EMotorad Pedals in World Markets

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Electric vehicle start-up EMotorad has dared to go where others would be afraid to tread, which is to sell Indian-made e-bikes in the extremely quality-conscious Japanese market. The successful foray into the tough Japanese market has now given this two-year-old start-up the pedal power to make a foray into the rest of the world.

Kunal Gupta, co-founder and CEO of EMotorad believes that if they could do well in Japan and meet the quality standards of this country, it would not be difficult to conquer the rest of the world. For the entrance to Japan, they chose to go there with a foldable bicycle, which is easily transported in a subway or in a car for leisure trips, which worked well. The company sold 22,000 bikes, of which 13,000 were exported, including to Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Nepal. He also recently participated in Expo 2020 Dubai (it was supposed to be held in 2020 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and was finally held from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022). Gupta and his co-founders Rajib Gangopadhyay, Aditya Oza and Sumedh Battewar have set their sights on Europe, the world’s largest market in value (about 20 billion dollars).

Gangopadhyay says the EV space is growing globally and they have big plans to launch in Western markets. “We want to stick together with the biggest players who dominate the market globally,” he says. EMotorad is currently working on a pilot in Spain, which will be the entry point to Europe. Indian bicycles have an advantage over Chinese bicycles in the European market, thanks to trade agreements that impose high anti-dumping duties on Chinese bicycles.

EMotorad was launched in June 2020 right in the middle of the first lockdown. Gupta says they were taken by surprise by the response. The first batch of 1,200 bikes was sold in October 2020 through a network of 70 dealers. The pandemic has led to a focus on health and fitness, and people have rediscovered cycling. India is still discovering e-bikes and 16% of sales are through referrals. eMotorad expects to generate approximately $10 million in revenue this year and has gained 12% market share in its category in the country.

According to Gupta, while global attention has shifted to the electrification of scooters, motorcycles and cars, the real action is happening elsewhere. Millions of e-bikes are sold around the world; in India, around 50,000 e-bikes were sold last year and the number is expected to reach 120,000 units this year. The company’s test-drive strategy for winning customers is proving successful. EMotorad set up a factory in Pune to manufacture 30,000 bicycles per year. There is a gap between the mass segment (up to Rs 10,000) and the luxury segment (Rs 1 lakh and above), and the company is positioning itself in this space, targeting adventurers, commuters and equestrians casuals in the Rs 40,000-80,000 price range. Last week, it launched the Lil-E (a scooter) and the T-Rex+ (an upgraded mountain bike). It also plans to increase the number of dealerships in the country from 176 to 300 and aims to raise $50 million.

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