After a gap of three years, India’s premier auto show, Auto Expo, made a welcome return. Now in its 16th edition, the biennial event ran from January 13 – January 18. From innovative concepts to ready-to-launch models, commercial segment to passenger segment offerings, two-, three- and four-wheelers – they were all there.

The event comes at a time when India’s two-wheeler (2W) market has been struggling with rising cost challenges and the ripple effects of the pandemic.  In a price-sensitive market, cost escalation has meant higher purchase prices, with estimates putting such price hikes at almost 30% over the last 3-5 years.  All these factors have hurt demand, particularly in the sizeable entry-level category.  As the world’s second largest 2W market after China mounts a comeback, electric alternatives are set to play a major role in market recovery.

To learn more, please access our forthcoming research report, Asian Electric Two-wheeler Startups, our research into Indian Electric Two-wheeler Growth Opportunities, Growth Opportunities for Global Premium Two-wheelers, Strategic Analysis of the Global Electric Two- and Three-wheeler Battery Swapping Market, and Global Two-wheeler Outlook, 2022, or contact sathyanarayanak@frost.com for information on a private briefing.

Our Top Picks

A range of models and new technologies were on display at Auto Expo 2023. Among the standouts this year were:

    1. Greaves Electric Mobility showcased its new electric two-wheeler (e2W), the Ampere Primus, which will be available in the market soon. The company also revealed two concept e2Ws – the Ampere NXG and Ampere NXU – as well as three concept electric three-wheelers (e3Ws) – the ELP, ELC, and Aero Vision. The company will be focusing on commercial last mile delivery applications for the Ampere NXU, ELC, and Aero Vision models. Besides manufacturing, the company also plans on investing ₹1500 crore to develop an electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem.
    1. Hungarian 2W brand, Keeway, owned by China’s QJ Group, made its debut in the Indian market in May 2022 with three ICE 2Ws, including two scooters and a motorcycle model, the SR125. This time round, Keeway showcased a new motorcycle model, the Keeway SR250, the second neo-retro bike in the Keeway SR line up. Bookings for the SR250 are now open for a token amount of Rs 2,000, with deliveries slated to begin from April 2023. It will be competing against the Kawasaki W175 and TVS Ronin.
    1. Pune-based Tork Motors unveiled its Kratos X eMotorcycle model, an upgraded version of the Kratos R, with additional features such as fast charging, Furiously Fast (FF) mode, and aluminium swingarm. Kratos X also boasts a 7-inch LCD touchscreen display, along with Android and navigation. The company announced the discontinuation of the Kratos S, with only the updated Kratos R and the Kratos X now available on the product line.
    1. Ultraviolette Automotive exhibited the new F99 factory racing platform that propels peak power output of 65bhp and a top speed of more than 200km/h.
    1. Italian 2W manufacturer, Moto Bologna Passione, will be entering the Indian market with two bikes – the M502N and C1002V in the 500cc to 1000cc premium motorcycles segment. They will be sold in the country under the Benelli-Keeway dealership.
    1. Vadodara-based E2W start-up, Wardwizard Innovations & Mobility Ltd exhibited its new high-speed electric scooter, Mihos. It can reach 0-40 kmph in less than 7 seconds with a torque of 95 Nm. The company plans to invest in developing an EV ecosystem and building India’s first EV ancillary cluster.
    1. Omega Seiki Mobility (OSM) displayed its small commercial vehicle (SCV), the M1KA 1.0, India’s first IoT integrated, four door with cosmic roof, which can be used for commercial applications, including courier, goods distribution, e-commerce, and FMCG. The company also launched two passenger e3Ws in the L5M line-up, the Muse, and its first air-conditioned electric passenger vehicle, the Kraze.
    1. Liger Mobility unveiled its electric scooters: Liger X and Liger X+, the world’s first auto balancing electric scooters. The technology enables the scooters to balance automatically, thus enhancing rider safety and comfort. Both variants have 4G and GPS with a dedicated app enabling riders to see the live location of the vehicle, ride history, battery percentage, and temperature. They will provide notifications like tow, accident, and service reminders. The scooters are provided with TFT displays which makes riding with navigation easier.
    1. Ahmedabad-based e2W start-up, the Matter Group launched its series of new-generation EVs and concepts, including the concept UT and concept EXE electric bikes. Concept UT is designed to be a utilitarian electric motorcycle that can be used by delivery service providers, while the Concept EXE will be a street bike designed for short commutes. Both bikes will be positioned in the 150CC commuter segment.
    1. Atul Auto announced its entry into the EV segment with its subsidiary Atul Greentech Private Ltd. (AGPL). It launched Mobili, a passenger vehicle, and Energie, a cargo version that incorporate the latest telematics and battery management systems. While Energie is touted to be the industry’s first cargo e3W to have a dual battery pack that supports a range of 195 km, Mobili has a 110 km range. Both vehicles have been developed under the auspices of the “Make in India” initiative.
    1. Kolkata-based brand, Motovolt, known for its eBikes, made its foray into the electric scooter segment with the launch of its indigenously designed, smart, multi-purpose, eScooter. It comes with features like load bearing capacity, swappable batteries, and purpose-built storage. The eScooter can be connected via the Motovolt app for a better riding experience.

New Technologies

Amidst the buzz on smart and sustainable technologies, the two that stood out were Liger Mobility’s self-balancing technology and Atul Greentech Private Ltd’s battery pack cooling technology.

Liger’s self-balancing technology leverages AI algorithms to process over 9000 data points generated per second from multiple sensors. The proprietary AutoBalancing technology kicks in at low speeds of 5-7 kmph or when the electric scooter is stationary and is geared to boost rider comfort and safety, while reducing the learning curve for new riders.

Atul Greentech Private Ltd’s battery packs have been developed in-house with a temperature control solution that enables cooling of the AIS 156 battery pack. This allows for smooth performance even in challenging weather conditions. In addition, the battery packs are integrated with a vehicle telemetry system that provides drivers and fleet operators with timely insights through real-time monitoring and remote visualization for real-time diagnosis of functioning, thereby facilitating preventative maintenance.

Our Perspective

Electrification was the dominant theme at Auto Expo 2023, with most participants showcasing new electrified offerings or announcing their foray into the EV segment via concept vehicles and new model launches.

India’s 2W market has long been dominated by homegrown companies, including Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto Limited, and TVS Motors and start-ups like Ola, Okinawa, and Ather with a sprinkling of Japanese presence in the form of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, India Yamaha Motor, and Suzuki Motorcycle India. Auto Expo 2023 marked the entry of European brands like Italian Moto Bologna Passione and Hungarian Keeway into the country.

While offerings for personal mobility have traditionally hogged the headlines, the attention this year was on models for last mile delivery services.

A range of cutting-edge technologies were in focus as E2W and E3W companies sought to offer improved rider and driver safety features and safer battery management systems (BMS).

Electrification of portfolios was, undoubtedly, a leading theme at Auto Expo 2023. A clear parallel trend was of automakers investing in third party companies to accelerate the development of an enabling EV ecosystem.

Embedded telematics were the highlight of several vehicles. Connectivity was front and center, with most automakers showcasing their own apps to monitor vehicles, battery health, and driving behaviour, among other critical performance parameters.

With inputs from Amrita Shetty, Senior Manager, Communications & Content –Mobility

About Shraddha Manjrekar

Manjrekar serves as a Senior Research Analyst within Frost & Sullivan's Mobility practice. Her research focuses on the MEASA and Indian automotive market dynamics, emerging trends, technologies and forecasting, most specifically, in the electromobility and new urban mobility solutions fields.

Shraddha Manjrekar

Manjrekar serves as a Senior Research Analyst within Frost & Sullivan's Mobility practice. Her research focuses on the MEASA and Indian automotive market dynamics, emerging trends, technologies and forecasting, most specifically, in the electromobility and new urban mobility solutions fields.

Amrita Shetty

Amrita Shetty is Communications & Content Senior Manager within Frost & Sullivan's Mobility practice.

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