Murugappa Group has indicated that it has chosen to focus on three-wheelers and tractors for electrification and will stay away from the electric two-wheeler space as part of its clean mobility business, which will come under TI Clean Mobility Pvt Ltd (TCMPL).
TCMPL has been incorporated as a subsidiary of Tube Investments of India Ltd with an initial authorised capital of ₹10 lakh.
Tube Investments has chosen three-wheelers and tractors as the first and second focus areas for launching electric products as both the segments are seen as ripe for disruption.
“In EV focus, we see a much better approach to electric vehicles is the productive end of the spectrum versus the consumptive end of the spectrum. So, the areas we are staying away from are two-wheelers and passenger cars that are more consumptive. We are focused more on the productive end of the spectrum where the vehicle is an asset and earns income for the owner. Three-wheelers are a case in this,” said Vellayan Subbiah, Managing Director of Tube Investments of India Ltd, during the company’s Q3 earnings call.
He said cost economics worked better in the case of three-wheelers when compared to two-wheelers when factors such as battery capacity, range and cost of the vehicle were analysed. Also, in three-wheelers, the owner or driver of the vehicle will see much more tangible financial benefits on month-to-month basis.
The company sees similar characteristics in tractors too. Since power is subsidised for the agriculture segment, if one takes the running costs per day of a diesel tractor, especially during cultivation, it’s extremely high because of high fuel price. Hence, the company sees better economics of moving to electric tractors
“We think that the crossover point on both three-wheeler and tractor is going to come much before the crossover point in other vehicles - that’s between EV and ICE. We are planning to come out with a lower horsepower tractor by July. So, our intent is definitely to get into the electric tractor segment,” said Subbiah.
Tube Investments is picking up a controlling stake in Hyderabad-based Cellestial E-Mobility Pvt Ltd, a start-up engaged in the design and manufacture of electric tractors.
Meanwhile, the company’s electric three-wheeler launch has been delayed by a few months and is expected to happen be in July/August.
Its electric three-wheelers will initially be sold in the South through its distribution set up and the company will introduce the product in western and northern markets gradually. Products have undergone extensive testing, over the last one year. There are prototypes on the final version that are undergoing reliability tests at different stages, said KK Paul, Head of the Cycle Business of the company.