Until a few years ago, the EV industry was surrounded by a lot of doubts and questions. Due to its infrastructure and lack of policies to promote it, the tendency of the people towards it was quite low. But after 2018, EV Startup has seen an increase due to the formation of favorable policies. According to ‘The Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles’ (SMEV) data, despite a challenging fiscal year of 2020, domestic sales of electric vehicles have increased by 20%.
Although electric vehicles figure is less than one percent of total vehicle sales in India, however, the industry is expected to grow to 5% in the future. It is credited to policies such as the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP), the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicle Scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME) Scheme) and income tax exemption. Due to which today in India, many electric vehicle companies are expanding.
Going forward, electric vehicle companies, especially e-bicycle manufacturers, are offering technologically advanced vehicles with hi-tech features such as reverse gear, theft alarm and side-stand sensors. They are making vehicles affordable and environmentally friendly, along with being conducive and suitable for Indian roads and people.
Pune-based Nexzu Mobility is also one such startup, which is attracting customers who want to live in a sustainable manner. This company was started in the year 2015 by Incredible Mittal. Previously the name of this company was Avan Motors. Today this startup sells e-bicycles and e-scooters.
Incredible, an alumnus of Howard Business School, was an investor in ‘Papa Johns’, one of India’s largest pizza chains. However, he was shocked when he did not find an economical scooter for delivery, especially no electric bike. And from here, his journey started with electric scooters. Initially, he tried to find out what is the reason behind not adopting electric vehicles here. He began researching the fundamentals of electric vehicles, market opportunities, supply chains, manufacturing parts.
Incredible told The Better India, “When we started getting to know this market, the attention of the people at that time was very less on this sector. In 2015, only a few companies were making electric two-wheeler (two wheeler) vehicles in India. The first challenge was to get the right information about the market associated with it so that it could know if this idea could work? ”
He further states that his electric vehicle models, due to their economical pricing, are not only good for the people but also follow environmentally friendly guidelines.
For example, the cost of operating an electric vehicle is Rs 0.2 per km while a fossil-fueled vehicle costs Rs 1.5 per km. He says, “On charging electricity consumption of 10 rupees (estimated price of Rs. 8 per unit), the e-cycle can run for 150 km and scooter for 45 km. On the charge of 50 rupees, the e-cycle can run for a thousand km. ”
These ‘Made-in-India’ e-cycles with low components are low maintenance and cost effective. The most important thing is that they can be charged anywhere. Basic sockets used for phones or laptops can also be charged from them. The company’s COO, Rahul Schonk, says, “Our electric bicycles are designed and built in India. Therefore, Nexzu is helping to shape the Indian electric mobility industry by advancing local manufacturing and development in India. ”
Features of e-bicycle
- These e-bicycles, priced between Rs 31, 983 to Rs 42, 317, were launched in India before the Corona epidemic.
- The electric bicycle features a 36-volt, 250-watt brushless DC motor and 26-inch nylon tires.
- There are two models of the E-Cycle – Rompus + and RoadLark.
- Both bicycles can be charged 750 times and both take three to four hours to fully charge.
- Roadlark can last up to 80 kilometers once charged and Rompus + can run more than 30 kilometers.
- The RoadLark bicycle speed is 65 km in pedal mode and 55 km in throttle mode. The speed of the Rompus + is 25 km in the pedal mode and 20 km in the throttle mode.
- Roadlark has two batteries, one can be removed and installed, while the other battery remains in a frame.
- The rest of the equipment attached to it comes as part of standard parts. It includes two strong mudguards (front and rear), lights, dual discs (front and rear), wheel reflectors, rear reflectors and horns.
- The motor and battery have an 18-month warranty.
The company has more than 70 dealers across the country. Customers can buy bicycles from these dealers or can also buy online from the company’s website.
The company’s plant located in Chakan, Pune has a capacity to manufacture 50,000 bikes every year. According to Incredible, “If we see the growing trend in the present, then in the coming months, we will try to take this plant to the maximum extent.”
Dr. Ritu Singh, who works as a lecturer in a government college in Noida, says that Nexzu’s e-cycle is a great option for him. She says that when she came to know about this e-bicycle, she was happy that now it would be easy for them to come and go. In today’s time, where petrol prices are reaching Rs 100 per liter, electric vehicles remain the only option. She never thought that cycling can be so simple and she feels very happy when she rides a bicycle.
Also, Maria Mendizabal, CEO, MBM Associates from Delhi, says, “I believe in a balanced lifestyle and Nexzu’s e-bicycle is a great option for this.” It is environmentally friendly and economical as well. ”
Along with gathering information in the beginning, making its way into the auto industry has also been a great learning for the company. However, he took help from industry experts to solve the problems but, there were some things which were not in his hands.
Incredible says that when the FAME II policy changed to the FAME I policy, the norms related to localization changed overnight. They had to rework the prices of their electric vehicles and the market was in downturn for almost three months. But due to FAME II, they saw rapid development in the local supply chain and as such, the major problem was how quickly they could localize it.
The corona virus epidemic also caused many difficulties. Their dealer network, factory and office were all closed. Therefore, he chose an alternative route and worked from local locations and identified areas that could strengthen the company.
He says that every year the company has faced a big problem or the other, but the company has risen strongly each time emerging from difficulties. Therefore, now his confidence has also increased. Despite the challenges, the company has made an effective identity in the ‘Green Mobility Sector’ of the country within a few years. They now aim to operate in the international export sector and launch new products. In the coming times, they will launch two premium e-cycles. The company will soon be selling e-bicycles on online platforms such as Amazon, Paytm, ChoozmikeCycle and BikeForCell, so that customers can easily buy bicycles.