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From IKEA To Swiggy, How This Indian Startup Is Driving Electric Vehicle Adoption In India

From IKEA To Swiggy, How This Indian Startup Is Driving Electric Vehicle Adoption In India

Rahul Gayam, Raja Gayam and Sri Harsha Bavirisetty are the founders of Hyderabad-based startup Gayam Motor Works.Gayam Motor Works

If you wish to have to promote electrical automobiles (EVs), India seems like a great spot to start out. The nation’s billion-plus electorate are living in 14 out of the 20 most polluted cities on the earth, in step with WHO, fuel already prices greater than $Five a gallon, and the fee simplest turns out to stay emerging. India’s EV marketplace, in the meantime, is projected to develop at a compound annual expansion charge of over 37% in the next five years, and 87% of drivers have indicated that they’re in a position to make the transfer to EVs. Aiming to capitalize at the expansion, brothers Rahul and Raja Gayam partnered with their good friend Sri Harsha Bavirisetty in 2011 to release EV maker Gayam Motor Works (GMW) in Hyderabad.

In the remaining 3 years, GMW, which staked out its place out there with the sector’s first electrical auto-rickshaws and an leading edge battery-swapping generation, has offered over 5,000 automobiles to greater than 15 international locations, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the U.S., Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Philippines. 

“India is the biggest producer and exporter of auto-rickshaws across the globe, and over 45 million rides are being taken daily by commuters in India on auto-rickshaws,” says Rahul, who was once featured in this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia. “While large automobile companies are focusing on electric cars and bikes, we saw a huge opportunity in the electric three-wheeler space.”

Greening the shipping machine

The Gayam brothers introduced GMW with a daring goal: To lend a hand finish the automobile trade’s reliance on oil. “The transport sector is a major consumer of oil, causing 50% of carbon pollution in the country,” says Rahul. “Switching to an electric fleet can help reduce 1 gigaton of carbon emissions and save India $330 billion by not purchasing 876 million metric tons of oil.”

Since 2015, the bootstrapped startup has invested just about $Five million into the trade, and is now taking a look to lift $15 million in Series A investment to construct charging infrastructure, create a battery and dealership community, fund manufacturing automation and R&D. “We plan to enter the retail market by the end of year, and are already doing pilots with passenger vehicles and battery swapping in Hyderabad.”

GMW auto rickshaws are utilized by Flipkart and IKEA for remaining mile supply.Gayam Motor Works

Its three-wheelers, that are mentioned to function at about one-seventh of the price of petrol automobiles, are already utilized by e-commerce companies like Flipkart, Gati, BigBasket and Grofers for remaining mile deliveries, whilst southern states Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have hired them for waste pick-up and disposal. Its electrical motorcycles are being utilized by Uber Eats in Singapore, Hong Kong and San Francisco. “In India, our bikes are being piloted by Swiggy, and public and private e-bike sharing programs,” says Bavirisetty.

Recently, IKEA, which is having a bet large on India’s rising EV expansion tale, has been deploying GMW electrical auto-rickshaws for home supply in Hyderabad as a part of its plan to deploy an entirely electrical fleet through 2023. “IKEA is building charging infrastructure in their warehouses to promote EVs for delivery and employee commutes,” says Bavirisetty. “This is a huge boost for the EV ecosystem in India, an example for other corporates to adopt sustainable initiatives.”

Innovative answer to issues

What is thrilling about GMW is its strategy to the 2 large issues of electrical automobiles: You can’t pressure them very a ways on a unmarried rate, and the prices of the batteries are moderately prime.

The GMW answer is to actually separate the battery from the auto. To make refueling handy, it advanced lithium-ion batteries that can also be swapped with absolutely charged ones in lower than a minute. “Right now, we are doing this manually, but we have plans to fully automate the service,” says Bavirisetty. By maintaining possession of the battery, GMW is in a position to cut back the decal value of the three-wheeler, and improve the battery because the generation improves.

To struggle air air pollution, India has an bold program to make 30% of automobiles electrical through 2030. (Photo courtesy Getty Images)

“Our three-wheelers are connected to mobile and cloud through IoT technology, and they are as easy to use as regular vehicles for urban mobility,” says Bavirisetty. “The vehicle’s running cost is as low as Rs 0.50 per kilometer ($0.0067), and offers a range of up to 110 km per charge.”

Tellingly, whilst maximum legacy carmakers are chalking out their EV plans in India, GMW is taking the lead in growing an EV ecosystem within the nation. By finish of 2019, Rahul says, the corporate plans to promote 10,000 auto-rickshaws and arrange 50 battery-swapping stations. “We will expand our reach to rest of India in a phased manner.”

“Our proprietary drivetrain system, over five years of R&D, and our real-time vehicle and battery monitoring system gives us the edge over others in the ecosystem,” provides Rahul, who considers Mahindra Electric, Kinetic, and Lohia Autos as the principle competition of GMW.

Challenges in EV trade

The EV trade in India remains to be at a nascent degree. Although India aims to have greater than 30% of its automobiles operating on electrical energy through 2030, pace bumps remain. The EV marketplace in India was once created from about 25,000 gadgets on the finish of 2016-17, in step with the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), and a up to date file from Bloomberg New Energy Finance means that electric vehicles will likely form 7% of the new car sales in India through 2030. 

These are sure indicators, says Rahul, however to interchange the 230 million automobiles on roads is a mighty problem. “India lacks charging infrastructure, technical engineers with experience in batteries, motors, and tool electronics, and laws to create the EV ecosystem.” 

Transitioning to electrical shipping in India will take time, however innovators, providers and regulators, Rahul says, should – Work in combination to conform new trade fashions for a success adoption. “This will help in bringing about a paradigm shift in how people in India perceive and use transportation.”

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