India is quickly adopting electric vehicles as a zero-emission alternative to ICE-engines vehicles. While the EV penetration is slow in four-wheelers, two-wheelers and commercial vehicles are at the forefront of EV adoption. Experts privy to the development in the Indian auto industry are saying that EV adoption will be much faster and much smoother in closed-circuit commercial vehicles where end destination and daily range is known.
This has led to a surge in the commercial EV startups, mostly in the three-wheeler category. However, EVage, an EV startup is eyeing the lucrative electric truck market, a potentially untapped segment. We got in touch with Inderveer Singh, Founder & CEO, EVage Ventures to understand the product, vision and India’s last mile delivery segment.
Tell us about EVage and its operations in India?
EVage stands for – Electric Vehicle Age. We want to bring the era (manufacture commercial EVs for mid and last-mile delivery) of electric vehicles in India into the commercial EV space, a new age of efficient and innovative transportation. When we started in 2014, the ecosystem for EVs was underdeveloped, requiring us to work from scratch. We undertook intensive R&D to develop a forward-looking product in the commercial EV space.
Over the years, we have tested over five prototypes with hundreds of thousands of kilometers on the road with our potential customers, who played a substantial role in this testing phase and thus leading to a co-created market fit product. EVage has pioneered the technology and design of mobility solutions to assist customers in meeting sustainability goals while also providing a superior logistical experience.
Some of our key innovations include aerospace-inspired structure, light-weighting, integrated powertrain, exoskeleton structure, and micro-modular manufacturing. The commercial EV space presented a great opportunity as there was a massive gap that no other OEM addressed, and thus we decided to capitalize on the same.
How do you see India’s EV market?
Today, India is advancing at an un-heard pace, and we genuinely believe that the mobility requirement is set to rapidly grow and dramatically shape to catering the 1.3+ billion population. The Indian automobile sector is now ranked 5th globally, although expected to rise to 3rd by 2030. For Indian mobility, there is a greater need to plan for a green future and lessen reliance on imported crude oil.
We think that EV is the way forward for obvious considerations of the environment, pollution, and economic costs. We also believe that India is now prepared to make this transformation.
In which sectors will EVs contribute the most?
As an entrepreneur, one always looks forward to meeting the rising needs of the future. I genuinely believe the logistics industry is on the verge of a new era, ‘The electric – sustainable age,’ because there is predictability as the route is defined with the correct entry strategy. We believe that India is ready to revolutionize the 4W commercial vehicle industry with more sustainable solutions. In the last two years, we have seen credible growth of e-commerce propelled by the pandemic, and it creates a real need to address the mobility challenges through EVs.
Does buying an EV makes sense for fleet operators?
There is a need for industrial preparedness toward a green future for Indian mobility and to lessen dependency on the usage of combustible fuels. EVs often have fewer components, making maintenance an easy affair. This, from the standpoint of fleet operators, becomes highly profitable. Moreover, we have looked at automotive manufacturing from the lens that one would look at high-end aerospace modes of transportation. This approach of ‘reimagine to transform’ is our biggest differentiator and the way we would be proud of being positioned.
Commercial vehicles follow a fixed route from point A to point B– approximately 50km-150km. This makes it possible to charge them in warehouses with our fast-charging batteries, further reducing one of the biggest concerns related to the time/resources required for charging EVs. Lastly, EVs are always a sustainable option compared to ICE vehicles, thus making a positive impact on the environment.
Potential impact in last-mile delivery that EVage can create
Since our inception in 2014, we have been laser-focused on developing and delivering a product that speaks for itself. EVage has created technology and design mobility solutions to assist customers in reaching sustainability goals while also providing a superior logistical experience. We are not just building a vehicle but creating an experience to solve the problems of this segment. We are genuinely bringing innovation and tech prowess to the fore with a strong focus on delivering a great product.
As a result, we’ve achieved efficiencies across the board, including increased cubic capacity, agility, a smaller turning radius, and reduced costs. These technology and design advancements are pioneering features, and we have created them from the ground up. At EVage, our approach is to enable a highly efficient vehicle that can meet the futuristic demands of the industry. Furthermore, our truck is co-created with our customers in this space, ensuring every need is addressed using innovative techniques.
What sectors are you operating in?
Currently, our five prototypes are on the road, serving customers in the FMCG, e-commerce, and logistics/delivery industries. With our recent fundraising of USD 28 million from Red Blue Capital, we are focused on completing our production-ready factory and building our supply chain to fuel the immense industry demand in this space.