Pune based Polarity Smart Bikes which revealed its lineup and announced the start of bookings of 6 models in September in a high-profile event that had in attendance Mr Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways of India, has received the most response for its flagship product, the S3K, priced at INR 1.1 lakh, from its pre-booking customers. The company, unlike most competitors that import cheap Chinese products and rebadge them, has designed and developed its vehicles completely in India with 20 international patents.
Talking to Electricvehicleweb, Anand Mohan, the co-founder of the company, said his firm had also received an excellent response for the S1K, priced at INR 40,000 (all prices ex-showroom). Mohan said he was expecting the 15,000 unit production allocation in the first year to be mainly for the manufacture of these models.
“For production we are going to be a Make In India company completely. A few critical parts will be imported, the quality of the batteries in India is not there and you don’t want to compromise on the critical components and certain parts are allowed to be imported until you set up here,” Mohan said. “Our idea from the beginning was to make something that can be called our own. We don’t want to make a kit that comes from China and assemble it here and sell it.”
Unlike his competitors, Mohan’s vehicles are not dependent on charging infrastructure, as they come fitted with a pedal, and reaching a destination is possible even if the vehicle has run out of charge. A certain reserve is kept in the battery that assists in the pedalling effort so that the user does not feel the full weight of the vehicle.
The company is making final adjustments to the product lines based on the feedback it has received from customers and the media, and the journey from prototype to production is set to be smooth. Deliveries begin, starting with Tier 1 cities, in Q1 2020. The retail will be through a dealership model, while the company is also in talks with the two largest e-commerce players in India to deliver the bikes directly to the customer’s doorstep in places where there are no dealerships.
|Polarity model||Tentative price announced (ex-showroom)|
|E3K||INR 1.05 lakh|
|S3K||INR 1.1 lakh|
Polarity is considering the B2B market as a big and sustained revenue stream, though initially, sales from businesses would be small. It is discussing with food delivery, courier and bike rental companies to sell its low- and mid-range vehicles. Mohan said business clients would have to test out its products and get them validated before inducting them into their fleets and announcement on business deals would only come in the last part of the first year of production.
Polarity vehicles have surprisingly elicited interest from overseas markets despite not having started sales. “Building it at the cost we are building, we have seen a lot of interest from people in Germany, Croatia and other European countries,” says Mohan. Distributors have approached him from Europe, but Mohan he will start exports to the said countries only after addressing Indian demand.
*Inset sourced from Polarity’s official website.