India’s growing appetite for electric vehicles

ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, February 13 – The US is sending mixed signals about consumer EV adoption. In India, where most vehicle sales are two- and three-wheelers, rather than sedans and SUVs, EV sales were up 50% in 2023 and now account for more than 6% of total vehicle sales.

Bangalore-based electric motorbike maker River newly raised an additional $25 million for its Series B equity round. Yamaha Motor Co. joined the round, which also includes Lowercarbon Capital, Toyota Ventures and other automotive companies.

River recently launched its first bike – a large, rugged vehicle that it calls the “SUV of scooters.” It sells for 125,000 rupees ($1,500).

Its Series B extension follows a $15 million raise last year. 

EV finance

Mufin Green Finance supports India’s EV transition with consumer financing for two-, three- and four-wheelers. It also provides capital to EV charging and battery swapping network operators to expand charging points. The company raised $17 million in Series B equity with plans to expand into commercial vehicles like buses and trucks.

Also in Bangalore, OTO secured $10 million for its lease-to-own motorbike finance model. It’s increasing its EV offerings through partnerships with electric motorbike maker Ather Energy and others.

Small is beautiful

More than 80% of vehicles on India’s roadways are two- and three-wheelers, which can skirt congested city traffic and are often used to support livelihoods, like taxiing and delivery. It makes sense that the EV transition is focused on this market, Anup Jain of Mumbai-based Orios Venture Partners told ImpactAlpha last year. “We are rooted in two-wheelers and three-wheelers – these are the two ways in which India really commutes.”