VIJAYAWADA: With the prices of petrol inching closer to Rs 100 per litre, the demand for battery operated scooters is on the rise as people want to save on fuel cost. As a result, the sale of e-scooters has increased considerably in the city. Prospective buyers of two-wheelers are also evincing interest in purchasing e-scooters and making enquiries about vehicles in the local showrooms.
At present, there are five e-scooter showrooms in Vijayawada. Naanyasri Electric Vehicles showroom on BRTS Road in the city has sold about 150 e-scooters since November, which shows the rise in demand for battery operated vehicles. The number of enquiries from prospective buyers about e-scooters has also witnessed a three-fold rise from 10 to 15 a day. People are increasingly preferring personal two-wheeler transport due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Almost three years ago, we started the showroom to promote the use of battery operated vehicles in Vijayawada. The business was nominal till September 2020 and we used to sell 10 to 15 vehicles a month. Thanks to skyrocketing prices of petrol, people started evincing interest in buying e-scooters which do not require vehicle registration and a driving licence,” Deepthi Parepalli, Chief Executive Officer of Naanyasri Electric Vehicles showroom, told TNIE.
If nationalised banks come forward to extend vehicle loans liberally, the demand for e-scooters will go up further, which in turn helps reduce air pollution, she opined.At present, the showroom is selling two models of e-scooters — Era and Era Pro which are powered by lithium-ion and lithium phosphate batteries.
Onroad price of Era powered by 27 AH battery is Rs 54,000. Era Pro is available in three variants powered by 22 AH, 30 AH and 42 AH batteries. The prices of three Era Pro variants are Rs 65,000, Rs 75,000 and Rs 90,000 respectively. The maximum time for full charge of battery is four to eight hours and the vehicle covers a distance of 60 to 100 km in one go. Only one unit of power is needed for the battery to get fully charged and it may cost Rs 5. “We are offering Rs 4,000 price discount on Era variant for college students if they show their identity card at the time of vehicle purchase,” Deepthi added.
B Swathi Supriya, a private employee, said that she was planning to purchase a scooty to go to her office on MG Road from Bhavanipuram. “Recently, my neighbour purchased an e-scooter and explained its benefits to me. After calculating the operational cost of a vehicle run on petrol, I came to a conclusion that it is cost-effective to go for e-scooter,” she said. Though e-scooters are exempted from registration and road tax, it is a bit difficult to salaried class people to purchase it by paying the total cost at once, said K Siva Ram, another e-scooter dealer.
At present, private finance companies are offering vehicle loan at 13 per cent interest rate and the customer needs to bear 40 per cent of the cost as down payment. Banks should come forward to offer vehicle loan at low rate of interest, which helps promote the use of environment friendly vehicles, he added.