Japan-based Terra Motors, a manufacturer of electric two and three-wheelers (earlier post), has started sales of the A4000i electric scooter—with new products to follow—in Tehran, Iran with Jahanro Industrial Co, exclusively for next five years.
Jahanro Industrial Co. started from just a small motorcycle shop. But now it successfully became a distributor of Kawasaki, Bajaj, and TVS, with 1,000 employees and 200 dealers in Iran. We believe that this partnership will lead to great expansion of the electric motorcycle market in Iran.—Toru Tokushige, CEO of Terra Motors
Demand for electric motorcycles is expected to increase based on government regulations.
Tehran makes it into the 10 Most Air-Polluted Cities in the World. For the strategic plan to reduce air pollution, Deputy-Director of Transport & Traffic intends to ban all types of fuel-burning motorcycles from entering restricted areas of Tehran. And only electric motorcycles will be licensed to enter that area.—Alireza R Bana, CEO of Jahanro Industrial Co.
Other factors are also pushing growth in the electric motorcycle market in Iran:
Cuts in tariffs on electric motorcycles. Electric motorcycle receive preferential customs duty treatment: 59% to a gasoline motorcycle, and 4% to the electric motorcycle.
Reduction of gasoline subsidies. In Iran, the government has decided to reduce gasoline subsidies. Gasoline prices in Iran have leapt by up to 75%, after state subsidies were cut. Although fuel costs in Iran is still among the cheapest in the world, the price hikes will be unwelcome for a quarter of the adult population which is jobless or under-employed.
The A4000i, the first electric scooter with smartphone connection capability, will be released worldwide this year. Terra plans to present the A4000i at the International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan in 2014 and is looking for distributors globally. The scooter, with an estimated range of 60 km (37 miles) and top speed of 60 km/h, features a removable 16 kg (35 lb) Li-ion battery pack (48V 40Ah) for ease of charging—i.e., carry it to a plug.