Sooorya EV, an eMobility startup incorporated in Singapore is developing an 8 seater electric taxi, specifically for the ride-sharing segment in the emerging markets of the Indian subcontinent, ASEAN region, Africa & South America. The company has revealed the 3D model of the vehicle which is built to suit the needs of short distance ‘Ride Share’ category of app-based taxi hailing services such as Uber, Ola, Grab, Gojek etc.
Use cases for the vehicle
Daily travel needs for millions of people in emerging economies are met by shared autos, rickshaws, jeepneys etc which are not safe or comfortable. Daily travel distance of fleet vehicles in developing countries is less than 200 km, amid low speed traffic with an average speed of < 25 km per hour. Going forward, developing countries are expected to drive most of the growth in the car sales worldwide, especially in ride sharing and EV segment. Sooorya EV aims to serve the following primary use cases through its EV:
- Last mile/first mile service connecting fixed points like Metro / Bus stations to office complexes, malls, colleges, hospitals, and other key congregation points.
- Ride-hailing & ride-sharing operations
- Employee transport
According to company estimates, the fleet size for global ride-hailing market is estimated currently at 6.5 million vehicles, and projected to grow to 20-30 million vehicles by 2030. ‘‘The market opportunity is huge. We intend to capture a major share of the ride-sharing vehicle market in the developing world, and generate a turnover of USD 5 billion of sales by 2030”, says Christie Fernandez, CEO.
The Sooorya EV is being designed to provide an affordable solution to daily travel requirements as a part of ride-sharing economy. To be priced at <15 K USD, this purpose built EV will come with the following specifications:
- 8 seater
- > 25 KW Electric Motor
- Top speed – 60 km/h
- Gross weight – 1400 kg
- Fixed and Swappable batteries to ensure zero downtime for the vehicle
- A solar roof for additional mileage
- Modular Design for easy assembly in Micro-factories. As opposed to the traditional automotive production lines, micro-factories have a smaller footprint, lower environmental impact and ensure maximum localisation of supply chain.
Purpose built electric vehicles for commercial applications are gaining traction worldwide and we believe this is a trend we are going to see in the years to come. In the west, EV start-ups like Arrival, Canoo and Rivian are developing EVs for multiple end applications of delivery and public transport. Arrival and Uber recently announced a partnership to design a purpose-built electric vehicle for ride-hailing to explore a strategic relationship in key markets, including the UK and EU. The Arrival Car is expected to enter production in Q3 2023, while the final vehicle design is expected to be revealed before the end of 2021. This tie-up is expected to help Uber meet its commitment to becoming a fully electric mobility platform in London by 2025 and by 2030 across North America and Europe.
Current product development status at Sooorya EV
Sooorya EV is planning to have the physical prototype ready in 18 to 24 months from now, subject to the pandemic situation improving. The company is currently putting together a syndicate of investors to raise $15 million, starting with $5 million for the prototype. A few large corporations from Japan and India have already expressed interest, shares Christie.
Watch this space for more updates!
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