A Yamaha motorbike on display during the 9th Auto Expo in New Delhi. Photo: Reuters

With the Indian government having set an ambitious target to attain full electric mobility by 2030, Japanese auto major Yamaha is conducting a feasibility study to evaluate the possibility of launching electric two-wheelers in the country.

The company, which sells a range of bikes and scooters in the country, may also look at investment opportunities for power units and batteries for electric vehicles, the Press Trust of India has reported.

Yamaha Motor Research and Development India MD Yasuo Ishihara claimed the company has an edge in this segment as they already have such products in other countries. Transferring them to India would not be difficult, he told the news agency.

When asked about company’s investment plans in regard to electric vehicles, he said: “Investment shall mainly be for power units and batteries. Infrastructure development in collaboration with some partners may be another area where we would look forward to make our investments”.

Various carmakers in India have already firmed up plans to roll out electric vehicles. Recently India’s leading carmaker Maruti Suzuki’s parent Suzuki inked a pact with Toyota Motor and they plan to bring out electric vehicles from the Maruti stable in less than two years. Other auto majors such as Tata Motors and Mahindra have also made elaborate plans for electric vehicles.

Silicon Valley-based automaker Tesla is also eyeing the Indian market, but sees building cars for the price conscious Indian customer a major challenge. It recently decided to build a wholly-owned factory in Shanghai, China.

According to a report by government think-tank Niti Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute, India’s move towards a fleet of 100% electric vehicles by 2030 could create a $300-billion domestic market for EV batteries.

Apart from big savings on fuel import bills, the Indian government’s urgency to push for electric vehicles also comes from an alarming rise in air pollution in most cities. In fact, six Indian cities, including the capital New Delhi, are among the 15 most polluted cities in the world ranked by the World Health Organization last year.

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