 Crore in creating this facility and it intend to invest 10 crore in next 2 years. The next focus area for Lohia is to increase its market penetration and create an all India dealer network. We plan to have more than 150 dealerships in this financial year. Our R&D is continuously working in developing new and improving our products next in pipeline is high speed electric scooter and a fully battery operated 3 wheeler. Being an emerging player in electric two and 3 wheeler. By 2020, Lohia intend to cross 500 crore market revenue.
Q. Electric scooters, e-rickshaw face durability issue. How you plan to counter this?
Lohia is one of the very first players who have their own state of the art manufacturing facility in Kashipur (Uttarakhand). Lohia plant at Kashipur, Uttarakhand uses futuristically designed state-of-the-art equipment, managed by one of the most modern Cloud-ERP technology, with a capacity to roll out 1,00,000 vehicles annually. It has a high level of vertical integration and a large share of local suppliers. We ensure best quality products, better after sales service, authentic spare parts availability at our dealership and service centers & we also provide two years extended warranty for our e-rickshaws. We are the only company in India which has Indigenous designs and almost 100% localisation.