India's largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp has tied up with Taiwanese electric two-wheeler maker Gogoro to accelerate the shift to sustainable electric mobility in India which will see the Indian bike maker develop Gogoro's battery swapping stations. Additionally, the collaboration also includes Hero-branded EVs that will be powered by Gogoro Network vehicles.
This is the first direct foray of Hero MotoCorp in the nascent but fast moving two-wheeler EV space. It has also invested in EV start-up Ather where it is the largest shareholder with a 35 per cent stake. Hero's direct rivals Bajaj and TVS have already forayed into the EV space with the Chetak and iQube, respectively.
"Our strategic partnership with Gogoro is in line with our Vision - 'Be the Future of Mobility' which we are bringing alive through our Mission to 'Create, Collaborate & Inspire'," said Pawan Munjal, Chairman and CEO, Hero MotoCorp. "Today marks another major milestone in our journey, as we bring Hero's leadership in two-wheelers, our Global scale and innovation powerhouse, with the leadership of Gogoro in swapping business model, as they have demonstrated over the years in Taiwan and rest of the world."
"This partnership will further extend the work, which we are doing at our R&D hubs at the Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) in Jaipur and our Tech Centre in Germany," he added. "The vision and commitment of Hero and Gogoro is perfectly aligned towards the common goal of accelerating the shift to smart, sustainable electric mobility in India, and around the world. With this new partnership, we commit to introducing a sustainable mobility paradigm, first in India and then in other markets around the world. This partnership will strengthen and expedite the Indian government's electrification drive and will have a significant impact on India's energy and mobility future."
In the post pandemic era, sale of electric vehicles have surged in the country imparting momentum to the electrification journey of the industry. In fiscal 2021, despite the pandemic, over 40,000 electric two-wheelers were sold in the country against less than 25,000 units in the previous fiscal. Though Hero has not given a timeline for the launch of its first EV two-wheeler in the country, its foray will further push electrification in the country.
"We are at a critical stage in the transformation of urban mobility and the evolution of smart cities. With more than 225 million gas-powered two-wheel vehicles in India, the need for smart and sustainable electric transportation and refueling is vital," said Horace Luke, Founder & CEO, Gogoro Inc. "The Hero-Gogoro partnership addresses these challenges and will leverage Hero's market strength and Gogoro's industry leading innovations to deliver smart vehicles and refueling with Gogoro Network battery swapping."
Founded in 2011, Gogoro Network is a hyper-efficient battery swapping platform that was recognised by Frost & Sullivan with the 2020 Company of the Year Award for the Global Swappable Battery Electric Scooter Market. It has more than 375,000 riders and 2,000 battery swapping stations and manages 265,000 daily battery swaps with more than 174 million total battery swaps to date.
Battery swapping is seen as an effective way to get around the problem of lack of charging stations in India and is believed to be highly effective for B2B fleet and delivery services. Chetan Maini's Sun Mobility is the first battery swapping solutions provider in India.