Challenges and Opportunities in the Electric Motorcycle Market Amidst Subsidy Reduction
Challenges and Opportunities in the Electric Motorcycle Market Amidst Subsidy Reduction

The reduction in subsidies for electric vehicles (EVs), particularly in the electric motorcycle sector, has caused ripples throughout the industry, influencing business strategies and compelling companies like Tork Motors to adapt. This article delves into the ramifications of the subsidy reduction, its impact on Tork Motors, and the broader implications for the emerging electric two-wheeler market in India.

Subsidy Reduction's Impact on Tork Motors

Tork Motors, an electric motorcycle manufacturer, experienced a significant effect on its business due to the reduction in subsidies. The subsidy cut led to a substantial increase of INR 40,000 in the price of its flagship motorcycle, the Kratos R. Facing this challenge, Tork Motors chose a strategic approach: absorbing nearly half of the cost increase and passing on the rest to customers. This balancing act was aimed at maintaining competitiveness in the market while ensuring sustainability.

Challenges of Last-Minute Changes

While Tork Motors' response demonstrated adaptability, the abrupt nature of the subsidy reduction presented difficulties for the company and the industry as a whole. Tork Motors' CEO, Shelke, emphasized the importance of advance notice, ideally three to four months, to allow manufacturers to adjust their production, distribution, and marketing strategies effectively. The lack of sufficient planning time hindered companies' ability to manage the impact seamlessly.

Strategies for Market Resilience

In response to the changing market dynamics, Tork Motors decided to reintroduce a more affordable model similar to their previous offering, the Kratos. This decision aligns with the changing landscape post-subsidy reduction, as affordability becomes a more significant concern for potential EV buyers. The move echoes a broader trend seen in the industry, with other market leaders, such as Ola Electric, launching lower-priced models to make EVs more accessible to a wider audience.

Expansion Plans and Product Lineup

As the electric two-wheeler market gains momentum, Tork Motors has plans for a diverse product lineup. The company aims to launch a production version of the Kratos X, a model showcased at the Auto Expo 2023. This expansion is underpinned by an R&D-focused approach, with 75% of the company's workforce dedicated to research and development. By incorporating upgradable hardware, Tork Motors seeks to create vehicles that can evolve with technological advancements.

Journey to Profitability

Despite the challenges posed by subsidy reductions, Tork Motors aims to achieve operational profitability within a quarter or two, with expectations of eventual net profits within a year or more. Achieving this goal depends on ramping up production to meet demand and expanding the company's market presence. The Chakan plant, with a monthly capacity of 5,000 units, holds the key to scaling up production efficiently.

Unique Appeal of Electric Motorcycles

While electric scooters have gained popularity in India, Tork Motors' data suggests that electric motorcycle owners tend to utilize their vehicles more frequently. This intriguing trend challenges the perception that electric scooters dominate the EV landscape. The preference for electric motorcycles might be due to factors such as longer commutes and the performance-oriented nature of motorcycles. The reduction in subsidies for electric motorcycles has brought about challenges and opportunities for industry players like Tork Motors. The company's strategic response reflects the need for adaptation and innovation in an evolving market. As the electric two-wheeler market navigates these changes, it is clear that affordable pricing, diverse product offerings, and efficient production strategies will be crucial for sustained growth and success in the industry.

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