In 2018 reports in the web media confirmed that Benelli is evaluating products for electric mobility to be launched in India. Benelli India Managing Director Vikas Jhabakh had then spoken about the company investigating the possibilities of introducing an electric scooter. He said that Benelli could launch an electric two-wheeler by 2022 and the decision would be dependent on how the Indian government’s EV policies evolve going further. Benelli is learned to be developing electric scooters for global markets which could be in the running for an Indian launch.
Interacting with ET Auto this week, Jhabakh provided an update on the product and retail departments following the unlock. Benelli has introduced just 1 vehicle with BS6 compliance and is looking to fill up the portfolio by end of 2021 with a full range.
When asked about the Benelli electric plans for India, he said:
Benelli has invested a lot in R&D for electric products across the world, in fact in a lot of countries Benelli also has some EV products that are up for sale. I am very glad that the government in India has been pushing the electric drive in a large way. We’re very closely monitoring the policies and the trends in the market right. We are very sure that when we feel the time is right, we are open to bringing electric products in the Benelli portfolio also.Benelli India Managing Director Vikas Jhabakh speaking to ETAuto via Youtube.
Jhabakh said the company would launch 5-6 products next year, in the 250-500 cc category, available at multiple price points and have a wide portfolio. The 5-6 products includes upgradation to BS6 emission standards. This is an indication that Benelli electric vehicles cannot be expected next year though he said that starting in January 2021, the company will have news to share every month or 45 days.
With respect to the production capacity, Jhabakh said the facility in Hyderabad has been constantly expanding since the launch in 2018. The lockdown period was used by the production team to upgrade part of the plant and machinery. From 7,000 units per year, Benelli’s production capacity is now 30,000 units per year and the company would have 50 dealers operational by March 2021.
Pictured is the Benelli X150 scooter, purely for representation.