In this EV Industry QnA, Raphae Halim from PluginIndia speaks to Mr Rohit Vadera is one of the co-founders of the company which was incubated out of IIT Hyderabad.
We discuss about Pure EV's ePluto7G electric scooter, Lithium Batteries, Energy Storage solutions and more.
Well, Rohit, The PluginIndia team has been very impressed with PureEV, ever since Kamlesh and Abhishek visited your factory back in October 2019. We have been playing around with your vehicles and have been in touch with your team over the last few months. Here are our observations on the strengths and weaknesses of PureEV
- One. You guys make your own battery packs.
- Two. PureEV has an excellent engineering team working on BMS algorithms, controller features and battery pack design.
- The open culture of the company is a refreshing change for all of us at PluginIndia. We have observed many corporates who don’t like to share technology information on their products, while PureEV has been extremely transparent and honest with us. We feel this open culture is very important in building credibility in the market.
- We still feel the frames, the fit and finish can be improved to a higher level.
- We at PluginIndia are big fans of connected and software driven electric vehicles. We feel PureEV still has some way to go in this area.
Hi, good afternoon to everyone especially to the viewers of PluginIndia it's an extremely pleasurable moment for me to join this video chat and thanks to the PluginIndia team for taking out their time as well. As you can see that this is indeed an unprecedented scenario and the situation that we are seeing today. True! So, first things first
so Stay safe! Stay at home to all the viewers. All kind of individuals be it bankers, policemen, delivery boys, everyone we should be thankful to them and let's hope we recover soon out of this situation.
As we start our the complete vision of the company specifically has been primarily driven through the lithium battery pack manufacturing that has been definitely that is in fact the thing which came prior to us and then subsequently the scooter market is something where we entered and as we speak definitely over the last two years they have been a substantial amount of developments in the company's overall portfolio the team size growth and also the way we see how we in terms of our market presence and
there's so many other areas definitely with PluginIndia you have been sort of involved in this whole journey with us over the last so many quarters and you have also been seeing this firsthand the kind of development which has been happening at our end. coming to the specifics now so as you rightly said in terms of our battery the specific team based out of IIT Hyderabad in our R&D centre where they are working on the four areas of the Battery thermal management systems These are where the interesting amount of work going on specifically in terms of the performance at various climate scenarios in India as we see the kind of geography that we have the kind of temperatures which can get subjected to the batteries, heat, the very cold areas in the north or sometimes the very the summer situation in some of the regions - Maharashtra, Gujarat so all these various things are there on the basis of which the lifecycle of the battery severely impacted we have been gradually working to the development of batteries which can sustain all the ways kind of load cycles which are there subjected to.
Coming to the specific query which you mentioned about connected vehicles while we definitely agree on that one point that currently our vehicles which go in the consumer market they don't have our tracking feature in terms of the specifics which we mentioned about but having said that the whole equation for us it's sort of a development cycle well we have been initially focused on the development of a very robust product in terms of when we talk about a value for money concept so identity the area where we have felt that where the Indian customer today sees that the whole inhibition has still not been removed that electric vehicle is a cost-effective - like the price point. Entry price point and at the same time being able to deliver a performance which can give them the confidence, remove the range anxiety, remove the, especially on the service support matters so there have been various elements which we are putting together first on the basis of which ones some of this the reliability related matters are fully addressed in terms where we expect our product to be then subsequently the connected vehicle platform will be developed on that basis and while our expertise is already there because we have done many many energy storage projects where we had the connectivity requirement for them and our team at IIT Hyderabad is very well capable of doing that but in terms of a entry price point and trying to optimize vehicle performance has been sort of a priority regarding your other feedbacks as you might have seen in terms of the over all finish and the fitment of the vehicle itself there has been significant implements as you might have seen recently in our latest model ePluto 7G with which definitely we have been working with you in terms
of the assessment of the product as well and we hope to see that this implements are we will taken note of by your team as well when when you go through them with respect to how we were positioned when when we had started the first time interaction had happened with your with your platform and at the same time we have been quite positive about the type of feedback which your team has also given on a consistent basis you must have seen the improvement we keep on happening as we speak.
So let’s talk about ePluto 7G. We have used the scooter for a few months and we loved it. It offers the perfect value in terms of price and performance.
How has the response been in the market? Do tell us about deliveries too.
So we got the official certification document in the month of January from ICAT and it is definitely one of the longest range scooters in India as we had mentioned to you it's 116km we got in ICAT to gain the certificate. One of the most efficient scooters out there in the market right now in terms of your wH/Km and then speaking about the specific commercial thing so definitely it has been a very straight upward trajectory in terms of the product placement throughout our dealers and the way our dealership-base has grown over the last in this last one quarter it has been really a very happy moment for us overall in terms of number of vehicles the specifics is something which we can open up in due time but considering the rate at which we just had entered into the market, the response has been phenomenal they were good amount of pre-bookings available with us and for whatever the reasons this has been slightly bumped because of the situation that has come it's just at the right time when we were very fast picking up the pace but know that we were quite confident that in terms of our product performance and the price point at which we are offering we have been working very hard with so many financing companies as well and apart from that the entire framework for the dealers, in terms of helping them out with the regulations part, the local RTO works, the insurance work, all the elements our team has worked extremely hard over the last one quarter to ensure that at the end of the day both the dealer and the customer both have a very happy experience in terms of delivering the product.
We also came to know that the ePluto and ePluto7G are doing very well in
small towns. Can you share some examples?
Yes, indeed so this is one area where indeed we feel that there is a lot of scope and the growth opportunity lie. Considering the price-point at which we are offering our
ePluto 7G model it perfectly fits in right as of today because as you see that the BS6 implementation, the price of the petrol scooters has also gone up. So the price priority has already been achieved with respect to the petrol scooter models like the Honda Activa kind of vehicles and because of that price is no longer a bottleneck what matters now, it's purely a matter of performance that what is the kind of range which you are able to offer with a range which we are offering almost hundred kilometer on a single charge so that that is something which meets the expectation of pretty much everyone especially in town areas and this is where exactly we felt that the the true test of fire which any company has to go through is that and when you especially intend to become a vision where you carry vision for the next 10-20 years your brand should continue then you definitely have to ensure that the people at the town level are able to give a positive feedback about your vehicle and that has been the really heartening development from our side we have especially our own streets of Telangana is where we have been very aggressively working on this and step by step in entire South Indian Maharashtra and gradually all other parts of India as well we hope to become one of the brand where people from every respect of society are able to connect well with our engineering fortitude and also love the product.
Tell us about your dealership presence and also many of our viewers want to know this - why are your existing dealers not listed in your website?
Yes! it's a work in progress from our side as we speak they have been the majority of the dealer onboarding has happened over the last one to two quarters and we go through a systematic process in terms of the complete screening and overall profiling as well and in line with that this activity will soon get completed.
What does it take to become a PureEV dealer? Automobile experience would be good to have?
Definitely before that people from Auto background can come forward but it's not certainly a binding criteria we have a very well-defined service program through which we can train the technicians of the dealers as well and basic investment criteria and the overall and then they can get qualified so that that's not an issue but definitely the company has been working extremely hard in terms of brand development, we definitely expect our dealers also to have equal set, equal energy and the the enthusiasm that we share in brand development That will ensure that they'll be also able to satisfy and fulfill the prospects.
You want people who are passionate about electric vehicles as well as your product This is new and emerging field so it's not sufficient that we just talk about commercials. The passion and the enthusiasm is definitely important as well.
I see your website and there are some energy storage products listed there. Something like a Tesla Powerwall.
These look really cool and are called PURE Power Slab and PURE Power Bric.
So are these certified and available for sale now? Can you tell us a bit more about these?
So, basically this products are indeed for the purpose of the energy storage market in terms of various applications. household energy storage market or further even for the small commercial establishments or for that matter data centers, hospitals, a wide variety of applications and since we have already executed this kind opposition in our the previous so we definitely are sort of aware about this market as well what we definitely intend to do is that since we have shifted more into a manufacturing domain now so this is where we want to partner with various installation contractors various solar contractors and and this kind of dealers and distributors who have been working in the battery business and with them we want to work for this product as a very standardised offering from our company so Power Brick is basically a 12-volt battery pack 1 KWH rating and the slab is basically 3 KWH 48 V battery pack and these are compatible with very wide range of inverters available in the market as Well and they offer a substantially higher almost three times the lifecycle and the kind of power backup that you can get it’s almost at even half of the battery capacity of a lead-acid battery and can substantially deliver a good power backup. so this are some of the areas we again we are working on establishing a complete distribution network and we look forward to encouraging standalone videos for this project as well.
If a customer or a dealer of other brands needs electric scooter batteries, can PureEV supply them? If yes, how can they get in touch with you?
Yes! So certainly they can reach out to us by submitting the the forms - contact us on the website we are definitely open in the current scenario it's also about helping out to the other industry partners as well even though they are competitor it's also about some sort of co-operation in the market and we wish the the very best for the growth of this industry at the start of this video itself I mentioned that these are indeed very unprecedented times and it’s going to be definitely quite hard for many many companies out there especially in the MSME segment. I'm not just talking about the industry but as a whole as the nation they are going to face this challenge it's a global challenge indeed coming to that specifics of that we definitely full see that in the coming one to two quarters many companies can possibly face survival scenarios and some of the areas have been there where our company has been slightly in a better position in terms of the level of preparation and which we have gone through basically our investor is coming from a former background and they have also been specifically advising us, cautioning us, basically in terms of what we called in the automobile industry today this just-in-time approach has been built up but that whole just-in-time concept on only works if the supply chain is extremely robust if that supply chain is weak at any stage then definitely it will lead to significant amount of potential sales the issues basically production issues when the when this kind of situation hits you so in anticipation of that the company itself has been securing raw materials at a good pace we are always sitting on 3-6 months kind of inventory the sales inventory this is to ensure that at any point of time if this concentration comes we are always ready to scale back get back on our feet very quickly it should not happen that in our supply chain gets disrupted and then that leads to complete collapse. That has been one of the key points which I want you to highlight then some of the other points which I want to focus on basically in terms of the investment also which we had raised through our investors and we have been definitely playing a conservative game overall in terms of how our goes through so we are definitely sitting on at least two years of with us and not a single manpower in our company is going to get affected and this we can very confidently say because the kind of ethics which has been imbibed by our investors as well. we want to ensure that in this kind of tough situation and scenario and and this is what we wish that every company is able to do maintaining the people on the payroll is extremely important and that's what we are going to continue to do and in this specific situation now I would also want to highlight some of the other development activities which we have been continuously working on so basically in terms of our company R&D set up, the team be able to work from home or make a very very comfortable basis in terms of the product development cycle which is going on especially employers they have been working very closely in co-ordination with us and the end result of this has been that while definitely this could be a very large in the real offline world this is definitely a large shutdown but in the online world as we speak Dr. Nishant and the company are working very closely with our team members in streamlining all of our service protocols, all of our accounting protocols all the all the basically all the areas where the company has to get itself ready when once the in terms of building the brand and the stronger platform for all the players of the market.
What can the EV community expect in 2020? Any high speed scooters, motorcycles, updates to 7g?
Yes, definitely 7G is going to be our flagship model on which continuous improvements will keep on happening as we speak so now we do have a motorcycle project in the pipeline and but this is something which will also get rigorous analysis in terms of how the market recovery also happens because we also happen and specific to the product development cycle we have been working with our suppliers as well for the additional features offering as well in terms of various variants as well, in terms of colours and other specific add-ons. So that has been the ongoing work here.
- AMuzic our Youtube channel follower asks the following
Why is it that even after putting so much care for the battery and it's BMS you guys are only providing the standard 3years warranty?
Should increase it to 5 years/50k km at least. We feel PureEV can take a lead on this and ensure industry follows.
That's a really interesting comment and definitely one way we have been looking at it very seriously to be really honest on this point it the standard, the industry imagines the warranty it is not just a technical warranty it's also a financial warranty so when we do any warranty that we offer it is a calibrated business call in terms of techno-commercial offering and while we have been working with some players in the market for extended warranty schemes through which the additional amount of warranties will get offered so it's definitely what happens from our side so in the in the coming one two quarters you will definitely see some kind of scheme coming off some awesome but be rest assured that it is nothing to do with the quality parameters it has more to do with a calibrated financial call and at the end of the day when we offers some commitment or something we should not go foul on those our words and commitment and but we will be definitely innovating something on this side. So it's airing on the side of caution rather than just making a promise which you may not be able to let me assure you on this one that the way our team has been working in terms of any kind of service support matters while the number of issues are not doing significant in our ability to respond to them is extremely robust and all of our customers are quite satisfied on that front indeed.
- Varun Govind our Youtube channel follower asks the following
Since you have a 3C rate 2.5 kWH battery in epluto7g, can you offer a faster charger than the current 10 A one ? Would love one that charges under 1.5 hours ! I think this is possible on a 3 phase 15A socket ! Please try to get his take on this !
Concern is basically raised around the charging parameters.It’s the technical call which we have to take so the idea is that in terms of battery charging, in terms of Indian
conditions, in what kind of parameters the batteries are being charged it's a very subject specific matter so considering the various safety aspects and all elements combined
we have limited our charging to this setting right now while we are working on it and in due course of time we come up with but it will be very very collaboration manner and
it will not be a standalone manner where on a completely unsupervised manner we don't recommend our batteries any fast charging to be done.
- Sujoy Bhattacharya our Youtube channel follower asks the following
Pure-EV - We heard some time back that they were designing a completely temperature controlled battery pack. What is the status of that project? Or has it been abandoned?
Yes, No so, there are some patented ways or methods of cooling for the battery packs from which we are working in collective it's a work in progress.
Readers can contact Pure EV by filling this form
Thank you Rohit for taking the time and speaking to PluginIndia.
Stay safe everyone.
More PureEV Links
PureEV startup showcase video
Discussion with Dr Nishanth from PureEV - High performance Lithium batteries in Hyderabad.