This article is a summarised version of my presentation at the Small Business Leadership summit organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Chandigarh Administration on the topic ‘Business Opportunities in the e-Mobility space’ in December 2019. This covers:
Opportunities arising in the e-mobility space
Key players and start-ups
E-mobility brings new opportunities in manufacturing of electric vehicles, powertrain components and charging equipment. Let’s have a look.
Electric Vehicle Manufacturing
A new wave of start-ups have embarked on auto manufacturing, a space that has traditionally had large barriers to entry. A few examples of such companies are Ather Energy, Ultraviolette, Strom Motors, Emflux Motors, Gayam Motor Works.
Though there are multiple reasons India lags in the cell manufacturing of Li-ion batteries, EV penetration has seen a plethora of companies enter the battery assembly space. Cells are imported from China or Taiwan. Battery companies in India assemble the cells into battery packs and supply to OEMs.
Examples – PuREnergy, Pastiche Energy Solutions, Renon India
India does not have a clear policy for management of end of life Lithium-ion batteries yet, however, there are a few start-ups taking initiatives to streamline lifecycle management of the batteries.
Examples – Ziptrax, Raasi Solar, TES-AMM
Draft for Battery Waste Management Rules was released by the Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India on Feb 20, 2020, and suggestions have been invited from the industry.
Powertrain Components Manufacturing
EVs have a simpler powertrain that requires way fewer parts than the ICE vehicles. Core components of an EV powertrain are Batteries, DC-AC converters, Electric motors, DC-DC coonverters, transmissions and ECUs (electronic control units). Though at present most of powertrain components are being imported into the country, there are multiple companies taking the R&D route to improve the efficiency and performance of the powertrain, and tailor the components for Indian driving conditions.
Examples – Altigreen technology, Quanteon powertrain, Virya mobility, Elecnovo. Established auto component manufactures such as TVS Lucas and Bharat Forge have also diversified into EV powertrain component manufacturing.
Companies that are manufacturing the Charging Equipment or EVSEs (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) e.g. Delta Electronics, Exicom, Mass-Tech, EVQpoint.
The current trend of ACES (autonomous, connected, electric, shared) vehicles introduces opportunities in telematics solutions, software for vehicle performance simulation as well as operating systems that provide smart and connectivity features to these vehicles.
Examples – eMotive Systems (vehicle performance simulation), REVOS (AI and IoT software for vehicles), Esmito (housed at IIT Madras Research Park) offers a B2B SaaS platform for EV Infrastructure management including battery swapping management.
3. Charging Infrastructure
Along side PSUs like EESL, NTPC and REIL, private players are contributing to establish charging infrastructure by setting up Charging Networks across the country, including at residential complexes and offices/business locations.
Examples – Charge+Zone (Vadodara), Magenta – ChargeGrid, Volttic | Full list here
Urban charging infrastructure requires availability of charging facilities at public places such as malls, parking lots and restaurants. This presents an opportunity for owners of such spaces to provide charging facilities and attract more customers as EV penetration increases.
4. Battery Swapping
Battery swapping promises to be an efficient solution for public transport such as electric 3Ws and buses. Companies working on swapping solutions:
Examples – Sun Mobility, Lithion, E-Chargeup Solution
5. Training and Skill Development
The Impact of EV penetration on auto components will also be felt on the demand of skill set associated with the respective components. Along with auto components, growth in battery and charging solutions industry will need personnel with respective skill sets. This presents a sea of opportunities for skill development industry for training people currently in the industry as well as for people looking to start a career in the EV space.
Examples – MakerMax, DIY Guru, Autobot India
Many start-ups are providing services to convert ICE vehicles to Electric or Hybrid vehicles. e.g. eTrio (Hyderabad), BharatMobi (Delhi)
7. Fleet Operations
Owing to lower running expenses, easier maintenance and quick Total Cost of Ownership parity, EV inclusion in fleet operations (with typically high utilisation rates) makes a lot of sense.
2W fleet for tourist rentals and commercial use e.g. home deliveries
Example – eBikeGo is an electric bike rental company that has raised $300,000 in funding and plans to build a fleet of 200,000 e-bikes in 100 Indian cities.
3W fleet for cargo delivery e.g. last mile delivery of small scale cargo.
Example – Gati is delivering to IKEA’s customer homes in Hyderabad using electric 3Ws and retrofitted TATA Ace.
3W fleet for passengers
Example – SmartE is an electric mobility ride sharing service and has served 25 million commuters since its launch.
4W for Passenger Taxi use case
Example – BluSmart in Gurgaon and Mumbai – India’s first all-electric ride sharing platform claims more than 75,000 electric rides
Corporate Employee Transport use case
Example – Lithium Urban (raised $8 million). Runs a fleet of 400 vehicles that drive approximately 300 km per day.
Example – Zoomcar to onboard 10,000 EVs by 2021
8. Micro-mobility Solutions
Electric Bike rental for first and last mile connectivity, daily commute. Micro-mobility companies like Yulu and Mobycy are also on lookout for franchise partners in different cities, opening the doors for entry into an e-mobility related business.
Examples – Yulu Bikes, Bounce, Mobycy
9. Dealership and Franchise Opportunities
Entry of new players in the EV space also creates myriad opportunities for prospective entrepreneurs to explore dealer/distributorship of these brands. Swapping solution provider Sun Mobility is also looking for franchise partners to expand its network.
Electric Vehicles are expected to bring a revolutionary change in the mobility space, and open doors to multiple new opportunities and businesses. Let us know in comments section, which of the above business lines are more lucrative than others.
To know about current entrepreneurship and investment opportunities in the EV space, please visit our Business Listings page.
Written by – Priyakshi Gupta, Editor – EVreporter.com