Hero MotoCorp has announced to introduce electric motorcycles of US-based Zero Motorcycles in India which will be manufactured within the country.
The two companies joined hands in September 2022 when the Delhi-based company invested $60 million in the California-based EV maker.
The initial agreement was for sourcing technology from Zero for electric motorcycles. But now the two companies have advanced their partnership to include launching the premium range of Zero in India.
“We will be bringing the Zero portfolio into India. We will be manufacturing its products in India too. With Zero as our partner, we look forward to accelerating the transition to electric mobility in India and across our global markets,” Hero MotoCorp said in its latest annual report.
Hero stepped up its premium play recently with the launch of the world’s smallest Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
With the planned introduction of Zero’s range, Hero intends to give its brand a premium push.
This is the first-of-kind partnership by Hero in the electric motorcycle space. Its first cooperation happened with Ather Energy when it picked up a stake in the company. The partnership, however, has seen the introduction of only electric scooters in the market.
One out of every seven two-wheelers sold in India is a motorcycle, out of which almost every second unit sold is made by Hero MotoCorp.
With such a significant reliance on motorcycles, the electrification journey of India’s two-wheeler segment demands urgent focus by manufacturers on the motorcycle space, say market watchers.
Only a handful of companies, mostly start-ups, have ventured into the electric motorcycles space in India. Companies like Tork, Revolt by Rattan India, Oben Electric and Ultraviolette are some of the companies who have launched electric motorcycles.
“This collaboration marries the expertise of Zero in developing powertrains and electric motorcycles, with the scale of manufacturing, sourcing and marketing prowess of Hero MotoCorp to reach the large Indian and other international markets,” Hero further said in its report.
Zero makes a variety of electric motorcycles suited for street riding, sports, adventure and off-roading. The brand has a presence in North America, the UK and Europe with products priced in the range of $13,000 to $24,000 in its home market.
Hero’s own electric product roll out, with the Vida range of electric scooters, hasn’t been smooth.
Even six months after debuting in the EV space, Hero did not add cities beyond the three it started with. It had committed to add eight cities to its initial brief tally comprising Delhi, Jaipur and Bengaluru.