Companies

Lightning Logistics plans to add 1,000 more EVs to its fleet

Nandana James/Venkatesh Ganesh Mumbai September 13 | Updated on September 14, 2020 Published on September 14, 2020

Lightning Logistics parent company Micelio plans to launch its EVs soon   -  istock/Scharfsinn86

Company looking to expand into more tier-I, tier-II cities

Electric Vehicle maker Micelio, is looking at expanding its EV last-mile delivery company Lightning Logistics — by adding another 1,000 EVs to its existing fleet.

Currently, Lightning Logistics, which rents out its EVs to e-commerce companies has plans to add another 1,000 vehicles in the next 1-2 years, apart from expanding to other cities, Shreyas Shibulal, Founder & Director, Micelio, told BusinessLine.

Shreyas is the son of Infosys co-founder SD Shibulal.

Lightning Logistics is currently present in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. It is looking at expanding to more cities, including tier-2 and tier-3 cities. “The last-mile logistics market in India is growing and there is a huge potential for it, with the demand also having picked up amid the pandemic-induced lockdown”, he said.

The company’s deployment model is such that its electric two-wheelers use swappable batteries. The dearth of proper charging infrastructure in India doesn’t pose a problem to Micelio, as it has more batteries than it has electric two-wheelers, pointed out Shibulal.

Micelio has three other companies under it — Micelio Fund, which is a corpus of ₹140 crore to invest in EV start-ups, Micelio Studio, which is an incubation space for the start-ups to collaborate and create products, as well as a product company.

Micelio Fund invests in early-stage start-ups in the EV space. It looks at funding ventures in the EV value chain — which would include companies using technologies such as AI. The company has received around 175 applications for funding so far, and it made its first investment recently, in a company called Cell Propulsion.

“We are looking to increase the number of investments that we make per year. This year, we will probably make one more investment and next year, we will probably increase it to three or four investments,” he said. Cell Propulsion develops Electric Mobility solutions and is led by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) engineers.

EV launch plans

Apart from this, Micelio is also looking at launching an electric two-wheeler in the future, which would be purpose-built for last-mile logistics purposes, and would be used by Lightning Logistics.

While people in the EV industry have been conflicted about the new government notification that allows the sale of EVs without the battery, Shibulal said that this measure will help in reducing the upfront cost of owning an EV, and that the value will trickle down to the customer.

When asked about any other support he would expect from the government in supporting the EV ecosystem, Shibulal pointed out the Delhi government’s policy which aims to get 500,000 EVs — mainly two-wheelers and three-wheelers — on Delhi's roads by 2025, will help EV push in the country. “The new policy is aimed at boosting the economy, reducing pollution levels and generating employment in the city,” said Yogesh Bhatia, Founder & CEO, Detel, a two-wheeler maker.

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Published on September 14, 2020
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