Esmito Running Battery Swap Trials Outside India

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Dr Prabhjot Kaur, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Esmito Solutions
  • Fully operational in Mumbai in the E2W segment, the start-up has recently started its operations in Delhi and Hyderabad.
  • The start-up has raised about INR 14 crore till now and is in the middle of fundraising rounds for around $15 million.

Battery-swapping start-up Esmito is conducting battery-swapping pilot trials in South Africa, UAE, and some more African countries. Dr Prabhjot Kaur, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Esmito Solutions, told Electronics For You that the pilots being conducted in the above-mentioned countries include electric three-wheelers (E3Ws) and electric two-wheelers (E2Ws).

“Many electric vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) originating from India are present in these countries. We are running these pilots with them,” she said.

The start-up believes that many other battery-swapping players operating in those countries are using technology that is not as advanced as the one Esmito had deployed, while some are at par in terms of the same.

Focused On B2B

According to Dr Kaur, the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the commercial segment in India and abroad is leading to the increased adoption of battery swapping as because it minimises downtime by helping EVs replenish batteries faster than fixed charging.

“Minimising downtime is a pre-requisite for a vehicle to be deployed in the commercial, logistics, transportation, and allied sectors,” Dr Kaur explained.

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Fully operational in Mumbai in the E2W segment, the start-up has recently started its operations in Delhi and Hyderabad. Its expansion plans include venturing into Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai before the end of this fiscal.

Hasan Ali, co-CEO and co-founder of Esmito Solutions had earlier noted that expanding in these cities would be more than enough for the start-up for the current fiscal. The start-up has raised about INR 14 crore till now and is in the middle of fundraising rounds for around $15 million.

GST Parity Required

Further, De Kaur believes that parity in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) can help increase EV adoption in India. Currently, EVs sold with or without batteries are charged 5% GST, whereas swappable batteries for EVs are charged 18% GST. “Similar GST on these as EVs will help India accelerate EV adoption, We have requested the government for the same,” Dr Kaur said.

She also believes that if rumours of the upcoming policy around EVs do not give weightage to the standardisation of swappable battery packs, the same will lead to start-ups in the domain not being able to scale in the personal EV segment. 

The company wants to focus more on commercial EVs, as the same will continue to lead the EV adoption race in the country. Esmito Solutions’ battery manufacturing facility in Navi Mumbai can manufacture 2,500 batteries (2kWh each) per month, and its Hyderabad-based swap station facility can manufacture 100+ swap stations per month.

Apart from the Capital expenditures (CapEx) and Operating Expenditure (OpEx) model the start-up operates, it also has white-labelled battery swap stations for third parties. 

 

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