India, frequently referred to as the two-wheeler factory of the world, serves a tremendous market both in India and abroad. About 15M two-wheelers were sold in India in 2021 and 3.7M two-wheelers manufactured in India by the top 4 Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) were exported. By 2030, the number of two-wheelers sold in India annually is expected to reach 35M representing an about $30B market, growing at the back of limited penetration of affordable public transport (public transport only serves 7% of the total trips at present) and the ever-increasing cost of not-so affordable four-wheelers.
However, with rising fuel prices and the increasing cost of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) scooters, ownership of personal two-wheelers has become financially challenging.
Owing to this, customers are now looking for reliable and affordable personal mobility solutions for their daily commute. This new customer demand, along with increasing environmental concerns and favourable government regulations, has created an urgency for electric mobility and set the stage for the rapid adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).
From a consumer perspective, electric vehicles are cheaper to run and easier to maintain. The average cost of running an EV is 1/3rd cheaper at INR 1/km compared to ~INR 3.5/km for ICE vehicles. To put that into perspective, the difference in running cost can save INR 5.5-6K/month for a food delivery executive riding 100 km/day, about 25% of their monthly earnings. Additionally, EVs are easier and cheaper to maintain as most parts are eliminated and frequent oil changes are avoided, making a switch to EVs a compelling proposition.
In addition to clear economic benefits for the consumer, EVs add tangible monetary benefit to all stakeholders in the supply chain. Traditional ICE OEMs capture a small fraction of traditional two-wheeler value chains as they just monetise from manufacturing and do not make profits from high margin and high volume verticals of financing and energy. EV OEMs on the other hand are positioned to monetise across the supply chain.
The lack of adequate charging infrastructure, long charging times, and high upfront costs make the adoption of electric mobility challenging at present. Charging is not a viable solution for the Indian scenario as the bulk of Indians doesn't have parking spaces. Even well-to-do Indians in urban cities don't have access to the 15 Ampere charging points required for charging EV batteries. Additionally, high-quality electric scooters with fixed batteries are expensive while affordable alternatives are unreliable for Chinese imports. Hence, the two viable solutions for India today are removable batteries for self-charging and Battery-as-a-Service.
BaaS replicates traditional consumer behavior, a rider can roll up to a battery swapping station and replace their discharged battery with a fully charged one in a few minutes.As batteries make up ~50% of the scooter cost and don’t have FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and EV scheme offered by the Indian government) subsidies on them, BaaS enables consumers to buy the scooter only and pay for the range they use, completely avoiding the cost of the battery. This makes EVs significantly more affordable and positions them for rapid mass adoption in a price-sensitive market like India where 80% of buyers get vehicle financing from banks.Additionally, EVs in a BaaS model provides higher comfort to banks as loan ticket price goes lower and underwriting happens on asset quality instead of just buyer credit score. Electric scooters, unlike their ICE alternatives, are smart with end-to-end integration across the vehicle, VCU (vehicle control unit), BMS (battery management system), and the battery. This enables deep tracking of the scooter across its lifetime, giving detailed insights into its salvage value.
As BaaS offers higher convenience and lower cost, it is expected to be the dominant solution over removal batteries for self-charging.
As Accel, we have always looked for new-age solutions that add immense value to consumers, and Bounce with its dockless mobility solution presented a great investment opportunity in 2018. What started out as Wicked Ride - a luxury bike rental platform and pivoted to a dockless mobility solution has today become a full-stack EV mobility solution for the Indian masses with 3 core business verticals - electric scooter manufacturing, Battery-as-a-Service, and dockless mobility. With a capacity of 220K+ scooters per annum, Bounce launched its Infinity e1 electric scooter in early 2022 and has already received 60K+ pre-orders. It completed 5M+ EV rides covering 27M+ EV mobility kilometers with 1M+ swaps by building India’s largest battery-swapping network present in 40k+ locations across India.
To understand this new era of mobility which is rapidly unfolding, we spoke to Vivekananda Hallekere, Co-founder and CEO of Bounce, who has been at the helm of EV mobility adoption in India.
In this conversation, Vivek talks about his journey, the various phases of Bounce, EV trends in India and abroad, the inevitability of EV adoption and the need for regulatory support.
We thank Vivek for coming on and sharing these insights with us and we wish him and Bounce team all the best for this amazing journey of revolutionizing personal mobility for India.
Blog authored by Lakshay Bansal from Accel
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