October and November 2023: Record Months for India's Two-Wheeler Market
Electric vehicle sales have surpassed 1.2 million in the first ten months of 2023, calling for a thorough analysis of this transformative trend.
The Indian two-wheeler market, encompassing both Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) variants, is poised for an exceptional performance in October and November 2023. The reason? The festive season, spanning 42 days from October 15 and extending 15 days after Dhanteras, has unleashed a wave of consumer spending on new vehicle purchases, benefiting both the ICE and EV segments.
Electric Two-Wheeler Surge
According to retail sales data from the government's Vahan portal as of November 1, a remarkable total of 71,604 electric two-wheelers were sold in October 2023. This figure ranks October 2023 as the month with the third-highest sales, trailing only May 2023 (105,521 units) and March 2023 (86,339 units). The sales spike in March is typically associated with the fiscal year-end rush, while May witnessed a surge in demand as buyers rushed to purchase electric two-wheelers before the 25% reduction in FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) subsidies, which took effect from June 1, 2023.
Strong Demand in October
Despite the first fortnight of October coinciding with the "shraddh" period (September 29 - October 14), a time when many Indians traditionally delay new purchases, the demand surged remarkably in the second half of the month. As a result, while the first fortnight of October saw a YoY sales decline of 7% (October 2022: 77,267 units), the accelerated demand in the second fortnight compensated for the earlier dip. This underscores the maturity of the market, with consumers now willing to invest in electric two-wheelers at higher prices.
Since the reduction in FAME subsidies in June 2023, a total of 298,935 electric two-wheelers have been sold at higher prices. This period follows the drastic drop in sales to an 11-month low of 46,064 units in June 2023 after the subsidy cut.
Impressive Year-on-Year Growth
The cumulative sales for the first nine months of CY2023 amount to 688,442 units, reflecting a robust 41% increase compared to January-October 2022's sales of 489,726 units. These figures also indicate that this year's sales have already surpassed the total retail sales of 631,174 units in CY2022. With the festive season continuing through Diwali and Dhanteras in November, it's anticipated that the Indian electric two-wheeler industry could conclude CY2023 with total sales ranging from 750,000 to 800,000 units. This would translate to a remarkable year-on-year growth of 18% to 25%.
Top Players in the Market
Among the 165 OEMs competing in India's electric two-wheeler market, the top 9 EV manufacturers have each sold more than 1,000 units, collectively accounting for 90% of total October sales. Notably, the top two EV OEMs, Ola Electric and TVS Motor Co, are the only ones with retails reaching five figures.
Ola Electric: As the market leader, Ola Electric sold over 20,000 units in October, holding a commanding 31% market share, and achieving a strong 21% month-on-month growth. The company has also crossed the milestone of 200,000 sales in the first ten months of 2023.
TVS Motor Co: With 15,729 units sold in October, TVS Motor Co experienced stable sales with a 0.93% month-on-month growth. The company has consistently grown its market share, which now stands at 22%.
Bajaj Auto: Bajaj Auto, which has expanded production of the Chetak scooter and its network, sold 8,519 Chetak units in October, marking a 20% increase compared to September. This performance places Bajaj Auto ahead of Ather Energy, positioning it as the strong number three player in the market.
Ather Energy: Ather Energy reported retail sales of 8,113 units in October, marking a 13.45% month-on-month growth compared to September. The company is actively working on facilitating easy financing options for potential buyers.
Greaves Electric Mobility: Achieving its best monthly performance, Greaves Electric Mobility sold 4,050 units in October, demonstrating a 12% month-on-month growth.
Hero MotoCorp: Hero MotoCorp, known for its Vida V1 e-scooter, secured the sixth position with 1,899 units sold in October, reflecting a remarkable 255% month-on-month growth from a low base in September.
With strong sales momentum in October, November 2023 is expected to outperform as Diwali and Dhanteras drive further demand. The increasing petrol prices across the country have led more personal two-wheeler users to consider the transition to electric mobility, which is cost-effective in the long run. Additionally, the demand for last-mile deliveries in urban and rural areas continues to boost sales of cargo-carrying electric two-wheelers. A growing economy, improved consumer sentiment, and attractive deals from OEMs during the festive season to encourage the shift to EVs all contribute to the sector's promising growth path in the months ahead.