Hero Cycles' MD says electric bicycle business could be at risk. Here's why
While various incentives have been rolled out by the Central and state governments to encourage people to adopt clean and electric mobility such as electric scooters, bikes, cars and three-wheelers, the electric bicycles segment has been excluded from all major manufacturing and export promotion policies, Hero Cycles' MD Pankaj M Munjal said, PTI reported.
He added that the central government's two major initiatives - FAME-II and the recently announced production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme - have excluded the e-bicycle segment from availing various benefits under these plans. Thus, the country risks losing ₹10,000 crore worth of e-bicycles export orders to the European Union over the next five years, Munjal said.
Further, he said that India must work out a deal to bring down the import duties on the bicycles to the level of least developed countries and Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) countries, making it nil from the existing 14 per cent.
Highlighting the response the company's first batch of Made-in-India e-cycles exported to Europe in June had got, Munjal said that the country has a competitive edge to grab the business opportunities off shore. “However, we are losing out on the policy side that would have helped the industry to take advantage of the shrinking share of China and far-East as the suppliers of e-bikes to the EU," he said.
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Hero Cycles started manufacturing electric bicycles three years ago and following the Make-in-India initiative, the company invested more than ₹300 crore in a new factory to manufacture e-bicycles. Another ₹400 crore was invested through its vendor base, and ₹300 crore was invested in the UK for exporting bicycles to international markets in order to grab the market share of migrating e-bicycle manufacturing from China to the EU countries.
(with inputs from PTI)