Reducing the dependency on oil and opting for efficient energy transformation to significantly reduce carbon dioxide footprints and lowering the local emissions from transport is the need of the hour. It is for this reason that electric mobility has been the subject of discussions over the past few years. Simply put, electric mobility is a prominent topic in environmental, economic, and social terms.
The current engineering is focused on reducing the cost of owning an electric vehicle. As per projections, electric vehicles will cost 20% lesser and will be around 10 times lesser in maintenance by the year 2025. By offering double the mileage in comparison to the vehicles, we commute in today by deploying combustion engines, electrical vehicles are rightly being called the future of mobility and transportation. Several companies and startups are laying their focus on accelerating the adoption of electrical mobility. RACEnergy is one such startup that aims to persuade people to adopt electrical mobility by building affordable, safe, and convenient electric vehicles and supporting infrastructure. To know more about the products and services, we reached to Arun Sreyas, the founder of the startup.
Arun is a graduate of BITS Pilani who has a passion for race cars. Most of his college life was spent building race cars as a part of the FSAE team. He was the head of the FS team (that comprised of 60 members) in his college. FS teams are like small organizations handling everything from design, manufacturing, sourcing, etc. to marketing, fundraising, recruitment, etc. Post that, he worked at Johnson Controls in Pune as a Design Engineer. At RACEnergy, he takes care of raising funds, putting a great team together, business development, and growing the company.
Let’s take a look at what he has to say about his company, team members, and how the startup is contributing to accelerating the pace of adoption of electrical mobility.
Q. As an EV solutions provider, what does RACEnergy aims at?
We develop and build battery swapping stations and battery packs. We intend to set up and grow the network of battery swapping stations, especially for the three-wheeler segment.
Q. How did RACEnergy initially start off the ground? How was your funding experience?
We started by doing extensive market research, talking to the auto-rickshaw drivers and understanding their problems, and also understand the problems with the existing products, both ICE and electric in the current market.
There was a lot of interest in our start-up, given our model and approach. Our investors were confident in the same and hence the whole process of fundraising was a smooth one.
Q. RACEnergy develops cost-effective battery swapping stations for the three-wheelers, how are your stations different? What is your USP?
Most of our investment goes into R&D. We have redefined the architecture or several products and use a combination of product and business model innovation to bring down the costs of the products while focusing on the high reliability and robustness of the product.
Q. How do you see the market for battery swapping in India? Who are the other prominent players in this field?
Currently, the battery swapping model is in its nascent stages in India and is being tested out with the three-wheeler and the two-wheeler segment. In the swapping model, drivers do not have to wait to recharge their batteries as swapping takes only a couple of minutes. This is very crucial for the commercial segment as time off the road translates to money not earned. SUN Mobility is a prominent player in this field.
Q. Why did RACEnergy start with the three-wheeler segment? What are your plans?
Given the nature of three-wheelers, their price point, and the mode of operation, it makes the most sense for the three-wheeler market to drive the electric vehicle adoption in India.
Q. How do you source batteries and other components required for your Powertrains and Swapping stations? How was the experience in setting your supply chain?
Most of the problems have been with the sourcing of the components. The EV industry in India is currently lagging and there are currently no manufacturers of cells and manufacturing of other critical components like motors are still at a nascent stage. It is for these reasons that we currently have to rely on international suppliers. We hope to build the ecosystem soon in India to switch back to local suppliers with time.
Q. Is RACEnergy currently hiring? What kind of talent are you looking for?
We are looking for talent in the testing, quality, and production fields. We are also looking for talent in the business development field as well.