vmoto is a global scooter manufacturer specializing in electric-powered two-wheelers. The company launched its products in Nepal in March last year by appointing Asta Automobile as its local distributor. Sujan Dhungana of Republica recently talked with Jackie Woo, the director of Vmoto, to know Vmoto's performance and the market of electric vehicles in Nepal. Excerpts:
What is the purpose of your Nepal visit?
Vmoto products have been doing well in Nepal since its launch. I am here to further examine the prospects for our products and develop strategies to widen our market.
How important is the Nepali market for you?
Nepal is an import market for us as the demand for electric vehicles here is growing with every passing day. The recent energy crisis heightened people's interest toward electric vehicles and some have begun keeping an electric two-wheeler as an alternative ride. This shows the prospect of electric vehicles here is bright. It is an opportunity for us to further widen our presence in Nepal. Electric vehicles can be the best option to Nepalis who have been waiting for almost an hour at fuel pumps to fill their tank.
Please tell us about Vmoto bikes available in Nepal. Do you have any plan to introduce new models in recent future?
At present, we are selling three models -- Vmoto Alien, Vmoto Emax V and Vmoto Emax Vx - in Nepal. All three models have been liked by Nepali customers. We are also planning to bring our new models in Nepal. Hopefully, we will bring Vmoto three-wheelers and four-wheelers in Nepal in the future.
Where does Vmoto stand among other electric vehicle brands available in Nepal?
Vmoto products are competitive both in terms of price and quality. Compared to other electric two-wheeler brands, our products are powerful as they come with up to 4,000 watts of power. Our products are also price competitive, as they are priced between Rs 110,000 and Rs 250,000. In short, the price and performance of Vmoto two-wheelers makes our products stand out from the crowd. We enjoy 30 percent share of Nepal's electric two-wheeler market.
Though attraction toward electric bikes is growing, demand growth is tepid. Why?
This is because the government doesn't have proper policy for the promotion of electric two-wheelers as well as four-wheelers. Similarly, there were some electric vehicles brands which came to Nepal and perished because they did not provide proper after sales services. This dented the image of electric two-wheelers in Nepal. Also, the government has been hindering the growth of industry by imposing high taxes.
What are your expectations from the government?
The government has to support electric vehicle industry by providing different subsidies like in other countries. Similarly, the government should also relax customs duty of electric vehicles.