Hero Moto enters electrics with Vida

JAIPUR: Pawan Munjal-led Hero Moto finally forayed into the electric vehicles market, nearly a year after old and new rivals entered the space. The country’s biggest two-wheeler seller launched two scooters under the specially-crafted Vida brand with an entry price of Rs 1.45 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
With the products, the company looks to take on green rivals such as Ola Electric (backed by Japanese SoftBank), Okinawa, Bounce, and Hero Electric, apart from Ather where Hero Moto also happens to be the largest financial investor.
Apart from the entry-level Vida V1 Plus, which has a top speed of 80 kms per hour and a single charge run of 143 kms, the other scooter with a bigger battery is the V1 Pro that has a range of 165 kms and costs Rs 1.59 lakh.
The scooters have been developed by the R&D teams at Hero Moto and its design centre in Germany, and will be followed by other products, some of which would be more affordable and mainstream, Munjal, the chairman and CEO of the company, said.


“We are starting with a premium product, but it doesn’t mean we will never have a more affordable product in terms of pricing. Surely, we will have one going forward,” he said, adding that the products are also targeted at Asian, European and Latin American markets.
Vida, which will house all sustainable products from the group including those developed in partnership with Taiwanese Gogoro and US-based Zero Motorcycles, will debut from three cities to begin with — Delhi, Bangalore and Jaipur — following which its footprint will expand to eight more cities.
Munjal, who is locked in a legal dispute with his nephew Naveen Munjal over the use of Hero brand name for its green products, said that the company will initially showcase the products through company-owned experience centres in the three cities, though there are also plans to retail them at select Hero dealerships through specially-created pods.
The battery on the scooters, whose deliveries begin from the second week of December, is removable and can be charged even at home, apart from a dedicated charging network that the company is setting up. Munjal said that the company is also looking at sharing the network with Ather.
The company, which is currently facing stiff competition in its traditional petrol-products business, said that it plans to give subsidised financing for those buying electrics, apart from a buy-back scheme at 70% of the purchase value between the 16th to 18th months of vehicle ownership.

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