Taiwan motorcycle maker Kymco to develop electric scooters in India

18, Oct. 2018

By Atul Ranjan

NEW DELHI, Oct. 17 Kyodo - Taiwan's leading motorcycle maker Kwang Yang Motor Co. will develop electric scooters in India in partnership with local electric vehicle startup Twenty Two Motors Pvt. Ltd.

The two firms say they plan to market their e-scooters early next year by establishing an ecosystem for electric vehicles consisting of charging facilities, bases to swap batteries and related information technology support systems in the world's largest motorcycle market.

The Taiwanese firm known as Kymco is the archrival of Honda Motor Co., the world's largest motorcycle maker, especially in Southeast Asia.

Kymco will invest $65 million over the next three years to produce e-scooters under the Twenty Two-Kymco brand and establish the ecosystem called Ionex and Ionex Commercial, according to Leon Wu, vice president of Kymco Group's overseas development center.

The two companies seek to promote electric mobility to reduce the South Asian country's oil imports and air pollution, Parveen Kharb, CEO and co-founder of Twenty Two Motors told NNA, adding, "We plan to produce half a million electric scooters over the next three years at our plant."

The electric scooters will be developed at the startup's manufacturing facility at Bhiwadi in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, according to Kharb.

For sales of the scooters, they will open a co-branded store in New Delhi early next year, followed by locations in Jaipur in Rajasthan, Gurugram in northern state of Haryana, Pune in the western state of Maharashtra, and Hyderabad and Bangalore in southern India soon afterward.

The new e-scooters, which can carry two spare batteries, will be priced at 74,740 rupees ($1,018). Mid- and high-end internal combustion engine scooters are priced at 50,000 to 60,000 rupees.

With plans to tap into the global EV market, Kymco has already launched the products and related services in Taiwan and China. "Our target is to bring this solution to 50 countries in the next three years," Wu said. Europe would be the main market.

In the Indian market, Honda and Hero MotoCorp Ltd., its larger local competitor, dominate nearly two-thirds of the motorcycle sector, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

Deepesh Rathore, director and lead analyst at Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors, an automotive research firm, said, "Hero MotoCorp, in fact, has already invested in local electric scooter startup Ather Energy." (NNA/Kyodo)