[Startup Bharat] How Jaipur-based Hop Electric is tapping into the growing electric two-wheeler market in India
In the recent years, people have been trying to switch to greener alternatives, realising the need to take care of nature. And the demand has further bolstered amid the pandemic. One of the shifts slowly taking place across the world is the transition to electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles (EV) are expected to be the future of mobility. According to a report by ReportLinker, the Indian electric two-wheeler market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 44 percent during the period 2019–2025.
Ketan Mehta, Co-founder, Hop Electric Mobility [Image Credit: Hop Ekectric Mobility]
Jaipur-based Hop Electric Mobility is tapping into the growing electric two-wheeler market. Founded in 2019 by Ketan Mehta, Nikhil Bhatia, and Rahil Gupta, Hop Electric launched two electric two-wheeler models named HOP LEO and HOP LYF in June this year.
Apart from this, the startup recently launched its integrated network of battery charging cum swapping stations called ‘Hop Energy Network.’
Speaking with YourStory, Ketan explains that Hop Electric has been launched not only as an automobile manufacturing company, but to create the electric vehicle ecosystem in India.
“Hop Electric came up as an extension of our existing business, which focuses on solar power. Energy storage is an important aspect of the adoption of solar power as it is not available once the sun goes down. However, we realised the electric vehicle industry is a major user of energy storage. This inspired us to enter into the electric vehicle market,” he says.
Illustration: YS Design
The mission: electric, energy, environment
Hop Electric’s 40,000 square feet manufacturing unit, located in Jaipur, is equipped to produce 50,000 vehicles per year. According to Ketan, the company is looking to set up another manufacturing unit in South India.
Its electric two wheeler model, HOP LEO, is available in three variants -- LEO Basic, LEO, and LEO Extended, which are priced at Rs 72,500 onwards. Its second model HOP LYF also has three variants - LYF Basic, LYF, and LYF Extended, priced from Rs 65,500 onwards.
“We are an ecosystem company and we drive the entire top-to-bottom value chain where we have our advantage. We do not have to depend on anybody and have our own in-house technology products. Our vehicles and batteries are all made in India, except for a few parts, which we need to import as the raw materials are not available in India,” Ketan says.
Apart from electric two-wheelers, Hop Electric also started piloting its Hop Electric Network with five swapping stations and 50 batteries in Jaipur earlier this year. The startup recently launched the network with an aim to reduce range anxiety concerns among EV users.
According to the startup, HOP Energy Network is a “network of smart batteries and intelligent battery swapping cum charging stations, where customers can replace their discharged battery with a fully charged battery in less than 30 seconds.”
HOP Electric Mobility claims that the battery swapping cum charging stations are fully automated and have been designed to provide over 150 fully charged batteries on a daily basis.
[Image Credit: Hop Electric Mobility]
Business and more
The startup currently has around 50 dealer partners across Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand, UP, and Telangana. Ketan says the startup is receiving almost 70 to 80 dealership enquiries.
The electric two-wheeler products are available for purchase via dealers and online modes. Regarding the energy network service, users can either opt for the monthly battery plan at Rs 2,500 per month and avail of unlimited battery swaps at any Hop Electric station or opt for pay as you go service at Rs 1/km for the kilometres they ride.
While Ketan declined to share details on initial investments made and the external funding, he says the startup is looking to raise funds later this year.
The electric two-wheelers market has been slowly picking up in India. Apart from consumer adaptation, electric two-wheelers are also being used by delivery companies.
Hop Electric Mobility competes with other notable players such as Ather Energy, Okinawa Scooters, Hero MotoCorp, and GoGreenBOV, among others.
Speaking about future plans, Ketan says, “One of the immediate goals is to have five automobile products in our portfolio, including four electric scooters and one electric motorcycle. We also want to be one of the top-three players in the market in terms of volume. Apart from this, we are also working to expand our energy network across the country from later this year.”