Hero Electric, India’s largest two-wheeler electric vehicle maker, has signed an agreement with Massive Mobility to install 10,000 two-wheeler EV chargers across the country, in a bid to increase its charging infrastructure by nearly tenfold, sources said.
Massive Mobility, a Delhi-based EV startup which offers end-to-end EV charging solutions, will install these 10,000 EV chargers in the next 12 months across cities where Hero Electric sees the highest numbers of sales, a source with direct knowledge told Entrackr on condition of anonymity.
Shailesh Vickram Singh, co-founder of Massive Mobility, confirmed the development but did not comment further. Queries sent to Hero did not elicit an immediate response. We’ll update the story in case they do.
The charging stations installed as part of this agreement will have a simple 16 amp charging connection, a Wi-Fi network and a metre. Importantly, the network will be open for all EV’s, not just Hero vehicles. Ather recently did the same with its own network, in a bid to make the EV system grow faster, and push for more standardisation between manufacturers.
“The Wi-Fi network will help a user set up their profile within the Hero Electric app, make seamless payments and monitor current usage,” another source said, requesting anonymity. “They are using the UPI framework for payments,” this person added.
The two companies also ran a trial for a fortnight to gauge user behaviour while using their charging stations, including to see whether they use them to completely charge their EVs in one go or use them to just top up the charge in their EVs.
Entrackr has also learnt that Massive Mobility had last raised funds in 2019 from the likes of India Quotient, Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Singapore-based RB Investments. The company is also currently in discussions with two major e-commerce companies to aid charging for their EV fleet.
Two-wheeler EVs have stolen a march over other EV’s in India, thanks mainly to the fact that despite a limited charging network, these vehicles can still be charged at many normal power points, including at home. But for the next phase of growth, which envisages sales to grow to over 6 million per annum by 2025 or a 30% share of new two-wheelers sold, a strong, ubiquitous charging network is a must. For the record, the industry had hit its all-time high in sales in 2019, at 21 million units.
Hero Electric, which currently has around a 36% market share in India’s two-wheeler EV segment, has over 1,000 charging stations across 125 Indian cities. But with competition pouring in from the likes of Ola Electric, TVS, Bajaj, and Ather Energy among others, this tenfold increase in Hero’s charging infrastructure can potentially make their vehicles that much more desirable.
For three-wheeler EVs, about 500,000 to 600,000 could be sold in 2030, representing about 60 to 65% of purchases in that class. Currently, over 1.3 million three-wheeler EV’s are estimated to be running, powered mostly by the ‘old’ but much cheaper lead-acid batteries. These are not eligible for any subsidies under various central and state government programs to encourage adoption.