Thursday, April 22, 2021
Tech

These electric scooters are becoming a favourite across India’s smaller settlements

These electric scooters are becoming a favourite across India’s smaller settlements
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Seeing success during the lockdown, Hyderabad startup PureEV talks about their budget-friendly two-wheeler

Rohit Vedara is excited to speak about ETrance+, a new electric scooter with a low carbon footprint which is geared towards the budget-conscious market: meant for those looking to get around town for under ₹60,000. Rohit is the CEO of PureEV, a Hyderabad-based startup that has made a corner in the EV (electric vehicle) market in India.

The startup, just under five years old, already has an in-house battery manufacturing facility and a research setup based out of IIT-Hyderabad campus, Sangareddy. This is where their research and development team works on core areas of battery thermal management system for development of long range and high-performance Lithium batteries.

The ETrance+ is not PureEV’s first release, they have the ETrance, Etron+ and EPluto, as well the EPluto 7G which is their higher-end scooter, priced at around ₹90,000 roughly. Rohit shares that servicing and dealership points across the country are available for PureEV’s scooters; and the list keeps growing.

Big picture impact

“In the last one or two years, we are seeing only a positive trend as more players come into the market,” he says, inferring this is helpful to the bigger picture of green vehicles and the environment. He describes an interesting challenge with regards to materials supply chain too: “Though the EV industry is growing fast, not everyone has the depth of expertise required. So we have to make sure that suppliers of materials for our EVs are convinced of our growth rate and impact.”

The Etrance+ with a happy rider

The Etrance+ with a happy rider
 
| Photo Credit:
PureEV

PureEV, since the lockdown, has seen considerable sales, on track to reach 1,000 vehicles a month across India by Deepavali. “We have seen sales in not just major metro cities but also across the smaller settlements,” says Rohit, adding, “the growth rate is extremely fast”.

It is not just because of the prices and eco-friendly aspects, but also because the charging facilities are easy to work with. “You can remove the battery from the scooter and plug it into an at-home outlet safely for charging,” he points out.

There is certainly a cultural shift towards greener vehicles in India, but one of the main points of hesitation is the harmful chemicals needed to make an e-vehicle battery. Luckily, PureEV uses recycled batteries — batteries which have been created ages ago but put back in the circular loop of recycling.

“We recover all the metals for those batteries too,” he says, “and in India, there are many requirements by which to abide, policy-wise, to use these batteries, including where we have a solid tie-up with a recycling company. The recycling stage will come in about three to four years (in, say, 2023) because that’s the life cycle of this type of battery. We are taking steps to avoid batteries don’t end up sitting in a dump-yard.”

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