India expands way beyond its metro cities. The country’s majority share of the working population resides in many other locations and is employed in geographies beyond Tier-2 cities. Heavily dependent on agri-based sources of income, individuals from the Tier-3, Tier-4 and rural geographies in India, as per FADA, drive India’s two-wheeler market.
Taking a cue from such data points and the increased adoption of electric vehicles in States like Uttar Pradesh, Wroley E-Scooter, a new two-wheeler electric scooter brand, targets the rural and beyond Tier-2 geographies in the country.
Shubham Bansal, Managing Director, Wroley E-Scooter, in a conversation with Mobility Outlook, noted that the brand has begun taking bookings for low-speed electric scooters from such geographies.
“There are a lot of electric scooter brands in India but we must not forget that this market in the country is so big that it can easily accommodate more players. An estimated two million ICE scooters are sold in the country every month. Our initial approach is to focus on Tier-3 and Tier-4 markets. We think users from these geographies do not want to use high-speed electric scooters. Moreover, there are no hassles attached to registering low-speed electric scooters,” said Bansal.
Low-speed electric scooters, for the uninitiated, are not required to be registered or carry a number plate. In addition, there is no age barrier for riding a low-speed electric scooter, and the authorities haven’t also mandated wearing helmets while riding low-speed electric scooters.
Playing Around Warranty
This new e-scooter brand has recently launched three models in India and is retailing these in the range of INR 74,000 to INR 79,000. Wroley promises a 90+ km range on all three models. Its team claims that it has been researching and developing products for India for over a year now.
“We have tried hundreds of vendors before finalising a select few to source components from. Our focus is on keeping the batteries safer and economical for the end consumer. We have a very good hold over sourcing batteries, and I think that, keeping in mind the EV fires that have taken place, will prove to be a USP for us,” he said.
Among people who have partnered to start Wroley as a venture, is an individual who the team claims, has been in the business of batteries for over a decade now. Wroley is importing battery cells to manufacture its own batteries. Unlike most other e-scooter players in India, the brand won’t be offering a 30,000 km warranty on its battery packs. The company also claimed that it offers better warranties than other OEMs/brands on motor controllers and chargers.
“We are offering a 40,000 km warranty on our battery packs. We are also offering a three years warranty on motor controllers and chargers. No other OEM does that in India,” claimed Bansal. He further explained that every OEM source battery cells based on grading, and the cells Wroley is importing are all ‘A+’ grade. All its scooters have been enabled with battery swap and fixed charging features.
The three partners in the company shared that they have already invested INR 15 crore in an existing battery manufacturing facility operated and owned by one of the partners. The company plans to invest INR 35 crore more in the same facility during the next six months. The majority of this investment, as per Bansal, is being done to buy equipment and start electric scooter assembling lines at the facility. Bansal shared that the facility can assemble about 3,000 electric scooters every month.
It is worth mentioning here that Sandeep Goyal, Wroley’s second partner, has been in the automobile hardware vertical for over 20 years and Bansal has international marketing experience. Their third partner, Ankit Agrawal, has also founded ARB Accessories in the past. ARB retails energy storage systems, EV chargers, batteries, raw materials and more such things in the country.
Vintage Dealer Model
Wroley, as per Bansal, is taking the vintage OEM-dealer model approach to expand in the country. Aiming to on-board about 100 dealers this financial year, the company is following a very interesting approach to market its products and brand. It has finalised one dealer in Delhi and one in Alwar. Both these dealers are located in areas which serve the neighbouring rural geographies, Tier-3 and Tier-4 cities. The future dealers, as per Bansal, will also be finalised around the same approach. It is worth mentioning here that Uttar Pradesh leads the country in terms of E2Ws and E3Ws in India.
He further explained that the upfront investment that a dealer needs to make with Wroley is much lower than big brands. Wroley is handing out dealerships at an upfront cost of INR 20 lakh, and it claims that bigger electric scooter brands charge nothing less than one crore to do the same. This INR 20 lakh includes equipment, branding and lead generation costs for the dealership, he added.
“The next step for us is to introduce a high speed electric scooter in the country. We will also try to tie-up with other players for the same. We three partners will be investing INR 50 crore this year for marketing and manufacturing activities. Getting chassis manufactured in house is also a plan we want to accomplish before the end of this year,” concluded Bansal.
While there is no data available for the number of low-speed electric scooters that were sold in India in 2021 or before, a report by Research and Markets has forecasted that the global low-speed electric vehicle market will reach $22.35 billion by 2030. This forecast represents a growth of 12.3% annually till 2030.