One km ride for just 5-10 paise. That is the offer from the UK-based Ultra Motor Company (UMC), which has its electric scooter manufacturing base in Hyderabad. Its new, high range electic scooter, ‘Marathon’ (priced around Rs 31,000) launched in Kerala and Tamil Nadu promises to deliver a range of up to 100 km on a single charge with one unit of power.
UMC has been in the Indian market since 2007-08 with its high-speed electric scooter ‘Velociti’ (priced about Rs 35,200) in technical collaboration and joint marketing agreement with Ludhiana-based Hero Exports.
Now UMC has disengaged itself from this partnership and has gone independent. It has launched its two-wheelers in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
It is planning to set up an assembly unit in the North and expand sales to the entire country, Deba Ghoshal, director marketing, Ultra Motor India, told FE from New Delhi.
He said three more models were in the pipeline and the company has lined up investment of over Rs 140 crore during the next three years for product development, marketing and distribution. Ghoshal said electric scooters accounted for 10% of scooter sales in India last year.
‘’With the kind of support from the Delhi government, which offers 15% subsidy on the base price and exempts VAT, road tax and registration tax, giving 24% cost benefit to the consumers, the sales of electric scooters could pick up rapidly and make substantial savings in petrol consumption and avoid pollution.’’
Ganesh Mahalingam, managing director Ultra Motor India, said Tamil Nadu offered a huge potential for electric two-wheelers. During the last fiscal 10% of the total sales of 22,000 UMC electric scooters were sold in the state. Having launched the two-wheelers in Madurai the company would be opening show rooms all over Tamil Nadu including the tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
The company has set a target of 60,000 two-wheeler sales all over the country during 2008-09. It would expand its dealer network, from 150 to 275 and strengthen the marketing and servicing team, he said.