Kinetic Green Energy upbeat on electric vehicle growth

G Balachandar | Updated on October 04, 2019 Published on October 03, 2019

Green mobility for the masses is our goal, says founder and CEO Sulajja Firodia Motwani

Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions Ltd, part of the Kinetic & Firodia Group, is emerging as a prominent player in the electric vehicle (EV) space. With a good amount of preparation and a range of battery-operated EVs such as e-rickshaws, e-carts and buggies, it is targeting the retail, institution and government segments. The company’s founder and CEO Sulajja Firodia Motwani spoke to BusinessLine on the emerging EV landscape, the company’s focus areas and expansion plans. Excerpts:

How have you created the business fundamentals for your EV growth?

We have been in this business for the last 4-5 years and we have done a lot of real on-ground testing compared to some of the companies getting into this area. We were the first company to introduce ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India)-approved electric three-wheelers in India. We have undertaken a lot of development activities and that has helped us to localise up to 90 per cent of the content in our vehicles. In most of our models, we have our own design, IP etc and we have also been developing the supply chain for our market. We will soon achieve 100 per cent localisation of our e-vehicles with the last three major parts also getting localised. We understand the market very well and we have done our ground work extensively to emerge as a strong player in the EV space.

What will be your business model for batteries?

We are believers in battery swapping technology. This model will be really suitable for three-wheelers. If you take out the battery cost in an electric three-wheeler, the price of the vehicle will be very attractive. Without a battery, it will cost in the range of ₹80,000-90,000 per vehicle. With the FAME subsidy, the price can go down further to ₹50,000-₹60,000. Right now, FAME subsidy is not applicable for battery swapping. But it is under consideration. So, an unemployed person can get an e-rickshaw for ₹50,000-60,000 and it has the potential to provide earnings of ₹1,000 a day. Here, the battery swapping model can be the ideal one. Battery as fuel will really be cheaper than petrol or CNG in a vehicle. So, battery swapping is suitable for three-wheelers due to predictability, while it also reduces the upfront cost of ownership. We are working with several players such as SmartE, Ola, Sun Mobility and other battery swapping players. We have been doing a battery swapping pilot model with Ola-fleet of 100 electric three-wheelers in NCR for the past six months. We have seen that it is a successful model. Drivers are now driving 160 km a day as against 80 km earlier and the earnings for Ola drivers have gone up significantly. As we move forward, we will implement this gradually with more swapping stations and will also scale up the business significantly.

Which are your key business segments?

We intend to focus on three areas — retail (individuals), institutions (corporates, aggregators, e-commerce companies etc) and government (metros smart cities, municipal corporations etc). We have been working with aggregators like SmartE, Ola and others. We are also piloting some projects with e-commerce companies like Amazon and BigBasket for our cargo range for last-mile delivery solutions. In the government segment, our vehicles are being procured for smart cities and some welfare programmes in Uttar Pradesh, among others. We have got on order from Andhra Pradesh to supply 7,500 electric three-wheelers customised for door-to-door waste collection. We are also providing last-mile solutions in some metros. However, we plan a very aggressive penetration of retail sales going forward as we have set up 150 dealers across the country in the past 12-18 months. Many financiers are coming forward to provide lending support for e-vehicles.

What will be your retail expansion and near-term goals?

Green mobility for masses will be our goal. We have so far sold about 20,000 units. For the current fiscal alone, we intend to sell about 15,000 units and, next fiscal, we target to double this number. To support this, we will come out with more products and expand dealerships further. We will grow the number of dealerships to 300 over the next three years. We have vehicles from low- to medium-speed. We will soon launch a high-speed e-rickshaw with a top speed of 55 km as also a high-speed product in the cargo segment. This year, we are targeting a revenue of ₹300 crore (up from ₹61 crore in FY19) and next fiscal, we hope to achieve ₹500 crore.

Published on October 03, 2019
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