Charging India’s Commercial Delivery Vehicle Segment – Inderveer Singh, CEO of EVage
Often when we think of a country’s electrification journey, we only think of the passenger vehicle segment. But in reality, commercial vehicles also contribute significantly to carbon emission levels when traveling long distances at all times of the day.
Founder and CEO of Chandigarh-based electric mobility startup EVage Ventures, Inderveer Singh, realized this was a problem as early as 2014, which ultimately led to the birth of this unique electric mobility company. electric vehicles in 2019.
“EVage stands for – Electric Vehicle Age – we want to bring the electric vehicle age in India into the commercial electric vehicle space, a new era of efficient and innovative transportation by manufacturing commercial electric vehicles for mid and last mile. We have a fabulous team of highly skilled engineers, technologists, scientists and designers who have worked in the aerospace industry, missile propulsion systems segments and, of course, the automotive industry,” says Singh.
“We are focused on promoting mobility or reinventing mobility to transform lives and businesses, so for us, any movement from point A to point B represents an opportunity. The commercial EV space presented a great opportunity, and we decided to capitalize on the same. We’ve seen a huge gap in this category that no other OEM has filled.
EVage’s mission was not just to fill the void in the market. Singh explained that the fact that this gap existed contributed significantly to carbon emission levels.
“The transport sector accounts for 18% of total energy consumption in India. This translates into an estimated energy of 94 million tonnes of oil equivalent (MTOE). Moreover, the sector also contributes about 142 million tons of CO2 emissions annually, of which 123 million tons come from the road transport segment alone, according to the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, India.
“Our approach was to talk to multiple people in the trade logistics ecosystem to understand their challenges and identify innovations to help us overcome them. At EVage, we want to build and create electric vehicles that would have a significant impact and transform our vision of mobility.
“Traditional gas-powered commercial vehicles represent 10% of the total number of vehicles on the road, but account for more than 30% of fuel consumption. Given the Indian government’s commitments on climate change at the COP21 summit held in Paris to reduce emissions intensity by 33-35% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels, it is relevant to introduce alternative means of commercial vehicles on the roads,” he said. adds.
To fill this gap, EVage developed the Model .X, a one-ton truck specifically aimed at the utility vehicle segment. What sets the .X model apart is the fact that it is a co-creation product, where the company’s customers have been actively involved.
“We seek their input on relevant data derived from this to make our product more effective, more reliable and, above all, help serve a vital purpose. We chose a 1 tonne payload as it is currently the most requested requirement in the small commercial segment,” says Singh.
“At EVage, we sought to build our vehicle around the needs and demands of our customers. We have not considered retrofitting the vehicles as it compromises the safety quotient, especially in the commercial space. We built everything from the ground up, from technology to design, bringing the latest technologies and innovations to our product. »
Building a modular manufacturing micro-factory in India
EVage creates its own modular skateboard platform, an innovation for the Indian market that allows the company to create electric vehicles specifically designed to meet the different needs of its customers.
It allows multiple vehicle types to be mounted on a single platform and was pioneered by the collective team of engineers, technicians and designers at EVage. It not only allows users to transform their vehicles according to their needs; it also creates a transformation for the industry.
“We believe that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work, especially in India. By developing the modular skateboard platform, we can provide customers with a broader set of options without the resulting increased cost. The platform allows us to manufacture at scale, in the same infrastructure environment and lower the total cost of ownership for the customer,” says Singh.
The list of innovations does not stop there. EVage also develops its own battery technology and design. In addition, these batteries have been specially created taking into account the expectations of a commercial vehicle.
“As with a mobile phone, the concerns for an EV remain similar, such as battery life, charging time, tendency to heat up and explode, among others. However, the implications may be much greater in the case of an electric vehicle. Here the thermal management of the battery plays a crucial role. It seeks to manage the temperature in which it operates, thus leading to the life of the battery and ensuring the safety of the battery pads.
“We use ultra-stable chemistry at high temperatures and it has a long lifespan, which is important for the use case in the logistics space. Understanding the critical battery operating conditions in India, we have developed proprietary battery technology that cools the battery while charging. We estimate that our batteries will last over 15 years.
EVage currently manages its pilot and test vehicles with some of the biggest names in industries such as e-commerce, logistics and consumer packaged goods. Over the years, the company has tested more than five prototypes with thousands of miles on the road with potential customers.
While these pilots have given EVage valuable insights to strengthen its offerings, they have also, in turn, generated strong demand.
But we can’t talk about EVage and not talk about its micro-factories.
“Currently, the existing manufacturing processes in the industry are very inefficient and capital intensive. This leads to disconnection in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. On the one hand, people talk about gas emissions greenhouse, while on the other hand, they are deforesting thousands of acres of land to build automobile factories.
“At EVage, our approach allows for an extremely small footprint on the factory and always produces more vehicles with the design and manufacturing plant. Our headquarters and our first modular micro-manufacturing plant are located in Punjab , north of New Delhi,” he said.
“Our goal is clear: reinvent mobility to transform lives and businesses.”
EVage recently received a $28 million investment from RedBlue Capital. Singh is truly excited about this investment and making RedBlue Capital part of EVage’s journey to create sustainable and simple mobility solutions.
“This current seed investment will be deployed to complete our production-ready plant and build our supply chain to fuel the immense industry demand in this space. Nothing excites us more than the idea of advancing mobility, and this investment will help us along this journey. »
“With EVage, our goal is clear: “reinventing mobility to transform lives and businesses”, he adds.
Currently, EVage is focusing on emerging markets, starting with India. It will soon unveil its first 4W commercial van and its first Modular Micro Manufacturing plant.
“Smart electric vehicles have a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 15% per year. We aim to conquer this market and strengthen our capacities to increase our vision. We also want to develop a stronger talent pool and invite some of the world’s best minds to join us in our mission to make mobility more sustainable and efficient in the future,” concludes Singh.