One of India's leading motorcycle manufacturers, Hero MotoCorp, has stated that sustainability and emerging mobility are two of its top priorities. In fact, the company is drastically boosting its efforts to expand its footprint in India's electric vehicle market. Having said that, it's evident that Hero is searching for a bigger foothold in the electric transportation industry.
On January 14, 2021, Hero MotoCorp announced new investments in Ather Energy, in keeping with its ambition to "Be the Future of Mobility." Hero MotoCorp's board of directors has approved a new investment in the Bengaluru-based electric vehicle company worth roughly $56 million USD. Hero MotoCorp had a 34.8 percent stake in Ather Energy prior to the proposed investment. You may recognize Ather Energy as the manufacturer of the 450X, one of India's best-selling electric scooters. In 2016, Hero MotoCorp engaged in Ather as a strategic partner for the first time. This marks the fifth time Hero MotoCorp is investing in Ather Energy.
So, what does this mean for Hero MotoCorp and its electrification initiatives? Although Hero Motocorp—not to be confused with Hero Electric, which is a whole other entity on its own—has not entered the electric vehicle market with a machine of its own, it has made strategic partnerships with other EV manufacturers such as Ather Energy and up and coming Taiwanese electric scooter maker Gogoro. In March 2021, Hero MotoCorp plans to unveil its first electric vehicle, which is being developed at the Center of Innovation and Technology (CIT) situated in Jaipur, as well as the Tech Center in Munich, Germany.
Hero MotoCorp's upcoming electric scooter will be constructed at the company's production facility in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, in southern India. While we briefly mentioned Hero Electric earlier, it's worth noting that Hero MotoCorp and Hero Electric are undergoing legal proceedings concerning the use of the 'Hero' brand name on electric scooters and motorcycles.