Brand LML which became famous as the maker of LML Vespa scooters, is set to come back in September this year with the unveiling of three electric two-wheelers and a rejuvenated company brand logo.
The privately held LML Electric, led by Managing Director and CEO, Yogesh Bhatia, has tied up with a German company eRockit Systems GMBH, to launch electric hyperbikes in India. These pedal-operated hyperbikes, a combination of electric bicycles and motorcycles, will be commercially manufactured in India in early 2023.
eRockit does not have a throttle on its handlebars like those found on motorcycles and scooters. Instead, the e-bike has bicycle-like pedals that can push the vehicle to speeds of up to 80km per hour with a few strokes. The LML branded variant of the eRockit will, however, have pedal-assist wherein the user can get help from the electric motor on the move.
“The eRockit products will be made in India for sales globally. LML will get a hyperbike, which won’t be exactly eRockit but something similar. The European model is a pedal model but the LML model will be pedal-assist. We won’t use the technology used in eRockit. This is the right time to get to the market a very unique and innovative hyperbike,” Bhatia said in an interview to BusinessLine.
The two companies will form an equal equity stake joint venture company which will take the responsibility of manufacturing the eRockit besides managing the exports of the products across the globe. As India provides a low-cost manufacturing base for the German company compared to its home base, India will become the global manufacturing base for the eRockit.
The third product from LML Electric will be an electric scooter. “On September 29, 2022, LML will celebrate its Golden Jubilee. We will showcase the new logo of LML as well as unveil the new products of LML. One hyperbike, one e-bike built as per US and European standard and one e-scooter. Production of the e-bike and e-hyperbike will begin in January-February while the e-scooter will undergo production in August-September next year,” Bhatia added.
In January this year, LML Electric entered into a strategic partnership with Saera Electric – the former manufacturing partner of Harley-Davidson India - to use its Haryana-based plant to produce its electric two-wheelers. LML is also finalising a larger production plant for which it is talking to three state governments. This plant will come up by 2024.
“The (Harley) plant has good quality equipment and robotic machines and it is perfect to handle production of our electric bikes. We shall begin production with 18,000 a month. Separately, we have received proposals from Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan for setting up our own plant. We are evaluating these proposals and shall finalise before the end of this year,” Bhatia added.
LML Electric is looking to get investors on board to fund its foray and expansion. But as the company is keen to avoid getting a ‘low valuation’ from the investors, it wants to first showcase its products and unveil its strategic plans before finalising deals with the financial investors.
“We have been approached by a lot of investors but we are not in a hurry to get them onboard. The scenario will change after our unveiling in September this year. Till now we have made our own investments. We want our potential investors to look at our products first. We don’t want to take investment in a hurry because we don’t want it to come at a low valuation,” Bhatia added.
LML Electric is completely delinked from the yesteryear LML, except for the brand. The previous LML, founded in 1972, permanently shut operations in 2018 after multiple attempts to revive the company.
The company aims to set up franchise partners in each of the districts of the country who will address consumer and dealer enquiries. Bigger metro cities can have 2-3 such partners. About 750 such partners will become operational.