Hero Electric today launched its latest model, the Flash e-scooter powered by a lead-acid battery. The Flash e-scooter is equipped with a 250W motor, which is powered by a 48V, 20Ah VRLA battery, and can travel for 65km on a single charge. It has a top speed of 25kph.
Available as a limited edition model with just 2,000 units for sale, the Flash has an introductory price of Rs 19,990 (ex-showroom, Delhi). The price is inclusive of the government subsidy of Rs 14,000 for electric vehicles as it is a collaboration between the Department of Science, the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) and Hero Electric.
The lightweight 87kg Flash e-scooter does not require a riding license or registration, a factor that is expected to make it popular amongst youth. Some of its features include magnesium alloy wheels, a telescopic suspension and a full-body guard. It is also equipped with short-circuit protection and has under-the-seat storage. It will be on offer in red-black and silver-black colour combinations.
Sohinder Gill, CEO, Hero Electric, told our sister publication, Autocar Professional, on the sidelines of the launch that, depending on consumer preference, there is also provision to offer a lithium-ion battery-powered Flash e-scooter at the lower-end within a few months. The price difference between the two battery-powered scooters is pegged at around Rs 15,000-20,000.
The e-scooter targets youth, housewives, small traders and senior citizens. Despatches of the Flash will commence from next week to Delhi dealerships and it will be introduced across India within a month, covering all 350 outlets of Hero Electric. The company plans to add an additional 100 dealers in CY2017 to take the figure up to 450 by the year end.
Two new e-scooters in the pipeline
Hero Electric is gearing up to launch two new products. The first model – a lithium-ion battery-powered high-end smart scooter with high connectivity and a Bosch powertrain – will be launched after Diwali this year. The second model – a low-speed, high-end e-scooter with a lithium-ion battery – will be launched before end-March 2018. Both will have a range of about 60-70km, though the smart scooter will have a top speed of 55kph. The lithium-ion battery is expected to be sourced from Korea, China or Taiwan.
Gill says that, while the lithium ion battery has a three-year lifespan, the lead-acid battery comes with a one-year warranty. To make lithium-ion batteries more cost effective, SMEV is looking at local manufacturing; it has 10 proposals in hand which two are to be shortlisted within a month and will require some handholding from the EV manufacturer.
Talking about online bookings for e-scooters, Gill pointed out that over the past two months when demonetisation had hit dealer sales, the company sold a large volume of its Maxi, Wave and e-spring scooters through PayTM and has started online bookings for the Flash as well.
Reacting to the Union Budget 2017-18, Gill appreciated the Rs 175 crore allocation for the three months, till start of April, on account of subsidies for EVs by the government.