3eco Systems Pvt Ltd (3eco) operates a dedicated 3-wheeler EV fleet serving enterprise customers and consumers. We got in touch with Peter Voelkner, MD & CEO at 3eco, to find out more about their operations and their approach to running hyper-local services in India.
Please tell us about your fleet composition and vehicles.
We have a total fleet of 407 L5 EVs, of which 375 are L5 Cargo & 32 are L5 Passenger.
– In L5N, we have Heavy Duty Cargo & Converter Cargo vehicles. In L5M, we have Passenger (3 seater), converted Passenger & high occupancy passenger (8 seater).
– For heavy duty freight, we operate the S8 Rhino model which provides max volumetric capacity of 170 cu ft and a payload capacity of 550 kg. Gross Vehicle Weight is 1350 kg.
– All of our active fleet is manufactured by 3ev Industries. We have tested other OEMs but have not approved them due to specifications, performance, warranty terms, or commercial terms.
Who are your customers, and which cities do you currently operate in?
We have the widest list of Enterprise customers – Amazon, Big Basket, Flipkart, Reliance & several others. We currently operate in the cities of Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Coimbatore & Mumbai. We have plans to expand to 8 more Tier-1 & 2 cities over the next 6-8 months.
Can you explain how you operate your business?
3eco provides comprehensive, turn-key solutions to enterprise customers. The vehicles are built to our specifications by 3ev Industries and include the patented SEMS™ Smart Energy Management System for modular battery configuration for various range and cost optimization.
– We manage a dedicated fleet operated strictly by our internal team based on 5-year vehicle leases.
– Our drivers are called Service Professionals (SPros) and are fully employed with paid leave, paid sick leave, full family health benefits, incentive pay and provident fund. The SPros are rigorously selected and trained to follow our detailed and comprehensive SOPs. They are kept up to date on all operating and technology improvements derived from our continuous improvement process.
– All operations are built around our Fleet Operating Stations (FOS), which represent our community-embedded infrastructure of parking, charging, maintenance, stock keeping and value-added services, administrative, sales, and training programs. Each FOS is supervised by a Connectivity Professional (CPro) for active resource management on the ground and rapid response to any customer or service-related issues. We also hire ACPros (Assistant Connectivity Professional) in a few FOS locations.
– We use a wide assortment of digital tools for data collection and SOP implementation. Our EPro dashboard, operated out of the System Nerve Centre in Domlur, Bangalore, is staffed with Data Analysts and IT Professionals for managing our operating resources in real-time and benchmarking all key metrics for outlier identification. We solve for negative outliers and study positive outliers for best practices adoption and standardization in our SOPs.
What makes 3eco different from other companies operating EV fleet services for last-mile deliveries in India?
We take a holistic approach to understanding the complete value chain before we enter into a market or customer engagement. We analyze the bottlenecks, limiting factors or other issues and then design solutions for greater efficiency or productivity based on 3eco’s operating capabilities. After optimizing the services using our platform to unlock tangible benefits to the customer in the form of cost savings or service improvement, we begin customer engagement. We then rely on our continuous improvement process to drive incremental improvements based on data from customer services or system-wide best practices.
What are the specifications of electric vehicles that are needed to make EVs attractive to drivers as well as fleet operators?
We require our EVs to compete against ICE vehicles and do not accept any compromise on range, performance, reliability, or cost.
Our operations are managed and optimized for maximum utilization over the day, often operating 1.5 shifts in a 24 hrs period. This obviates the need for battery charging and swapping during the day and improves the revenue-generating potential of each vehicle.
Our vehicles are also outfitted for top-tier performance in terms of acceleration, speed, braking and safety measures, as well as multiple points of telemetry for real-time tracking. Furthermore, all our vehicles come with a standard 5 years warranty from the OEM and bumper-to-bumper maintenance contract so that our SPros can be assured of vehicle readiness and safety at all times. This maximises the effect of service disruptions or driver hassles.
In addition to lower operating expenses and zero emissions, what other benefits do EVs offer for the delivery use case?
The EV is not just an ICE surrogate with an electric motor. It is an electrical device that has emerged on the scene as part of the long-term trend of the electrification of work that is touching all parts of the economy and society. The electrification of work also leads to the digitization of information. We view our EVs in this way. It is accessing the full potential of the electrical design and digital systems and processes to provide optimized and sustainable services in our markets.
Do you want to highlight any current market practices in the EV fleet segment that need correction?
There is currently a lack of uniformity and standardization of protocols and specifications in the EV space. This leads to a very high cost of information making a disintermediated ecosystem vulnerable to inefficiency, misinformation, and waste. Over time, standards will emerge through natural market processes. At this time, 3eco relies on a closed loop of trusted stakeholders in its Partner Ecosystem which allows for greater trust, reliability, and scalability with the lowest Total cost of Operation (TCO) available at present.
Charging or swapping or both?
We charge and swap at our own validated FOS (Fleet Operating Stations) only. When standards emerge, and we can rely upon the third-party charging and swapping ecosystem, we will access those services based on commercial viability.
Any recent updates with regards to your management team?
Sandeep Dasgupta joined the management team of 3eco Systems on July 1, 2022. Earlier, he has held the CEO position at Deutsche Asset Management and Bharti AXA Investment Managers.
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