Nearly half a century ago, when the Kinetic Group Chairman Arun Firodia decided to develop and manufacture the Luna — the two-wheeler that became an iconic symbol of its time, complete with the catchy jingle ‘Chal meri Luna’ (let’s go, Luna) — he set down a few parameters: no foreign components; no overseas manufacturing equipment; designed in India for India; must weigh less than 50 kg (two-wheelers back then weighed 100-plus kg); and should reach even backward areas with an affordable pricing of ₹2,000 (when it was first launched).

A tough ask in all, but Kinetic delivered and the dimunitive Luna rode into the homes and hearts of thousands of Indians, serving as personal transport for everyone — from family patriarchs to college-going teenagers. Fast-forward to the present: daughter Sulajja Firodia Motwani has similar plans for the recently launched E-Luna. Motwani wants the indigenously designed and manufactured e-avatar to reach every nook and corner of the country, and find export markets too. Since its launch barely a week ago, the E-Luna has already received more than 40,000 enquiries, while in Maharashtra, where it had a pilot launch much earlier, it has sold more than 3,000 units over the last two months.

“When we told the market that we’re bringing back the Luna in electric format, the response was just phenomenal and I’m having people writing poems on my social media about Luna and all kinds of posts from enthusiasts. I think the love is just phenomenal. So I think the Kinetic brand remains very loved because of life-changing products like the Luna and the Kinetic Honda,” she tells brandline.

Legacy brands

Kinetic Honda, another iconic brand from the company, had been launched 20 years after the Luna and became a rage during the 1990s and early 2000s. “I don’t see anybody who doesn’t smile, you know, when they speak about a Luna or a Kinetic Honda. So I think the brand is very strong. The heritage is very strong and the timing is very good,” Motwani emphasises.

Given the immensely positive response to the electric variant, she’s excited and bullish about the future of the two-wheeler segment and Kinetic Green as a company, intending to forge ahead in this space, especially with the E-Luna platform.

Elaborating, she says, “So, the E-Luna will not be just a product, it will be a complete platform with multiple variants. It’s designed to be a ‘multi-utility electric vehicle’, as we’re calling it; like with cars, it’s pretty stylish now to say, ‘I have an SUV, I have an MUV’.”

Sulajja Firodia Motwani

Sulajja Firodia Motwani

On the distribution strategy for the Luna brand, she says that the existing network of 350 dealers would be expanded to 1,000 in the next two years, “so that every district/town and the last tehsils” will have a direct dealer.

“Beyond that we are creating a concept of multi-entrepreneurship, where we will be penetrating even the smaller towns or tehsils of the larger villages. We will have an ‘E-Luna Shoppe’ in each of these towns. We will identify entrepreneurs who can have a small showroom for the E-Luna sales and service, and who can promote and support E-Luna in their territory. We have also suggested that this clean/ small store should be run by a local entrepreneur,” she says.

Recall value

Her idea, Motwani stresses, is to build relationships and bonding with customers and society at large, while taking the E-Luna and the message of ‘e-mobility for all’ deeper into the hinterland.

Concurring with Motwani’s assertion about the E-Luna’s potential for mass appeal, Puneet Gupta, Director, S&P Global Mobility, says the product can serve as a perfect mobility option for personal and professional use. “E-Luna is in a sweet-spot segment as it has huge potential to touch masses. Moreover, the brand has an emotional appeal and may establish a strong connect right from the start,” he adds.

With a 2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which includes a swappable option, the E-Luna delivers a range of 110 km on a full charge, with takes three hours. It delivers a top-speed of 50 kmph.

Kinetic Green E-Luna

Kinetic Green E-Luna

“At an introductory ex-showroom price of ₹69,990, E-Luna is not only the most affordable high-speed electric two-wheeler but also the most easy-on-pocket with its 10 paisa per km running cost!” she adds.

Its nearest rivals are Chinese brands largely selling in unorganised markets. High-speed e-scooters such as Ola S1, TVS iQube or Ather cost above ₹1 lakh, while those priced around ₹80,000 have lower range of 70-80 km per charge.

Motwani is raring to showcase her bike to the world. She says a massive multimedia campaign will be launched, designed by Ogilvy’s Piyush Pandey, who had also designed the Luna’s hugely popular original campaign, ‘Chal meri Luna’. The intent, she says, is “to bring back this message of progress, growth, aspiration, inclusivity. So it will be both a pull and push in our marketing and distribution strategy”.

With a new campaign, ‘Phir se chal meri Luna’ (Let’s start over, Luna) and taglines such as ‘Heavy duty hai, Yahi toh beauty hai’ and ‘Style se bolo chal meri, Luna’, Motwani expects to make electric mobility a practical and affordable choice everywhere in India.

The E-Luna has a lot running on its slender frame.