AHMEDABAD: It’s electrified to say the least. Phones on the sales desk of electric-vehicle (EV) market have not ceased ringing since two months. The EV market, still battling infancy and stagnation in the Sub-Continent, saw close to 60% rise in sales that has infused new life into the Rs 300-crore EV market. EV makers now eye a three-fold increase in sales this financial year.
All EV players, including domestic market leader Electrotherm (India), Hero Electric and the multinational Ultra Motor, are trying hard to make most of the situation. While the volatile crude put brakes on almost all automobile players, it has given a big boost to the EV segment. Nearly 9,400 EVs were grabbed by consumers during June-July 2008. Market analysts point out that the country saw sales of EV pick up from 3,000 per month to 4,500 during the period.
“While the market for EVs stagnated in 2007-08, it got a boost no sooner crude prices went up. We received a phenomenal response from customers eager to shed petrol for a cheaper option,” says Electrotherm director Avinash Bhandari. New growth will happen in EV segment rapidly for those looking for reasonable speed, good price and low operating cost as petrol vehicles growth stagnates, added chairman and chief technical officer of the company Mukesh Bhandari. “From 1-lakh EV sales, India will see 5-lakh vehicles sold annually by 2010,” he added.
From sales that had dipped to 1,200 per month by March-April 2008, the company saw volumes pick up to the tune of 2,500 vehicles per month in June and July, general manager (sales and marketing) Pradeep Dugar said. While Electrotherm sold 20,000 YOBykes (with YOSpeed alone contributing 10,000 units) and recorded a turnover of Rs 46 crore from the sales in 2007-08, the company believes that with higher crude prices, it will be able to achieve a sales target of 60,000 units in 2008-09. “Soaring crude and increasing acceptability of EV in the domestic market will help us achieve the target,” Mr Bhandari said.