Eric Vas, president of Urbanite, the electric vehicle (EV) unit of Bajaj Auto, said in an interview on Sunday that the semiconductor chip supply for the electric two-wheeler sector has normalised but the costs have increased by about 50% compared to the pre-pandemic era.
"It (the supply) has significantly improved. It's very much returned to normal. The expense is the issue. The prices are still quite high. Hopefully, throughout the course of this fiscal year, the expenses will start to stabilise, citing Vas, the business standard reported.
"For instance, if the cost was Rs 100 for a scheduled supply of chips in the pre-pandemic period, you would pay Rs 150 today for the same scheduled supply," he pointed out. He said, "Yes," when asked if the 50% rise was significant. However, you are at least getting the goods (chips). It definitely comes at the expense of another person. The Chetak is the only electric scooter that Bajaj Auto presently sells. The corporation has been selling a growing number of EVs domestically in recent years. Bajaj sold 1,395 EVs in 2020–2021; 8,187 were sold the following year.
According to data from Siam, the firm sold 36,263 units in 2022–2023. Regarding chip supply, the whole EV industry has collaborated closely with semiconductor manufacturers during the last two years.
“They can supply in accordance with it.” Vas said, "The prices are higher." He stated that the business presently operates 105 Chetak dealerships in 88 different locations across the nation. The business intends to establish 150 Chetak dealerships in 120 cities within the next six months.
Additionally, Bajaj is working hard to hire additional technicians for its EV business in FY23. Vas stated that compared to around 280 in FY22, the business will educate nearly 1,000 technicians (also known as dealer service engineers) in FY23. "We would need to train a much higher number of technicians this fiscal year because not only are we increasing our network, but also because of the churn in the industry," he said.
This turnover is considerably higher in the electric two-wheeler industry since every other firm is attempting to steal customers. "Who are the individuals receiving training? "If I may say so, most of the training is being conducted by the conventional OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). "I am undoubtedly working out. I am aware that TVS devotes a lot of time to training. I believe Ather is doing it to some extent. The remainder is merely poachers,” Vas said.