Companies

TVS Motor will have a portfolio of EVs: Sudarshan Venu

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on January 27, 2020 Published on January 27, 2020

TVS Motor Company sees a bright future for electric two-wheelers in India. So the country’s third largest two-wheeler company, by volume, has jumped onto the battery-operated scooter bandwagon with the introduction of iQube, a connected automatic scooter. The launch marks the entry of yet another established two-wheeler maker in a domain that has only seen the entry of numerous small players and start-ups.

Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director, TVS Motor, discussed the company’s product plan, technology and its expansion in the EV market in Bengaluru on Saturday. Excerpts:

How do you say iQube is the most connected electric scooter in India?

Our electric scooter has 58 features that include geo-fencing, remote battery charge status, navigation assistance, etc.

With SmartXonnect, iQube’s processing speed is 2.5 times faster than a laptop. So, I believe we provide the most connected experience to the customers with indigenously developed iQube.

Who will be your key target customers?

We think electric vehicles are important for the future. Young people are more willing than ever to consider buying an electric scooter if it comes with digital features. So iQube will target all those millennials, who are agile.

When will you launch iQube in other cities?

We have chosen Bengaluru because the city has a lot of millennials who are very young, cool, digital and connected. Hence, we are commencing sales in this city, which is also the most evolved market for electric scooters. For the next few months, the focus will be on Bengaluru and we aim to sell about 1,000 units a month in this city. Our plan is to cover three-four other cities during this calendar year. We will also have a subscription model — the details of which will be out shortly.

What about the sales, service and other support system for iQube?

This will see a phased expansion. Our dealerships will gear up for service and other support services before the launch. We will provide a unique sales experience including a personal telecalling assistant who will support through purchase. We will focus on handholding customers. Charging of the vehicles will also be made easy with smart home-charging kit and public charging support.

How strong is your EV programme?

Right now, electric scooters are a premium offering, given the prices, features and the focus on urban areas. However, the market will evolve over a period of time. We plan to have a portfolio of electric vehicles and will launch more such vehicles over time. Presently, the outlay for our electric vehicle programmes is about ₹200 crore.

How strong are your capabilities for development electric vehicles?

The entire technology, development, BMS (battery management system), motor for iQube has been done indigenously by the TVS R&D team. Of course, there are some components that are imported. From design to the market launch of iQube, it has been done entirely by us.

We are promising 50,000 km of warranty for our battery and we are confident about the durability and reliability of this battery. TVS Motor has a strong in-house product and technology capabilities to build a portfolio of electric vehicles. Our iQube will be made at the Hosur plant and capacity will not be a constraint. We also hope that the ecosystem for battery recycling will develop along with EV evolution.

This correspondent was in Bengaluru at the invitation of the company

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Published on January 27, 2020
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