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Rural market to drive sales, boost market penetration of electric vehicles, says Hero Electric’s Sohinder Gill

After posting a decent show during the pandemic, the CEO of Hero Electric is hoping for an even stronger second half of 2020. In an interaction with BestMediaInfo.com, Gill says the rural market comprises a major chunk of its two-wheeler EV sales

Sohinder Gill

In the financial year 2019-20, when the Indian automotive industry was experiencing a sharp decline, the electric vehicle market maintained a stable growth. And now even amid the Covid-19 pandemic, when everything is slowing down, the segment is witnessing a spike in sales.

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“If we look at the electric two-wheeler industry, this sector’s performance has been positive,” Sohinder Gill, CEO, Hero Electric, said in an interaction with BestMediaInfo.com.

“What’s interesting is that we experienced a good sale run even during the lockdown period and the momentum is still there. A few weeks after the lockdown was imposed, people realised the benefits of a cleaner and greener environment because of no ICE vehicles on the road. They became aware and of the benefits of EVs on the environment. This awareness led to good sales and more people chose EVs over ICE vehicles. We are hopeful of a strong second half of 2020 as more people find EV as a 'value for money' safe mobility solution.”

According to an EV market forecast by Frost and Sullivan, e-rickshaws, e-autos and e-two wheelers are the most promising segments for electrification in India and are expected to account for over four-million units by 2025.

The government’s push to ensure EV adoption through subsidies and tax benefits has propelled this market to grow more. And with BS6 becoming applicable from April 2020, electric vehicles are said to become more price competitive with conventionally fuelled vehicles, thus accelerating sales in the segment.

For Hero Electric, one of the largest electric two-wheeler companies in the country, both rural and urban markets are equally important as they are two parts of a whole. While rural markets make majority of its lead-acid scooter sales, the urban market pushes lithium-ion based models.

However, that line is diminishing at a very healthy rate because of the long-term benefits of having a lithium-ion powered scooter.

Going forward, Gill said, “We expect the rural market to be a major consumer for our lithium-ion range, giving us a great boost in terms of sales and market penetration.”

For Hero Electric, having more awareness in rural regions is as vital as any other urban region.

In fact, Gill believes that the EV movement will start from the low-speed affordable electric two-wheeler category, and the rural market will make up a major chunk of that.

As some of the brand’s products enjoy favourability in a certain market or a city, it has tailor-made offers and incentives on those products accordingly and it constantly evaluates the manner and the medium of its communication with respect to the market, their needs, their view of the electric two-wheeler segments, and feedback of its dealer partners.

Gill added, “These things subsequently dictate what we want to accomplish in those specific markets through our advertising spend. We believe, more than the advertisements, untapped markets need awareness and education about electric mobility. Therefore, everything we do is very specific and considering more than just the type of region.”

Apart from this, since lockdown came into being, it has invested highly on its digital media and has seen great results.

“At the moment, our focus is more on digital space and once the lockdown eases pan-India, we will evaluate our strategy and act accordingly,” he said.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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