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LML announces foray into e-scooter space, to invest Rs 1,000 crore in next 3-5 years



LML announces foray into e-scooter space, to invest Rs 1,000 crore in next 3-5 years

Kanpur-based LML Electric has earmarked an investment of Rs 1000 crore to develop products and set up manufacturing units in the country in the next 3-5 years as a part of its plan to re-enter the local two-wheeler market by the end of the upcoming calendar year.

Yogesh Bhatia, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, LML Electric told ET, “We have commenced market surveys to gauge customer requirements for our first product which will be launched by the end of 2022. We have received proposals for collaboration from technology partners in Germany, Japan and South Korea. A decision will be taken shortly.” Talks are simultaneously on with investors for the project and will be concluded soon, informed Bhatia

Bhatia declined to share specifications of the product, but said that the company’s first electric vehicle – a scooter – will be priced competitively. “We will start with scooters and later on enter the motorcycle segment. We aim to target upper-middle class customers and urban segments of society”, he said. Bajaj Chetak and Ola Electric come tagged between Rs 1-1.5 lakh currently.

LML Electric is currently in talks with the state governments of Haryana and Madhya for setting up a manufacturing unit with total installed capacity of 100,000 units per annum. Depending on how discussions progress, the company may set up production and parts manufacturing units in either one or both locations.

Batteries for the electric products being planned by LML will be sourced locally. “There are battery makers who are going to start operations in the next 12-18 months. Everything will be sourced locally. We expect the ecosystem to evolve by the time we launch our first product”, said Bhatia.

As regards distribution, Bhatia said the company plans to appoint a dealer principal in every district in the next three years. Bhatia said, “”LML has a very strong brand recall. We are working hard to ensure that our product meets customer expectations in terms of design, specifications and quality. We will have at least one dealer in 750 locations within a period of three years, with more outlets in larger cities. We are targeting sales of 100,000 units within a year of launch.”

Bhatia, though, clarified LML Electric is a separate entity from LML of yesteryear. “We acquired the brand last month. But it is a completely new company”, he informed. The original LML – incorporated as Lohia Machines in 1972 – was engaged in making synthetic yarn machines. In 1984, the company, led by Deepak Singhania, signed a technical collaboration with Italy’s Piaggio to make scooters. In 1999, Piaggio terminated the partnership. LML was the second-largest scooter maker in India at the time. LML permanently shut operations in 2018 after multiple attempts to revive the business.

India’s fledging electric two-wheeler segment has witnessed increased interest in recent months from mainstream players such as

, , as well as new-age start-ups like Ola Electric with central and state governments announcing subsidies to bridge the price gap with petrol-powered models and encourage customers to adopt cleaner mobility solutions.

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