June To Be The Best Month For Private Vehicle Sales Despite Fires Denting E-Scooter Space: Fada Leave a comment

While the recent incidents of fires on electric two-wheelers have impacted the demand for these vehicles, the impact is likely to last for only a month or two, according to Vinkesh Gulati, President, Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA).

“EV enquiry levels have been going down,” said Gulati in an interview with CNBC-TV18.

“You will see a subdued retail happening for at least a month or two, but this phenomenon will not continue for long. I feel whenever such things happen, the customers are taken aback… and in a month or two things subside,” he said.

Gulati’s comments come after the recent data by VAHAN, national register for e-services, showed that the registrations of electric two-wheelers went down by 20 percent to 39,339 in May compared to April.

While the sales of electric vehicles had taken off significantly this year, the May numbers of top e-scooter companies like Ola, Hero Electric and Okinawa saw a substantial decline due to two key reasons – vehicles catching fire and shortage of semiconductor chips.

Electric Scooter Co May ‘22 April ‘22 Difference YoY % Growth % Share May ’22
Okinawa 8,888 11,011 -2,123 -19.28 30.72
Ola 8,681 12,702 -4,021 -31.66 30.00
Ampere 5,529 6,540 -1,011 -15.46 19.11
Ather 3,098 2,450 648 26.45 10.71
Hero Electric 2,739 6,578 -3,839 -58.36 9.47
Total 28,935 39,281 -10,346 -26.34 100.00

Source: VAHAN

The FADA president said that the semiconductor issue has been solved to a large extent.

While the sales for EV vehicles have come down, the demand for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles has gone up. However, according to Gulati, the two cannot be compared.

“Those are two different phenomenon what we are seeing, but overall yes, the ICE cars are on uptick and the orderbook is increasing month by month,” he said, adding that he expects June to be the best month for private vehicle sales.

Multiple incidents of fires on electric two-wheelers in the last two-three months have raised concerns over safety of these vehicles.

Following reports of defects in cells and batteries, the government is in the process of coming up with stricter standards for EVs.

But after dozens of incidents of fires involving e-scooters came another shock for buyers. A Tata Motors Nexon EV — in first such incident involving the model — caught fire this week in Mumbai. The company issued a statement saying that a detailed investigation is underway.

“Problem with EVs catching fire lies in the battery, not in the car or bike,” said Sohinder Singh Gill, CEO of Hero Electric Motors, adding that the incidents have become a global phenomenon.

Gill added that these issues have to be dealt with transparency and companies have to be proactive in taking safety measures.

“Tata incident was a rare case,” said Gulati, adding that the issue that may have caused the accident could be external. However, he said the cause could be only ascertained after a report from the government or Tata.

First Published:  IST

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