Electric Scooters Could Dominate India’s Mobility Markets

India had 35 million motorized vehicles in 2019 and this is expected to triple by 2035. 12% were cars but a third were two-wheel scooters and another third were motorized rickshaws.

The top-selling two-wheel scooter is the Honda Activa with a 7 horsepower motor. This is equal to 5.2 kilowatts. The price is $700-740 (50,000 to 54000 Indian rupees) depending upon the exact model. It has 5.2 liters of fuel capacity and gets about 50 kilometers per liter. This is about 260 kilometers of range.

Above is a Honda Activa. Can an electric version displace the gas scooter?

A 2.5 kilowatt-hour battery for an electric two-wheel scooter would get about 100 kilometers of range. There coud be more range with a better drive-train.

China has 90% of the global 40 million units annual e-bike market. There are some that are electric scooters but others are lighter bicycles with electric power. There are annual global sales of 50 million motorcycles, scooters and mopeds every year.

The China battery maker CATL and Tesla are making gigafactories with batteries in the $80-100 per kwh price range.

A 5-kilowatt-hour battery pack with a superior drivetrain using $80 per kwh batteries could enable two and three-wheel electric scooters that could compete directly with the Honda Activa on price and features.

A gigafactory with 50 Gigawatt-hour capacity would be able to supply the batteries for 10 million two and three-wheel scooters every year.

There have been rumors of a new Tesla Gigafactory in India.

SOURCES- Wikipedia, Rocky Mountain Institute, Yourstory
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com (Brian owns shares of Tesla)

16 thoughts on “Electric Scooters Could Dominate India’s Mobility Markets”

  1. There are 10s of millions of e-scooters and e-bikes sold every year.

    They may not be widespread in your particular neighbourhood, but that's different.

  2. True, but that doesn't change the fact that a 2WD electric hub motor based series hybrid scooter with inverter would be quite interesting if brought to production. The real trick though is reducing the size and cost of the electronics (due to needing the generator, power conditioning, battery interface, etc) and needing to simplify to solid state parts/modules to prevent issues. There's the tug between needing passive cooling increasing weight due to heatsinks, and longevity of active cooling components. A diesel cycle Liquid Piston inverse wankel motor might be air coolable at the required size, plus GAN power controls mated to a good heatsink might assist with size, but naturally this will not be a cheap endeavor which goes against the mass market goals.

  3. EV market grew 6x in India in the last 4 years. While admittedly less than 7% of the total, it will likely grow another 6x in the next 8 years.
    So I reject your premise.

  4. Yeah modularity is all well and good, but it's about as aerodynamic as a cinder block. Drag coeffient must be enormous, which isn't exactly a desirable trait in a vehicle where you're trying to eek out every last mile/km of range and minimise range anxiety.
    Would it have been that hard to give it a sloping nose, more like a Toyota Estima and less like a VW camper. Almost as if the VW camper geeks are the target market.

  5. It would take a serious commitment from the Indian government to create a real consumer advantage to the eScooters with taxes and subsidies. Otherwise it would wait some years before batteries are so cheap the market flips on it’s own.

  6. If there was a market for e-scooters they would be widespread by now. There is none. India is no exception. That's because the alternative – petrol/gas powered – is ubiquitous, cheap, easy, and all the other advantages, save for emissions. This is a typical scenario when consumers are faced with the choice of why change from something that works. Unless there are significant advantages (or the government forces you), change won't happen. It's business marketing 101. Most buyers (in India and elsewhere) buy e-scooters and cars for social symbolism. That itself can be a powerful marketing tool, but not enough for real scale.

  7. I wouldn't trust that article very much:

    Kiel-based Neander Motorcycles produces a 1340cc air- and oil-cooled twin producing 112 hp at 4200 rpm and a whopping 214 Nm of torque at 2600 rpm – that’s the sort of grunt that was until recently only associated with a V8 automobile engine. 

    That's only true if the only automobile engine you are aware of is a 1930s Ford flathead V8

  8. This is still common. There are people who will want these batteries and a couple solar panels to connect to their refrigerators.

  9. Many households in India have access to the power grid but how reliable is it nowadays? I worked there a long time ago and there used to be blackouts and brownouts going on for weeks.

  10. Gogoro already makes scooters with swappable batteries as a service.

    Cheaper than gas to buy, cheaper than gas to run.

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