Japan’s largest electric vehicle maker Terra Motors Corporation on Tuesday ventured into India with the introduction of the country’s first ever 1,000-cc electric superbike Kiwami at a price of Rs. 18 lakh.
With the aim to attract the youth, motorcycle enthusiasts and urban consumers who look for eco-friendly variants, Kiwami which in Japanese means ‘ultimate’, produces a maximum power of 13.4 bhp and a top speed of 160 kph. The bike can be fully charged in six hours and has a range of 200 km.
“India is the second largest producer of two-wheelers in the world. Hence, it is an important market in our strategic growth plan and we intend to invest Rs. 300 million (Rs. 30 crore) in the Indian market next fiscal year,” said Toru Tokushige, chief executive officer (CEO), Terra Motors. “The electric vehicle market in India is very fragmented and consumers do not have a high image of the segment. We wanted to change that, hence, we have adopted a top-down strategy. We are looking at cheaper commuter segment bikes in the future as well.”
The bike will be imported directly from Japan but the company said it will set up a factory here in the second stage. Currently, electric two-wheelers attract an import duty of 30%. Terra Motors is targeting sales of 10,000 units by the end of nest fiscal and a market share of 25%.
“We don’t believe that every gasoline motorbike will be replaced by electric bikes but it has a future,” Tokushige said. “There are problems with charging and infrastructure in India but I want consumers to treat the vehicles like their mobile phones. Charge it every evening like you charge your phone and the vehicle would be ready to use in the morning every day. It can become a habit.”