Hero MotoCorp will rival the likes of Bajaj, TVS, Ather, Okinawa and other electric two-wheeler manufacturers in India
While Hero MotoCorp is undoubtedly the largest two-wheeler manufacturer in the world, it is yet to actively venture into electric mobility like its immediate rivals Bajaj Auto and TVS MotoCorp (no Hero Electric is a separate entity altogether). Even though company chairman Pawan Munjal has invested heavily in Ather Energy, a brand like Hero with so many resources is bound to have an electric lineup of its own.
The two-wheeler manufacturer has now announced that it will launch its first electric product by the end of the fiscal year of FY2021-22, which means between January and March next year. The development was confirmed by company CFO, Niranjan Gupta, in an interaction with a leading business news website.
Partnership With Gogoro
The brand is currently working on developing both fixed-battery and swappable battery EVs. The latter type is being developed in association with Hero MotoCorp’s Taiwanese partner Gogoro. The electric scooters and motorcycles will make use of Gogoro’s technology and will be sold and marketed by Hero. In fact, in addition to its own models, Hero MotoCorp could also launch rebadged Gogoro scooters although nothing is confirmed as of now.
Due to a family pact with Hero Electric, Hero MotoCorp would have to launch its electric two-wheelers under a separate brand name so as not to create confusion. This new brand name will be announced close to the launch of its first electric two-wheeler. Maybe we could get a sneak peek into the upcoming brands at the AutoExpo scheduled for February 2022 (if it were to happen).
Electric Maestro Edge
Hero’s first electric two-wheeler is expected to be based on Maestro Edge which has also been spotted testing on a couple of occasions a few months back. The e-scooter is currently being developed at the company’s R&D centre in Jaipur (CIT). A prototype of the e-scooter made its first public appearance at the Hero World event last year.
On first glance, the electric scooter looks very similar to its IC engine-powered counterpart. However, on a closer look, one can notice subtle cosmetic variations. For instance, the biggest difference is the absence of an exhaust setup complemented by contrasting gold-coloured alloy wheels and front forks. Other styling elements included a smoked LED headlamp and blacked-out visor and rearview mirrors.
The bikemaker is still tight-lipped about the e-scooter’s specifications regarding its powertrain although it is expected to utilise a belt-driven motor. As far as features go, it is expected to be offered with three ride modes including drive, park and reverse which could be controlled from the left-hand side switchgear.
The fully digital instrument cluster from the petrol-powered scooter is expected to be carried forward in this electric iteration. Other features likely to be on offer include keyless start/stop and internet connectivity.