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Lesser-Known Indian Electric Vehicle Start-up Companies

Niti Aayog, the Indian government’s flagship think-tank has suggested electrifying most scooters and bikes over a period of six to eight years to curtail pollution and to decrease dependence on fossil fuels. Many top two-wheeler makers are currently pursuing the development and creation of the next generation of electrical two-wheelers, but it appears to be early days based on how producers will really fast track the evolution of a whole ecosystem, such as the charging infrastructure and distribution chain. Most leading two-wheeler makers declined to comment about the coverage proposal, opting to determine if real policy decisions have been taken about it.

Electric Vehicles, Image Credit:

If the proposal becomes policy, the most affected are the big leaders that currently do not have electric two-wheelers in the market or even electric bicycles for that matter that are production-ready. Hero MotoCorp marketed over 78 lakhs two-wheelers in 2018-19, while Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) sold over 55 lakhs two-wheelers. Bajaj Auto, India’s biggest exporter of bikes, also sold over 50 lakhs 2- plus three-wheelers in 2018-19. TVS Motor Company sold nearly 38 lakhs two-wheelers in 2018-19, and even though the organization is pursuing an electrical two-wheeler program, it is still not clear when the initial electric TVS will be production-ready.

There are so many medium and small players who have launched or are going to launch their electric two-wheelers. Here, we discuss some of these firms and their products. Few big players like Tata, TVS, and Honda have also invested in these ventures.

  • Orxa Energy

The Orxa founders come from rich academic backgrounds. Prajwal holds a Ph.D. from Mines Paris Tech and has an MS in Stuttgart University. Following his studies in Europe, he returned to his home city, Bengaluru. He was employed in the aerospace sector for a few years but recognized he wanted to “do more” with his technical abilities.

In 2015, he launched Orxa Energies together with his spouse, Ranjita, who has an MBA from ESSEC Business School, Paris, and has functioned for over ten years in sales, marketing, and internal audits. When Prajwal began upward, Ranjita worked on creating the company and establishing in house procedures.

Orxa’s Products:

Orxa’s first car, the Mantis, was created as an early-performance road bicycle. The 3 wheels provide stability, security, and comfort while the tilt-and-steer mechanism makes town riding simple.

They’ve also developed high heeled battery packs at reduced volume and weight. These batteries can control the particular challenges of functionality vehicles — wellbeing, thermals, and weight reduction.

  • Gemopai

Gemopai is a joint venture between Goreen E-Mobility founded by (Amit Raj Singh & Bhanu Kumar) in 2016 and Opai Electric that is among the biggest producers of electrical vehicles and has a 15+ years of experience in producing quality electrical two-wheelers having sold over 15 million electrical 2 wheelers worldwide. Gemopai is dedicated to being the major 360-degree solutions supplier for electric freedom in India.

Gemopai Products:

Gemopai launched the Astrid Lite, an electric scooter for the India marketplace in September 2019 for Rs 79,999 ex-showroom. The reservations for the same have already started. The scooter may be reserved in Gemopai’s auto – that the firm has over 50 dealerships around India and Nepal. The deliveries are expected to commence from the month of October. Astrid Lite is available in five colors.

The Astrid Lite comes with a range of 75-90km per fee, based upon the riding style. Speaking of this riding style, the Astrid Lite comes in 3 driving modes- Eco, City, and Sport. The scooter may reach a top speed of 65kmph as a result of an 8.5-pound removable lithium battery of 1.7KW. The array of the scooter can be raised up to 150-180km with an excess battery. The scooter is capable of having an 18-degree incline.

  • Revolt Motors

Revolt Motors, the start-up founded by Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma, has unveiled its original electric motorcycles, the RV400 and RV300. The bikes have been promoted as India’s initial AI-enabled electric bike, and also pack in features that have not been seen from the electrical bikes in India. The business also has a manufacturing facility in Manesar that has a capacity of 1,20,000 bikes commissioned for its initial stage.

It seems like a fairly major venture, and also the Revolt bikes appear to be flagship products.

Currently, Revolt Intellicorp has started the reservations for the next batch (November-December 2019) of its all-electric AI-enabled bikes.

  • Ultraviolette Automotive

Narayan Subramaniam (Founder & CEO) and Niraj Rajmohan (Founder & CTO) have been friends for more than 20 decades. They’ve worked together several times previously and won 35 global hackathons. Nowadays, each of these is a domain expert in the automotive and tech fields.

Electric mobility services provider Ultraviolette Automotive declared in August 2018 that they’ve obtained Rs 6 crore financing from TVS Motor Company. Ultraviolette Automotive will be introducing its original electric bike very soon. The Ultraviolette F77 is scheduled to be launched on November 13, 2019, and is the initial high-performance electric bike to be manufactured in India.

The business states that the e-bike is a luxury technology-oriented offering, developed floor up with fundamentals in the aviation market. The Ultraviolette F77 is expected to be priced at about INR 2 lakh (ex-showroom), which sets it at the entry-level performance bike segment which has products such as the TVS Apache RR 310, KTM RC 390, Suzuki Gixxer 250 and the likes.

  • Tork Motors

In 2009, when Tork Motors, TX-01′, reached the podium from the prestigious Isle of Man TT races, even Kapil Shelke also did not think that it would go to lay the base for one of their very first EV start-ups from the nation.

After honing his skills in one of China’s largest two-wheeler makers, Zongsten, Kapil came back and transformed his own bike to an electric vehicle (EV) for analyzing in Indian riding advertisements. From these days of engineering-powered tinkering, there was no looking back. Back in September 2016, Kapil founded Tork Motors at Mumbai.

The e-bike start-up has raised funds in the likes of Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder, and CEO, Ola; and Ankit Bhati, Co-Founder, and CTO, Ola. Now, Ratan Tata, investor and philanthropist, and former Chairman of Tata Sons have opted to spend an undisclosed sum for the Pune- and Mumbai-based firm.

Tork’s initial EV offering, the TX6 electric bike, is forecast to hit markets in 2020. Initially declared with a cost of Rs 1.25 lakh (ex-factory), it employs an electric engine which churns out a whopping 27 Nm of torque. It comes with a top speed of 100 kmph, and a range of 100 km. Battery charging to 80 percent takes an hour while a complete charge takes just two hours.

  • Ather Energy

Most entrepreneurs these days are reluctant to check past the much-hyped e-commerce world. Billion-dollar valuations along with the significant inflow of capital have put invention on the backburner. But, there are a few start-ups that venture into capital-intensive industries like manufacturing. This had been the desire for some start-ups that directed IIT Madras alumni, Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain, to go back to their alma mater to work on creating a lithium-ion battery package.

The duo launched Ather Energy in 2013, a start-up focused on designing high-speed, electrical two-wheelers for the Indian industry. For the previous two decades, they’ve been working on their very first solution, a smart electrical two-wheeler — the Ather S340.

The Ather-S340 is a connected car powered with a lithium-Ion battery pack, and has a digital camera dash, a lightweight aluminum chassis, and will reach speeds of 75 kmph. The wise dashboard from the automobile will make it possible for users to make personalised profiles, select riding styles and place additional ride tastes. The automobile costs around 90 percent in under one hour.

  • Gugu Energy

For quite a while, electric vehicles were identifiable solely with Tesla. Elon Musk’s energy and the automotive firm have been an inspiration for many aspiring young entrepreneurs, such as 23-year-old Guhan RP. The mechanical engineer at 2017 setup Coimbatore-based EV tech start-up known as Gugu energy.

Gugu Energy intends to accelerate India’s shift to renewable energy. Guhan was introduced into the world of EVs when he watched a Tesla movie on the internet. “I was curious and believed that electrical vehicles were unavoidable in the long run. That is when we decided to construct a Tesla-like auto, and managed to build one inside 12 months,” Guhan states.

This group is now constructing the R-SUV, a cross between a scooter and a bike. Guhan claims that the Gugu R-SUV is a brand new breed of bike that gives the broadest range per charge with all the fast-charging facility. From automobile styling and USD forks to infotainment and battery pack technologies, the R-SUV is devised in a studio in Pune and fabricated entirely at Gugu Energy’s R&D center in Coimbatore.

The very affordable variant of R-SUV is going to have a range of around 130 km. Guhan adds it takes significantly less than 30 minutes to the battery to charge by 0-80% in Gugu’s exclusive fast-charging channels.

The long-range variant will have the capacity for 275-300 kilometers on a single charge. It takes significantly less than 45 minutes for the battery to charge by 0-80 percent.

India is the world’s biggest two-wheeler marketplace, and during the fiscal year 2018-19, as many as 2.1 crore bikes and scooters were offered for sale around March 2019. There has been a slow introduction of electrical two-wheelers and electric bikes in the nation, but electrical scooters accounted for just 1.26 lakh units within the previous 12 months, even though electric scooter sales have skyrocketed in only over a year, even from only 54,800 a year ago. But so far, the electric two-wheeler market has only seen smaller and lesser known market players, instead of mainstream two-wheeler makers. New entrants such as Ather Energy are ahead, with innovative technologies such as cloud linked diagnostic tools, and smart phone connectivity. Ather also includes a committed in-house charging community, known as the Ather Grid, which can be extended in cities in which the organization decides to expand.

Nevertheless, the essential issue is also the cost variable, which is connected to the supply chain and localization of the supply chain. All products being offered now are not actually economical, from a customer’s perspective. If you take a look at the supply side, you’ll find restricted products that do not meet market requirements. Producers need to allocate funds and concentrate on rapid product growth, and this also means different products for various sections and to explore all options, such as alliances to discuss costs of growth.

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