Pragmatic policy likely on electric two-wheelers in a few months: TVS Motor

Venu Srinivasan
TVS Motor Company Chairman and Mananging Director Venu Srinivasan hopes to see a sensible policy in a few months from the cental government on electric two-wheelers.

 

He says the industry has been in talks with the government on the NITI Aayog proposal for a switch in this regard by 2025. Srinivasan indicated to his shareholders on Monday that the proposed timeline seemed over-optimistic.

 

Hybrid vehicles could be a better option for now, he said, adding that TVS would be offering an electric two-wheeler in the near future.

 

With EVs, the average price will also go up, from around Rs 65,000 now to Rs 1.1 lakh. Srinivasan asked whether the government could subsidise Rs 45,000 a vehicle through the FAME Scheme.

 

“In fact a better solution will be to go by a mild hybrid vehicle. Toyota has said this. Now, China is promoting hybrid vehicles; they have realised that this is a simpler, better option. And, with the BS-VI regime, a vehicle with hybrid (power), with the same subsidy, will be able to do much more to clean up the environment," he said.

 

However, said Srinivasan, his company had anyway started developing electric vehicles three years ago, well before any government announcement.

 

Expects low growth to continue

 

TVS Motor is expecting the present phase of low growth in the automobile industry to continue this year.

 

There is no sign of finance coming back to customers very soon. It will take at least six to nine months, said Srinivasan.

 

“With all the uncertainties, the lack of money availability, the new (emission) norms coming in and costs being pushed up, the monsoon being erratic and international trade very volatile, with China and the US on one side, Brexit on the other, tension in the Middle East, we do expect a very volatile and unpredictable year.”

 

Adding: “In such a year, we have to keep our costs at the lowest level, so that even in a downward unexpected spike, we will be able to withstand it.” They would, he said, try to further push an ongoing cost reduction programme. There would also be an effort top strengthen its Jupiter brand and its hold in export markets, which have shown better growth. TVS would look at exporting to  Nigeria, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Iraq and Philippines, among others.

 

Invests $7 mn in US-based Scienaptic Systems 

 

TVS Motor Company has infused $7 million in US-based big data technology and machine learning firm Scienaptic Systems in a Series A funding through its wholly owned subsidiary TVS Motor (Singapore). This is part of TVS Motor's initial set of investments being made in strategically relevant digital start-ups.