Scooters India, a public sector automobile company, is planning to launch an electric three-wheeler. The company was once a leading manufacturer of two-wheelers. The company had the licence to manufacture vehicles for Lambretta.
The company, in which the government is planning to divest, is also looking at exporting three-wheelers to neighbouring countries.
“We have started work on the e-vehicle. It is on the drawing board and in about six months, the first vehicle will enter the market,” R Sreenivasulu, chairman and managing director, Scooters India, told Business Standard.
Scooters India developed 1+6 (one driver, six passengers) electric three wheelers during former US president Bill Clinton’s India visit.
The company said it needed to look at ways to reduce the price of the vehicles and make it commercially viable.
“We need to look at the feasibility of launching a 1+6 category vehicle, since the larger vehicles are meant to ply for long distances. The battery and motor will be outsourced, either from India, or from other countries,” said Sreenivasulu.
Currently, Scooters India holds the majority of the market share in the 1+6 three-wheeler segment, under the brand Vikram, with around 90 per cent of the total 12,000-15,000 units market. It has a capacity of producing 12,500 units a year in a single shift, and go up to 24,000 units.
The company had a revival plan in 2013, with a government investment of about Rs 70 crore, to expand the capacity to 48,000 per annum.
The revamping exercise started in 2014 and the government has released Rs 30 crore so far for the project.
However, it has been put on hold, since the government has decided to divest its stake. The company is currently in the process of selecting advisors and consultants as part of the disinvestment programme.