The advent of e-mobility in India has ushered in a whole new set of innovative start-ups. With this post on PuREnergy Pvt. Ltd (PURE Lithium and PURE EV Brands) we add a new section ‘Start-up Corner’ on EVreporter today to showcase the extraordinary work these companies are doing and how they are helping the Indian EV ecosystem grow.
PuREnergy is the brainchild of Dr Nishanth Dongari and Rohit Vadera – IIT Bombay mates who re-connected in 2015 to start a clean-energy company. The company was incubated at IIT Hyderabad and started out with providing solar energy storage solutions (as an alternative to diesel generators) to commercial and residential buildings in Mumbai. They soon realized that Li-ion batteries performed way better than Lead-acid batteries as a means of energy storage. With advancements in battery technology, the prices of Lithium-ion batteries came down dramatically – prompting the duo to enter Lithium Battery Manufacturing business in September 2018, which was conceived under PURE Lithium brand.
Pivot to EV Manufacturing
To leverage the potential of Lithium-ion batteries in EV space, PuREenrgy started electric vehicle manufacturing in Apr 2019 and launched the brand PURE EV with a mission to provide reliable, affordable and customer-centric electric two-wheelers. PURE EV has a dedicated factory in a built-up area of 18,000 sqft to allow large scale manufacturing of electric vehicles. The company has sold more than 500 EVs in the last one year and aspires to become one of the leading EV startups of India.
PURE EV currently offers 4 electric vehicles:
1. Epluto – Electric scooter with 80 km range and smart features like anti-theft, GPS and ride data analytics.
2. Etrance – Electric moped with 70 km range, designed for last-mile mobility.
3. Egnite – Premium mountain bike with 60 km range, perfect for cycling enthusiasts and tough terrains.
4. Etron+ – A daily-commute bike with 60 km range and 500 WH portable battery.
In July 2019, the company raised INR 20 crores from the chairman of NATCO Pharmaceuticals at a valuation of INR 240 crores. PURE EV intends to use the funds to scale up the operations to meet the rising demand for their vehicles.
In Conversation with Dr Nishanth Dongari – Founder PuREnergy
We spoke to Dr Nishanth Dongari to know more. Here are some excerpts from the conversation:
EVreporter – What was the idea behind starting PuREnergy back in 2015?
Dr Nishanth Dongari (ND) – The larger vision was to come up with an alternative and indeed clean technology where academic level knowledge can be translated to R&D, to designs, to prototypes and to industry scale products.
EVreporter – What challenges did you face in establishing Li-ion battery assembly operations?
ND – The major challenges were identifying the processes to make and testing of battery packs, procurement of relevant production and testing equipment, and the safety protocols while manufacturing the battery packs.
EVreporter – You were revenue positive from day one, which is a bit unheard of in the start-up ecosystem today. How did you manage to achieve that?
ND – We were bootstrapped with a capital of Rs. 2 crores. The financial discipline was induced into the company from bottom to top from day zero and the company never indulged in sales by loosing on the gross margin part. As a company, we’ve been laser-focused on building great products and keeping the overheads low.
Recently, we felt the need to scale up to meet our increasing demand and hence, raised VC investment of Rs. 20 crores. Our partners are very optimistic about our future avenues and we are really happy to have people with such in-depth knowledge of manufacturing processes partner with us and guide us in our ventures.
EVreporter – What are your future plans for both of your brands?
ND – We intend to develop core expertise in batteries. We have an R&D team dedicated to researching the thermal management, State-of-charge and State-of-health prediction algorithms. With this core IP being built within our firm, we are set to launch very long-life batteries meant for not just two-wheelers but also three-wheelers and four-wheelers, at affordable prices.
On the EV side, we are launching dealer networks throughout the country and building a strong ecosystem of sales and after-sales service. We are in the process of homologation of our high-speed scooter and also plan to launch an electric motorbike early next year. We are growing aggressively and intend to become one of the Top 10 EV OEMs in the next 5 years.
Note: This post is not an endorsement for PuREnergy Pvt. Ltd. or its products.