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It is silent, has zero direct emissions, and riding it doesn’t require a driver license. While a few automotive purists complain about inadequate torque and the lack of the feel of an internal combustion engine, the government favours the battery -operated conveyance machine. The advent of electric scooters in India a few years ago has led to a great big revolution in the two-wheeler market. eScooters created a buzz after Ola recently announced its full scale facility in Tamil Nadu that could churn out whopping numbers of their electric scooters.

Several of the eScooter manufacturing and distribution companies are based out of South India and Tamil Nadu has the most of them. Kerala features Yed and Karnataka features Bounce, while Tamil Nadu is home to Ather, Greaves (Ampere), VikeBike and the good ol’ TVS.

With growing popularity and numbers, the eScooter market has shot up in the state over the past two years with promising growth in the future.

To begin with, the Ather Energy production facility in Hosur that was established in January 2021 boasts of an annual production capacity of 1,10,000 scooters and 1,20,000 battery packs. If that’s not enough, Ather Energy will step-up their production capacity to 400,000 per annum after they open their second manufacturing unit in 2022, again at Hosur.

As of November 2021, Ather Grid (the electric vehicle charging network of Ather Energy) has already set up over 220 fast charging points in23 cities across India.

Several of the eScooter manufacturing and distribution companies are based out of South India and Tamil Nadu has the most of them. Kerala features Yed and Karnataka features Bounce, while Tamil Nadu is home to Ather, Greaves (Ampere), VikeBike and the good ol’ TVS.

The Ola Electric Mobility mega-factory at Krishnagiri looks through the future to build a network of charging stations. Ola aims at spending $2 billion (INR 15,000 Crores) on research, development and installing an electric scooter charging network in the next five years. The fact that Ola is willing to invest such a large amount proves that their market research shows a multi-fold growth in eScooter sales in the future.

Another major player is ‘Simple Energy’ with their impressive INR 2,500 Crore investment chalked out in multiple phases over the next five years. Their extra-terrestrial like looking ‘Simple One’ eScooter claims a range of 236 kilometers, the highest among the Indian made EVs if not the world.

If you think the Ather 450X can really perform with its 26 Nm torque and 0-40 KMPH acceleration that takes only 3.3 seconds, the Simple One is not a simple one at all. The company ‘Simple Energy’ claims that their Simple One has a torque figure almost three times more than the Ather 450X at 76 Nm.

The Simple One, as is claimed by the company uses its torque very well to give it a 0-40 KMPH acceleration in just 2.95 seconds under “ideal conditions”. Not to mention the top speed of 105 KMPH while compared to the Ather’s 80 KMPH and 116 Kilometer certified range. We are pretty impressed with the figures of the Simple One on paper, but can it really perform that well? We just have to wait and see.

Coming to Tamil Nadu’s rather traditional approach towards the electric two wheeler market, like the company ‘Yed’ in Kerala, the ‘VikeBike India Pvt. Ltd’ targets the buyers with a budget. These companies do not have those fancy 12 digit funding like Ola does; however, it is the vision and mission of the owners that matter.

The VikeBike stable has a good range of e-bikes, e-scooters and even heavy duty electric two wheelers to choose from. There is a VikeBike for every age group in offer. The hip youngster could choose the stylish ‘Vike Xmen’, the new generation Queen-of-her-life could choose the trendy ‘Vike Queen S+’, the down-to-earth practical individual could opt for the ‘Vike V1’ or the ‘Vike Nispa’.

The hustler among the e-bike lovers could opt for the ‘Vike Cargo Heavy Duty’ so that he/she could work hard in silence while achieving success too! These are not all; there are more EVs (Electric Vehicles) from VikeBike which we will get into detail in another article perhaps.

Oh, the good old TVS has not been sitting idle. In fact, TVS has been doing all the hustling in silence. In 2018, TVS had invested heavily on a Bangalore based performance e-motorcycle company ‘Ultraviolette Automotive’. The design and performance of the e-motorcycle is no less than a 250cc category internal combustion counterpart.

Earlier this week, the Ultraviolette F77 model won another round of funding from TVS ahead of its launch. This motorcycle is certain to create a monopoly in the performance e-motorcycle segment as India is yet to get a competitor for this silent monster.

Coming to Tamil Nadu’s rather traditional approach towards the electric two wheeler market, like the company ‘Yed’ in Kerala, the ‘VikeBike India Pvt. Ltd’ targets the buyers with a budget.

TVS has also developed its own e-scooter, the iQube which is creating waves around the e-scooter market for being stable with a bulky design. In a major move towards reaching the foreign manufacturers, TVS Motor Company announced a few days ago that their long standing collaboration with BMW Motorrad will be churning out electric vehicles within the next 2 years.

BMW Motorrad is certainly not known for making scooters except their magnanimous C400 and C650 series. Do we expect TVS – BMW to come up with something like Ultraviolette F77? Only time will tell.

The verdict

Yes, the electric vehicle market is yet to boom, following several new policies put into place. The only question is, which one of these machines you are going to choose.

It depends on what your choice is, the cute Ola, the outlandish Simple One, the stable TVS iQube or the quirky Ather. Tamil Nadu is the hub for the manufacture of these trendsetters and yes, Tamil folk always stand to gain from the companies established here. Another feather in the cap for Tamil Nadu, we may say!


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