The Kanpur-based Lohia Motors Ltd (LML) in September last year announced its plans to re-enter the market with electric vehicles. Now, LML Electric has announced its plans to roll out three products next year in its second coming. The company is looking to invest Rs 350-crore in the business, including in setting up a new manufacturing plant, a top company executive has said.
The company said it is looking to unveil three EV products: a hyperbike, an e-bike, and an electric scooter by September and their subsequent launch between February and August next year. LML earlier used to make the iconic Vespa Scooter in collaboration with Italy’s Piaggio and C Spa.
“We are looking at our first investment of Rs 350 crore. This investment is planned for product expansion, setting up a new manufacturing facility, and collaborations, among others,” LML Chief Executive Officer Yogesh Bhatia told PTI.
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He said that the company has received many investment proposals from some big investors but it will take a call only after unveiling its products in September this year. Emphasizing that LML Electric has so far been funded through the parent company SG Corporate Mobility, Bhatia said that the management has discussed the proposals but sought time from the prospective investors as “we want them to first evaluate all aspects of our products once they are unveiled in September.”
Bhatia also said that the company has received proposals for land from 2-3 states for a new manufacturing facility, which are being evaluated. LML Electric has entered into a strategic alliance with Saera Electric Auto, the former manufacturing partner of Harley-Davidson in India, which has a capacity to produce 18,000 vehicles per month, to manufacture its electric two-wheelers.
“We are aiming for a truly world-class electric vehicle manufacturing facility with a capacity to manufacture 1-million vehicles per year in the long term. The planned facility will have the flexibility to produce as per the market demand,” he said.
It usually takes 18-24 months to set up a plant, he said without giving a specific timeline for the commissioning of the proposed production facility. Bhatia said that all the three products will cater to both domestic and international markets with e-bikes mainly targeted towards the Us and European markets, which have good racing tracks besides almost a 100 percent penetration.
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Stating that LML Electric is starting from the scratch with a legacy of 50 years but no baggage, unlike other electric vehicle makers who have the baggage in the form of ICE engine platform, among others, Bhatia said the company is looking to address the pain points of an e-two-wheeler buyer with products that are ‘totally different, unique and innovative.’
He said that the company has carried out a detailed study of the EV products by interacting with consumers, and vehicle designing houses, among others in Europe, adding that, “after which we can say that we are ready to create a new trend and category in the EV space. Our product will definitely be accepted if we provide a completely different type of solution in the EV space,” Bhatia asserted.
Bhatia said that LML Electric is also looking at charging infra, which is one of the key factors in the adoption of electric vehicles in the country, without elaborating further on the issue. He said the company also plans to set up LML studio-cum franchises in as many as 835 districts of the country which will serve as the LBL hub for meeting customers’ all vehicle-related requirements.
(With inputs from PTI)