Hero Electric is a subsidiary of Hero Motorcorp, one of the world's biggest two-wheeler manufacturer. They also are leaders in the electric scooters space in India. Hero Electric plans to train 20,000 roadside mechanics for instilling confidence in buyers for buying their EV's over the next 3 years.
The company also plans to deploy 20,000 charging stations across India, which will enable Hero Electric customers to top off during emergencies.
Hero Electric has already trained 4000 mechanics and deployed around 1500 charging stations till date. The Managing Director of Hero Electric Naveen Munjal said
"We have currently over 600 dealers and sub dealers in the country. It's a multi-layered approach which we are focusing on. We have dealers and then we also have sub dealers in the periphery areas to cater to the demand of the customers."
The company plans to double their sales in the current year. They also aim to increase their EV production capacity from 75,000 units to 3,00,000 units.
This is a great initiative. We see hundreds of local mechanics in our cities slogging away servicing pollution scooters. If Hero Electric can skill these capable mechanics, it would make a difference to the lives of the mechanics and also improve customer confidence.
But we sense one problem here. As now if you own an electric scooter, you are dependent on your dealer for service. Getting road side mechanics to service Hero Electric scooters might create some conflicts with local Hero Electric dealers. As dealers will start loosing revenue opportunities from service. Also there are many electronic components, that wont be stocked by road side mechanics. It remains to be seen how this will pan out.
Regarding Hero Electric's charging station initiative, it appears as though the company is installing charge points. But that is not the reality. We spoke to a Hero Electric dealer here in Pune and they said that Hero Electric is sending many socket based charging equipment to their 600+ dealers. And dealers are responsible for installation and maintenance of these charge points. It remains to be seen which dealers will actively bother setting up these charge points. Most Hero Electric dealers we have observed, wont go the extra mile to do something like this. The Pune dealer - eGalaxy Motors though are serious and want to install the equipment but is not able to get business locations and spend extra effort in setting up charge points.
We feel Hero Electric needs to change their approach. Most dealers wont help them here.