TVS iQube and Bajaj Chetak ride wave of e-scooter demand in FY24 | Autocar Professional


TVS Motor Co and Bajaj Auto, which entered the Indian electric two-wheeler industry in the same month (January 2020), have both registered new cumulative sales milestones for their electric scooters. While TVS Motor Co’s iQube  would have gone past the 300,000-units mark in early April 2024, Bajaj Auto has achieved total sales of 161,736 units sales till end-March 2024 (see sales data table below).

In the just-ended FY2024, as per SIAM data for wholesales / dispatches to showrooms, both OEMs have hit their all-time highs – TVS dispatched 189,896 units and Bajaj Auto 115,702 units. Clearly, these two legacy players are making their presence felt in a field teeming with EV start-ups. 

Bajaj Auto and TVS both entered the Indian EV market in January 2020. While TVS has a larger network and resultantly higher penetration level for its iQube, Bajaj now plans to aggressively expand its Chetak dealer network.

On the retail sales front, TVS Motor Co and Bajaj Auto are currently the No. 2 and No. 4 electric two-wheeler players respectively, in a field of around 175 OEMs led by Ola Electric. Of the record 944,000-plus electric two-wheelers retailed in FY2024, TVS sold 182,933 iQubes in FY2024, recording sterling 125% YoY growth (FY2023: 82,108 units). This gives it a retail market share of 19.37%, up from the 11.27% share it had in FY2023.

Bajaj Auto’s retail sales of the Chetak in FY2024 were 106,431 units, an increase of 273% YoY (FY2023: 28,537 units), albeit on a low year-ago base, and give it a retail market share of 11.27%, nearly tripling its 4% share in FY2023. The company witnessed strong demand, particularly in the second half of the fiscal. What is creditable is that it has narrowed the sales gap with No. 3 player Ather Energy. At the end of FY2024, the difference was only 2,439 units. In fact, from October 2023 to March 2024, Bajaj outsold Ather for six straight months.

From launch to end-March 2024, the TVS iQube has sold 298,446 units. The additional 1,554 units to hit the 300,000 milestone would have been achieved in the first few days of April 2024. (Photo: TVS)

FY2024 sales of 189,896 iQubes 13% of TVS’ scooter wholesales
TVS witnessed rapid demand for the iQube – the 189,696 units are a 96% YoY increase (FY2023: 96,654 units) and took cumulative sales to 298,446 units, just 1,554 units shy of the 300,000 mark, which would have been achieved in the first few days of April 2024.

The company sold a total of 14,51,509 scooters in FY2024 – its best-ever scooter sales in a best-ever fiscal. The iQube sales of 189,896 units gives an EV penetration level of 13 percent. The pace of demand for the iQube can be seen in the fact that that last 100,000 units sales came in just six months and a few days. That’s not all – the 189,896 iQubes of FY2024 account for 64% of total iQube sales to date.

Available in three variants (iQube, iQube S and iQube ST), the zero-emission TVS iQube’s pricing (on-road Delhi) starts at Rs 126,000, inclusive of the newly introduced EMPS (Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme) and state government subsidy.

The top-spec iQube ST variant has a range of 140km on a single charge, nearly twice the 75km range on the first-gen model. The refreshed iQube retains its all-LED lights and 12-inch wheels but gets a host of connectivity features, driven by the various TFT instrument clusters on offer. While the entry-level iQube gets a 5-inch unit that supports turn-by-turn navigation, the iQube S comes equipped with a larger 7-inch TFT cluster that offers music controls and theme personalisation as well. The top-end ST variant features a 7-inch touchscreen instrument cluster, which is also ready for OTA updates, and also offers voice assistance.

Since the e-scooter’s launch, TVS has gradually expanded the retail network for the iQube, which is currently available in over 140 cities and 310 touchpoints across India. The company plans to double the network to almost 600 touchpoints. Meanwhile, the company continues to improve on the ease of charging quotient for iQube owners, who currently have access to over 2,000 charging points with various charging partners through the TVS iQube mobile app.

On its part, Bajaj Auto would have registered higher sales numbers since the Chetak’s launch but for the fact that the Chetak is being sold in far fewer markets than its TVS rival. But now there are aggressive plans to expand the Chetak’s exclusive retail network.

The Chetak Urbane 2024 has a 113km range and top speed of 73kph. Revised pricing after the EMPS scheme kicked in from April is Rs 123,319. 

Bajaj Auto sells 115,702 Chetaks in FY2024, up 219% YoY
Amidst the exciting action underway in the electric two-wheeler industry, the sudden increase in sales of Bajaj Chetak, which has two variants – Urbane and Premium – has drawn attention. The 115,702 units sold in FY2024 are a handsome 219% YoY increase (FY2023: 36,260 units).

Following the revised pricing after the EMPS subsidy scheme kicked from April 1-2024 (till July 31, 2024), the Bajaj Chetak Urbane has a starting ex-showroom price of Rs 123,319 while the Chetak Premium costs Rs 147,243.

The Chetak Urbane, launched on December 1, 2023, is powered by a 2.9 kWh battery. The Chetak Urbane utilises the same colour LCD display as the Premium variant. In standard form, the Urbane offers a 63kph top speed, and comes with only one riding mode – Eco. With the ‘Tecpac’ installed, top speed rises to 73kph and the user gets a Sport riding mode as well. The Urbane has a range of 113km on a single charge.

The Chetak Premium, powered by a 3.2 kWh battery, has a range of 126km and a similar top speed of 73kph as the Urbane. The Chetak Premium’s highlights include a two-tone seat, body-coloured rearview mirrors, a satin black grab rail and matching pillion footrest castings. The Bluetooth-enabled Chetak app facilitates tamper alert, geofencing and over-the-air updates.

With stiff petrol prices and most Indian states offering plenty of incentives to accelerate electric mobility, both the Bajaj Chetak and TVS iQube should continue to see robust demand in the coming months. They, no doubt, have plenty of competition from a host of players and an expanding marketplace with new products but what clicks in their favour is their strong brand image, reliable aftersales support and an expanding market launch strategy. 

Electric two-wheeler sales hit highest level in FY2024: 944,000 units


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