Hero, Ultra ink JV company for electric vehicles

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New Delhi, Oct 10 (UNI) Hero Exports Private Ltd, an affiliate of Hero Cycles Ltd (HCL), today said it has entered into a joint venture with UK-based Ultra Motor Company to manufacture, service, retail and markets electric vehicles in India.

The new JV company will be called ''Hero Ultra Private Ltd'' with equal partnership in terms of equity participation. Initially both the companies has pooled in five million dollars each into the new JV company. The manufacturing for the electric vehicles will be from Hero's existing plant in Ludhiana.

Hero Cycles Ltd had earlier in October 2006, signed a Technical Collaboration-cum-Joint Marketing Agreement with Ultra Motor Company, to produce and jointly market the current range of ''Hero Electric - Ultra Powered'' Electric Two Wheelers in India.

In the last six months both the companies rolled out 57 joint dealerships across North and West India.

The company is now looking forward to expanding its network of exclusive dealerships in the other states of West and South India by the end of this fiscal and will take its overall distribution to over 150 outlets by March 2008.

Under the aegis of the new venture, two new models 'Velociti'- an Electric Scooter with extra speed, and 'Optima'- an Electric Scooter with extra range were also launched today.

The new range of models will be priced between Rs 29,000 and Rs 34,000.

The existing range of seven Electric Two Wheelers are priced between Rs 14,400 and Rs 27,900.

Velociti provides a higher speed of 40 km per hour and a better torque to help scale gradients and comes with a powerful motor of 500 watts that delivers a peak motor output of 1,000 watts and a range of 50 km per charge, under standard test conditions.

Velociti has a powerful 48V/ 24 AH Sealed Lead Acid battery, hydraulic disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear wheel, and is supported by the telescopic suspension system.

Priced at Rs 34,000 (ex-showroom Delhi) Velociti will be available across select showrooms in North, West and South India initially.

Targeted largely at the 28 year plus, evolved commuter, Velociti will be available in two colour options - Silver and Burgundy.

'Optima' is a new addition to the already existing range of seven models of basic Electric Scooters of Hero Ultra with a new look and design. The 'Optima' delivers a range of 70 km per charge and a maximum speed of 25 km per hour.

According to a survey conducted by AC Neilsen, the category potential of electric vehicles for 2007-08 is approximately 190,000 units and is projected to grow to 490,000 units in 2008-09.

Hero predicts the remaining month of these fiscal to produce atleast 20,000 units in sales by March 2008 and expects to reach a topline of 16 million dollars by March 2008. The company has sold 6,000 units of electric vehicle this fiscal.

UNI

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