Yamaha testing electric scooter for India, to be based on Neo’s platform Leave a comment

Yamaha’s electric scooter for India will be based on Neo’s electric scooter, which was launched earlier this year in Europe.

Yamaha has set an annual sales target of 10,000 units for the Neo’s electric scooter in Europe.

By Varun Singh: Yamaha Motor India, which sells the R15, MT-15 and FZ range of motorcycles, is testing an electric scooter for India, which will be based on the same platform used by Neo’s electric scooter that was launched earlier this year in Europe, according to a senior company official.

The company’s motorcycle portfolio includes models like the R15M, R15M WGP 60th Edition, R15 V4, R15 MotoGP Edition, R15S, MT-15 Version 2.0, FZS 25, FZ 25, FZ-X, FZ-S FI and FZ-FI. It sells scooters like the Aerox 155, RayZR Street Rally 125 FI, RayZR 125 FI and Fascino 125 FI.

“Demand is now growing in the EV market and there is strong momentum. But as you know, Yamaha already has an EV model. At the beginning of the year, we launched Neo’s electric scooter in Europe. Our engineers are working, both at our headquarters and in India, for the development of an EV model matching the Indian market requirements,” Ravinder Singh, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Yamaha Motor India, told India Today in an exclusive interaction.

“Why I am saying the Indian market requirement as Indian conditions are quite different from all the other continents, especially the temperature. So that is why safety is very important. Therefore, a lot of studies and tests are going on,” he added.

Singh said that the company already has the product in mind, while testing is another area. “Third, infrastructure is another area in which a lot of things need to be done for the convenience of the customers. We are not here only for sales. We have to take care of the customers after the sales. We are looking at all these angles to give a complete package to the customers at the right time with the right product,” he added. Singh, however, refused to comment on the launch timeline of the Yamaha electric scooter in India.

While the company’s electric scooter for India will be based on Neo’s electric scooter, it will come with a lot of changes to suit Indian conditions.

“Base model is that (Neo’s electric scooter) and on that platform we are working. But there are a lot of things that need to be rearranged with regard to the motor, battery and specifications, as per the Indian conditions and especially from the safety aspect,” Singh said.

Among Yamaha’s rivals in India, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company already have at least one electric scooter in their portfolio. Hero MotoCorp recently introduced the Vida V1 electric scooter. While Bajaj Auto sells the Chetak electric scooter, TVS Motor Company offers the iQube electric scooter.

The electric two-wheeler industry witnessed a jump of 464% in retail sales to 231,338 units in FY22 from 41,046 units in FY21, according to data from the industry body Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA).

Yamaha’s cumulative volumes stood at 747,095 units in FY22 with the company selling 475,588 units in the domestic market and exporting 271,507 units. The company’s domestic sales have increased 39.37% to 311,238 units in H1 FY23 from 223,310 units in the year-ago period, while the exports have jumped 19.48% to 160,573 units in the April-September period as compared to 134,389 units in the same period of the previous fiscal.

According to Singh, the March quarter of FY22 was impacted by the Omicron variant and the semiconductor shortage but the company picked up momentum after that. “We have done fairly well as compared to last year and are looking at good momentum for the remainder of the year,” he said.

With a host of premium products in its portfolio, Yamaha’s operations are still being impacted by the semiconductor shortage. Singh said that although there is no full recovery from the shortage yet, the present situation is much better than what it was at the beginning of the year. “But we are expecting that maybe by the beginning of the next year or after that, the situation will become normal,” he said.

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