Electric 3-wheeler sales on a roll, will surpass 600,000 units in FY2024 | Autocar Professional


Electric 3-wheeler sales on a roll, will surpass 600,000 units in FY2024 | Autocar Professional

The charge of the electric vehicle industry in India, which has already clocked 1.46 million units in the April 2023-February 2024 period, is led by the two- and three-wheeler sub-segments. In tandem with e-two-wheeler retail sales, which have exceeded 800,000 units in the first 11 months of FY2024, demand for e-three-wheelers has risen by a robust 60% to 571,726 units in the same period. With March 2024 still to be counted, e-three-wheeler OEMs will easily surpass the 600,000 units milestone for the first time, way ahead of FY2023’s 402,096 units and also beating CY2022’s 581,696 units.

As per Vahan data as of March 2, 2024, a total of 10,58,243 three-wheelers (petrol, CNG, LNG and electric) have been retailed between April 2023 and February 2024. This means the 571,726 e-three-wheelers account for 54% of total retails, reaffirming the fact that every second three-wheeler sold in India is now an EV.

This e-three-wheeler sub-segment, which sells passenger-transporting e-rickshaws and cargo-carrying three-wheelers, continues to witness strong double-digit growth thanks to sustained demand for passenger transportation and from last-mile operators for e-commerce applications, food deliveries and other applications.

Compared to fossil fuel or CNG-powered models, the long-term wallet-friendly proposition of electric three-wheelers is drawing both single-user buyers (autorickshaw drivers) as well as fleet operators. The retail sales data table above indicates the growth trajectory for the ongoing fiscal year.

This sub-segment of the EV industry has all of 496 players but is dominated by only a few. A deep dive into retail sales for the first 11 months of FY2024 reveals that 11 players (see Top 30 OEMs sales table below) have each sold over 10,000 units. Together, they account for 241,314 units or 42% of the e-three-wheeler market.

Mahindra Last Mile Mobility (MLMM), the market leader in FY2023 with 29,497 units and an 8.42% share, remains on top with sales of 53,129 units in ongoing FY2024. The company, whose three-wheeler EV portfolio includes the Treo, Treo Plus, Treo Zor, Treo Yaari, Zor Grand, e-Alfa Super and e-Alfa Cargo catering to multiple mobility operations, has benefited from the launch of two new products – the Treo Plus and e-Alfa Super passenger and cargo variants. Also, to meet the growing demand for its products MLMM has tripled its production capacity, leveraging its manufacturing plants in Bengaluru, Haridwar, and Zaheerabad.

At 39,435 units, YC Electric Vehicles is the firm No. 2 OEM. The company continues to witness sustained demand for its five products – the Yatri Super, Yatri Deluxe and Yatri for passenger duties and E-Loader and Yatri Cart for cargo operations. Low initial cost, from Rs 125,000 to 170,000 for passenger EVs, and Rs 130,000 to Rs 165,000, is what is driving demand for YC EV.

Saera Electric Auto with 27,933 units is ranked third, maintaining its CY2023 (29,306 units) position. Likewise, No. 4 remains Dilli Electric Auto with 23,978 units.

Piaggio Vehicles, with 21,534 units, is fifth in the EV manufacturer rankings but has gone ahead of its CY2023 sales of 20,742 units. The company is benefiting from its new models and aggressive network expansion. The Apé E-City FX Max passenger model (with 145km range) and Apé E-Xtra FX Max cargo carrier (115km range) are fully assembled by an all-women team at its Baramati factory in Maharashtra.

There are seven other OEMs which have sold over 10,000 units each in CY2023. They comprise Mini Metro EV (14,906 units), Champion Poly Plast (13,081 units), Unique International (12,894 units), Unique International (12,894 units), Hotage Corporation (12,882 units), Energy EV (10,988 units), and JS Auto (10,554 units).

Interestingly, the ICE-engine three-wheeler market leader Bajaj Auto, which entered the fast-growing electric three-wheeler market in June 2023 with two products – the Bajaj RE E-Tec 9.0 passenger EV and Maxima XL Cargo E-Tec 12.0 – has sold a total of 7,532 units with sales growing month on month. In CY2023, it was ranked 28th in a field of nearly 500 players. It is now at No. 21 – expect it to up the ante this year with ramped-up production and an expanded EV sales network.

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