Homegrown consumer durables maker Micromax Informatics plans to enter electric vehicles and battery manufacturing, especially at a time when handset and consumer electronics segments have become hyper competitive.
Micromax is in advanced stages of completion of the testing formalities for the vehicles and has got approvals for some of its lithium battery categories.
The company is keen on entering the e-two and three-wheeler categories and its prototypes are being tested, industry sources have said. It recently got certification for lithium batteries for e-rickshaws and e-autos. The Gurugram-based mobile phone and consumer durables maker is in talks with various investors for funding, sources have further said.
“We’re looking into electric vehicles, but it’s still early days. We’re talking to technology partners,” Rajesh Agarwal, co-founder of Micromax, told ET, confirming the company’s venture into electric vehicles, but declined to share further details.
Another company executive said on the condition of anonymity that entering into the electric vehicle segment was a big opportunity as only a handful of players existed and there’s demand from both private and government sides.
“There are very limited players in the ethree wheelers segment — Bajaj Auto, Mahindra & Mahindra, TVS and Piaggio Ape — while the e-rickshaw market is largely unorganised. Scope in electric two-wheelers segment is very wide. With the government’s focus on promoting e-mobility, we expect the electric three-wheelers and two wheelers to pick up quickly,” said the executive.
He said that companies such as Uber and Ola were also looking at mass procurement, while most states are already supporting electric vehicles through policies.
The Union government is considering fiscal and other incentives for electric vehicles under the second phase of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme, which may include waiving of registration and road tax on sale of electric vehicles. The government is also considering duty waivers and incentives for manufacturers.
The executive said that “Micromax is preparing to tap these opportunities”.
Once the company’s prototypes receive approval from government testing authorities, the company is expected to finalise the location for the manufacturing unit.
“The facility has to be supported by the ecosystem existing at places like Pune, Bangalore or Chennai,” the executive said.
Micromax’s lithium batteries for e-rickshaws and e-autos got government certification about 15 days ago and are already in the market. The battery manufacturing business is also in synergy as the company already sources lithium cells in the country for phones.>