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Published on: Oct. 19, 2022, 2:43 p.m.
Hero MotoCorp rides into EV sector
  • Munjal: Vida is not just a product, but a promise from the Hero Group

By S.M. Boothem

From bicycles to motorcycles to scooters, Hero has come a long way. The leader in two-wheeler manufacturing in India is now setting its eyes on electrical vehicles (EVs) for the next generation. With the introduction of its maiden product, Vida, an electric scooter loaded with tech features, Hero MotoCorp plans to play an important role in the EV segment.

“The launch of Vida V1, powered by Hero, heralds a new chapter in sustainable mobility. The Vida V1 will play a crucial role by reducing tailpipe emissions, promoting eco-friendly behaviour and leading to a conscious shift in overall consumption patterns. We must redesign the entire value system and ecosystem of a product and service to have meaningful results for the future of our planet. We have taken the responsibility of contributing towards building a sustainable future so that the generations that come after us inherit a better planet than the one that we live in. With our tagline ‘Make Way’, Vida V1 is paving the path to a greener and cleaner planet,” said Dr Pawan Munjal, Chairman and CEO, Hero MotoCorp.

The EV was designed and developed at Hero’s state-of-the-art R&D hubs, the Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) in Jaipur and the Hero Tech Centre (TCG), Munich, Germany. Vida is manufactured at the company’s plant at Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. The two variants – Vida V1 Plus and V1 Pro – are priced at Rs1,45,00 and Rs1,59,000 respectively. Customers can book the scooter with a down payment Rs2,499 and deliveries will commence in December this year. In the first phase, the products will be available for customers in Delhi, Bengaluru and Jaipur.

The two-wheeler maker plans to take Vida to other cities across India in a phased manner. Vida V1 Pro offers a top speed of 80kph with a range of 165 km, while V1 Plus has a top speed of 80kph speed and a 143 km range. Hero MotoCorp is also installing Pods which will be placed in vantage spots across its dealerships in various cities.

Setting India on the move

“Vida is not just a product, but a promise from the Hero Group. At present, we are not going for higher volumes. As and when the demand picks up, we will ramp up our production. Customers can visit our Experience Centres where we showcase our products. We are big in the motorcycles segment in India, but a late entrant in the scooters segment. This is an opportunity for us in the EV scooter space. We plan to export to Latin America, Asia and Europe,” explains Munjal. “Way back in 1956, my father pedalled the first ever Hero bicycle around the yard and he was so excited and rode the cycle all the way home to share his joy with all of us and the rest is history. He set India on the move,” recalls Munjal.    

“We need to make healthier choices. As a leader in the two-wheeler segment, we need to think about what we can do and how we can do it differently. Our vision is to democratise mobility,” said Swadesh Srivastava, Head of Business Unit, Emerging Mobility, Hero MotoCorp.

  • This is an opportunity for us in the EV scooter space. We plan to export to Latin America, Asia and Europe

The charging of EVs is a major concern in India. The Vida offers a comprehensive charging package for hassle-free charging at home, on the road and at work. It will come with a removable battery and can be integrated at home to enable safe and convenient charging up to 11kW. Hero MotoCorp aims to build one of the best charging networks in the two-wheeler segment with fast chargers.

The batteries have gone through many industry-first test protocols for reliability and safety. It comes with a standard five-year warranty for 50,000 km. The batteries are covered by a warranty valid for three years or up to 30,000 km. The Vida has also gone through a number of vigorous tests to make it suitable for all types of Indian road conditions. 

To encourage customers to go for green vehicles, Hero MotoCorp offers an attractive interest rate of 2 per cent less than the prevailing market rates. Another feature introduced by the company is that it will buy back the scooter at 70 per cent of purchase value between the 16th and 18th months of vehicle ownership. Another first-of-its-kind initiative in this category. 

A recent report by BNP Paribas on EVs’ trend says two-wheeler customers are ready for EV adoption. They need access to a variety of reliable and affordable models and the shift to e-two wheelers is irreversible. A withdrawal of incentives could delay but not reverse this shift.

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