World’s largest motorcycle maker to launch first EV brand

Hero MotoCorp's first electric vehicle Vida will be revealed on July 1

EVs make up just 1% of India's passenger vehicle sales annually. Reuters
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Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, is foraying into electric vehicles with a new brand as part of its plan to switch to cleaner technology.

The company will launch its first EV on July 1 under the brand Vida and begin deliveries later this year, according to a statement on Friday.

The electric model will be produced at a factory in the Southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The company will also set up a $100 million global sustainability fund to help entrepreneurs find environmental, social and governance solutions.

Getting gasoline two-wheelers off India’s roads is crucial to curb one of the world’s most toxic air environments as scooters and motorcycles pollute more than cars and account for 81 per cent of the vehicles in the nation.

Even though India has vowed to turn net carbon zero by 2070, EVs make up just 1 per cent of the nation’s passenger vehicle sales annually.

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India has fallen behind other major economies like China, where EVs will account for 25 per cent of passenger vehicle sales by 2025, according to estimates from BloombergNEF.

The new branding comes after Hero Electric ─ a separate company headed by a nephew of Hero MotoCorp’s chairman Pawan Munjal ─ sought court intervention to stop the bigger rival from using the namesake brand for its coming electric vehicles, according to local media.

The company cited exclusive brand rights over all types of battery models based on a 2010 agreement that divided family businesses, according to the reports. Hero Electric withdrew the petition against Hero MotoCorp last month, the Economic Times reported.

Updated: March 05, 2022, 4:00 AM
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