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IN CONVERSATION WITH: SAHOKO GOHIRA, TERRA MOTORS

WHAT IS YOUR ASSESSMENT AND OUTLOOK OF THE ELECTRIC 2-WHEELERS MARKET CONSIDERING THE RECENT SLOWDOWN?

The average sale of scooters is around 20,000 units per annum. This alone highlights the reach of scooters in the Nepalese market. Even though the 2-wheelers market is growing at an exponential rate, electric 2-wheelers are yet to take off properly. The main reason is that people are still unaware about the benefits of electric vehicles. However, we believe that customers will eventually embrace electric 2-wheelers in the near future.

THE GROWTH RATE OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES IS MINIMAL AS COMPARED TO PETROL-POWERED MOTORS. WHAT IS THE STRATEGY?

The electric vehicle market is relatively a small market. Even though Terra Motors was the first multinational company to enter this market followed by other companies, the growth of electric vehicles is still nascent. The notion that electric scooters are below par their petrol counterparts is slowly changing. Our scooters function the same way as other scooters with similar performance and ergonomics level.

If you look globally, more and more countries are adapting to electric technology. For example, major cities like Shanghai, Beijing etc. are all going electric in the near future. In the Nepalese context, we are confident that we will welcome electric technology in the near future.

WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL CHALLENGES THAT ARE OBSTRUCTING THE GROWTH OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES?

The main challenge is to convert the negative image of electric scooters and communicate the value to end-user positively.

HOW HAS TERRA MOTORS’ GROWTH BEEN IN NEPAL?

As a Japanese company, our objectives and obligations are to deliver our world-class products irrespective of the market conditions and we have been doing the same. We are satisfied with our growth in the Nepalese market. This is the reason why we have “LIFE TIME FREE SERVICE CHARGE” campaign for our customers.

WHAT IS YOUR FUTURE VISION? DO YOU FORESEE ELECTRIC TECHNOLOGY MAKING ITS WAY INTO THE NEPALESE MARKET, MAYBE AFTER 15-20 YEARS?

We want the Nepalese market to adapt to the electric mobility soon. If we introduce the concept of electric mobility after 15-20 years, we wont be able to cope up with the newer technologies. Hence, in order to contribute to the development of electric mobility we are trying to improve our products and communication to the end-users.

DO YOU SEE A VALUE FOR MONEY PROPOSITION IN PURCHASING AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE?

Of course we do. Electric scooter itself is as powerful as its petrol counterpart and provides more features. For instance, the recently introduced Acuto provides app connectivity option. The owner can spot the vehicle and manage the driving experience through a mobile app. Besides, the cost of ownership is very low.

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