Chinese electric scooter company to shift production base to India

October 19, 2021 12:54 PM

This Chinese electric scooter company will shift production base to India
A Chinese electric two-wheeler manufacturer will shift production for exports from China to India in the first instance of its kind.

Start-up DAO EVTech is talking to the Andhra Pradesh government for setting up an integrated electric two-wheeler plant in Chittoor with plans for exports to the US and Europe.

China is the biggest manufacturer of electric vehicles in the world with a virtual monopoly in electric two-wheelers. According to Frost and Sullivan, China produced a total of 33.9 million electric two-wheelers in 2020. This translates to 97 percent share of the world’s electric two-wheeler market.

“We are talking to the Andhra Pradesh government for a detailed project report on a mega project at Chittoor,” Maneesh Singh, vice president of strategic development at DAO EVTech said. “This will be a captive manufacturing base spread on 10 acres. The future roadmap is to manufacture for exports. We will be shifting our China exports to India because we want to capitalise on the zero import duty to the US.”

DAO EVTech is simultaneously laying the groundwork for the launch of its first product in the Indian market which will start getting delivered to customers from January 2022.

Its flagship model 703, having a range of 100km and a top speed of 70kmph, is priced at Rs 86,000 after subsidies. A total of four models will be launched by the company; they are being made at two leased locations in Chakan near Pune and at Zaheerabad in Telangana.

“Our leased facilities will converge and move to Andhra Pradesh later on. This is part of the three-year plan that we have. We are not disclosing the investments that will go in this project but it will be in triple-digit million dollars,” Singh added.

As against the assembly operations carried out at the leased locations, DAO EVTech will increase local content in its products after the Chittoor plant becomes operational by manufacturing many parts in the plant itself.

“Controllers, battery pack manufacturing, electrical and electronic parts will be done at the new plant,” Singh added.

Products and distribution

DAO has opened bookings for the four models. Besides the 703 high-speed model, two low-speed models – Vidyut 106 and Vidyut 108 – and one last-mile delivery vehicle, Zor 405, are on sale. The company claims that these vehicles have been developed to suit Indian consumers and driving conditions.

DAO will use batteries powered by Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) instead of Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC). LFP technology is considered to be safer for the varied climates of India, lasts longer and gives slightly better mileage than traditional NMC Lithium-ion batteries. LFP, however, is heavier than NMC.

“We are starting with 20 dealers in the south and west of the country and have a further 28 dealers in the pipeline. Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Vijayawada and Guntur will be some of the places that we will start off with. Deliveries will begin in January,” Singh added.

DAO aims to sell 30 units per month from the first 20 dealers and scale up to 300 dealers in 18 months.

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