Power Global eyes auto-rickshaw sector with swappable batteries
Technology

Power Global eyes auto-rickshaw sector with swappable batteries

Auto rickshaws and other two- or three-wheeled vehicles play an important role in India, which is more densely populated and has lower rates of car ownership. While many auto-rickshaws on Indian roads are now electric, they still use lead-acid batteries that must be replaced every six to eleven months.

Power Global, a two-year-old startup, wants to disrupt the auto-rickshaw market by providing a retrofit kit for diesel-powered vehicles as well as a swappable battery pack to convert from lead-acid to lithium-ion batteries.

Porter Harris, who previously designed the batteries for SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, founded Power Global. Harris was also the chief battery engineer at Faraday Future, an electric vehicle startup. Harris estimates that Power Global has been 95% self-funded so far, thanks in part to the sale of his SpaceX stock.

Power Global is aiming to capture almost the entire auto-rickshaw market by offering two separate products for diesel-powered or electric rickshaws — the retrofit kit, which Harris claims will fit more than 90% of current models, and the eZee swappable battery.

Thanks to Power Global co-founder Pankaj Dubey's extensive experience working with Indian dealerships during his career with Hero Motors, Yamaha, and Polaris, Harris claims the company already has around 48 dealers ready to sell their products. And that's a big plus because Power Global's strategy relies heavily on a large dealer network to sign people up for the swappable battery subscription model and assist drivers with purchasing and installing retrofit kits.

The main source of revenue will come from enrolling drivers in Power Global's eZee swappable batteries' energy-as-a-service monthly subscription model.

The company intends to begin operations on the outskirts of New Delhi, in the National Capital Region, to eventually establish a kiosk every three km or so. Drivers will also be able to take the battery home with them and charge it with a Power Global home charger.

The eZee swappable battery product will be available in the first quarter of next year, followed by the retrofit kits. It has opened a battery manufacturing plant in Greater Noida, India, where it expects to produce about a gigawatt-hour of battery capacity — roughly 10,000 Model S packs — by the end of next year. As a result, it will be one of the country's largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers. Power Global hopes to have at least 10,000 vehicles on the eZee swappable system by the end of 2022.

Image Source


Also read: Rajasthan issues EV Policy 2021 to boost electric two-wheeler sales

Also read: Convergence Energy issues EOI for electric three wheelers in India

Auto rickshaws and other two- or three-wheeled vehicles play an important role in India, which is more densely populated and has lower rates of car ownership. While many auto-rickshaws on Indian roads are now electric, they still use lead-acid batteries that must be replaced every six to eleven months. Power Global, a two-year-old startup, wants to disrupt the auto-rickshaw market by providing a retrofit kit for diesel-powered vehicles as well as a swappable battery pack to convert from lead-acid to lithium-ion batteries. Porter Harris, who previously designed the batteries for SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, founded Power Global. Harris was also the chief battery engineer at Faraday Future, an electric vehicle startup. Harris estimates that Power Global has been 95% self-funded so far, thanks in part to the sale of his SpaceX stock. Power Global is aiming to capture almost the entire auto-rickshaw market by offering two separate products for diesel-powered or electric rickshaws — the retrofit kit, which Harris claims will fit more than 90% of current models, and the eZee swappable battery. Thanks to Power Global co-founder Pankaj Dubey's extensive experience working with Indian dealerships during his career with Hero Motors, Yamaha, and Polaris, Harris claims the company already has around 48 dealers ready to sell their products. And that's a big plus because Power Global's strategy relies heavily on a large dealer network to sign people up for the swappable battery subscription model and assist drivers with purchasing and installing retrofit kits. The main source of revenue will come from enrolling drivers in Power Global's eZee swappable batteries' energy-as-a-service monthly subscription model. The company intends to begin operations on the outskirts of New Delhi, in the National Capital Region, to eventually establish a kiosk every three km or so. Drivers will also be able to take the battery home with them and charge it with a Power Global home charger. The eZee swappable battery product will be available in the first quarter of next year, followed by the retrofit kits. It has opened a battery manufacturing plant in Greater Noida, India, where it expects to produce about a gigawatt-hour of battery capacity — roughly 10,000 Model S packs — by the end of next year. As a result, it will be one of the country's largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers. Power Global hopes to have at least 10,000 vehicles on the eZee swappable system by the end of 2022. Image Source Also read: Rajasthan issues EV Policy 2021 to boost electric two-wheeler sales Also read: Convergence Energy issues EOI for electric three wheelers in India

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