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Why automobile industry needs high tech adoption

Birender Singh

Birender Singh

Mithran Sriram
Technology has improved our lives – whether that be through breakthrough medicines, renewable energy or new ideas to keep us active.  The latest addition to that list is “Electric Vehicle”.  You may have already seen one zipping through your street. 

Electric Vehicle (e-bike) is considered a more environmentally friendly mode of transport compared to the vehicles that consume fuels. E-bikes can be considered as the fastest-growing means in the transport market.  It was estimated that the e-bike sale would rise to 130 million by 2025 and 800 million by 2100.

Mr. Anirudh Ravi Narayanan – CEO & Co-Founder Boom Motors, shares his Mission, Vision & paths towards success journey & some interesting details about self. Pollution plays a challenging role in every individual’s life.  Asthma, & health related issues due to pollution & pollution created by vehicles using petrol & diesel plays a predominant role.  In addition to this there are a lot of ifs & buts in the Oil Imports, he felt Electric Vehicles will be the best solution in handling these challenges & launched his venture Boom Motors, the New High-Tech Indian EV Company based out at Coimbatore.

 The company today, focuses on leading the way for a change in the electric vehicle industry by delivering quality vehicles at economical prices, removing barriers of adoption, and offering complete peace-of-mind to the customer. All parts of the vehicles are designed, developed and manufactured in India out of a factory in Coimbatore  

They have recently launched Boom Corbett, the affordable & durable EV Bike which saw an overwhelming response of over 30 Thousand booking received in ane single week.  Currently the company has crossed Rs. 400 Crore Pre-Bookings with 36 Thousand vehicles in the pipeline.     

 Anirudh says “In spite of regular increase in petrol prices – doing a backdoor working comparison between costs involved in Petrol Vehicles vs Electric Vehicles acceptance for EV Vehicles are very very low.  During rainy days – most vehicles are getting lined up with lot of Electrical Faults.  The vehicle finds very difficult to go comfortably in Steep Flyovers both with a single rider or with a pillion rider.  Unlike a petrol vehicle where you can just fill the petrol & leave a petrol bunk in 2 minutes maximum – charging of batteries was a challenge in Electric Vehicles.  In shopping malls there is no perfect provision for charging the batteries.  As different manufacturers have different type of charging sockets catering to their brand exclusively – the vehicle owner has zero opportunity to charge his vehicle.  Even if this facility is available in certain malls – already someone would be using it & you may have to wait for your turn. 

 Motor Cycle is the most popular segment in India with around 65% market share.  All the new entrants target only the urban market office goers, so Tier 2 & Tier 3 Indian Market is not covered fully.   As the Dealership availability is very very less – the customers tend to face service related issues.“  

 He continues,  “since nobody was addressing these practical issues of the end user – we felt addressing these segments will definitely give us a footbase in this market & thus launched Boom Motors.

 It’s simply impossible to imagine an Indian city without two wheelers. A large part of the country’s population primarily moves on two-wheelers. In India, more than 25% of people commute to work either on bicycles or two-wheelers, as they are an affordable and reliable means of transport for people across urban and rural areas. Also, almost one-third of all households own one. It’s widely held that close to 75 million two-wheelers ply on Indian roads.

 Anirudh further says, “Pricing is definitely higher than Petrol Vehicles because the component replacing the role of the Engine is costlier and we replace the low cost Petrol Tank with a battery which costs around Rs. 60,000 +.  In short, we replace a low priced component for a component costing in multiples.  Since the Government is giving lot of subsidy for both the Manufacturer & the end user – we were able to give it at the best rate of around Rs. 90,000/- for our entry level vehicle.”

 How to boost the EV industry?

  The changing market scenario and increased preference for the electric vehicle, we have realized the need for strong finance schemes to boost the EV shift.  On an average an individual spend around Rs. 1,700/- per month towards Petrol Expenses for his 2 wheeler.  Around 17 litres petrol is consumed every month per individual.   Our EMI starts from Rs. 1,700/- & what we say to our customers is just invest this as your EMI & build your asset – as you will be the owner of the vehicle.   As a value proposition, we have exchange options where we buy your old 2 wheeler & replace it with our E Vehicle.  The old vehicle’s value may be treated as a Down payment & the balance shall be paid in EMIs.   On the whole, even though their initial investments seems to be high – they save thousands and thousands of money on petrol expenses.”

 Anirudh adds, “we use High Tenstile Steel Material which can withstand any impact on road.  The strength of this Steel is much stronger than any normal steel.  We subject our vehicle to accelerated durability Test & designed our vehicle to last for life time.  As the number of parts are much lower (approx 120 Nos only) compared to a normal Petrol Vehicle (approx 300 Nos) – maintenance cost is much much lower.  As we ensure quality, our vehicle will have the best re-sale value in the market.   In the current situation, both used vehicle sales & new vehicle sales are pretty much low, whereas EV market is booming big.  Demands are more than supply.  The Market as well as Product shows us a green picture on both sale & re-sale value. 

 Their major sales area being B2B Segment.   Zomato as a company wants its delivery agents to have a 2 wheeler.  But a person from a rural background is not able to afford to buy a 2 wheeler.  Here, they lease their vehicle on a weekly basis through a third party partner – so that they can become a delivery agent with Zomato or Amazon and earn on these platforms immediately. 

Anirudh says “coming from the US and venturing into this industry is the best challenge I ever took.  It is very interesting & every day is a learning day.  I made a conscious decision not to go for more funding & make the company financially rich from the starting point itself – as I felt, we might lose on the efficiency to withstand the challenge, workers losing their passion to grow etc.,   The culture of our company revolves around Passion.”

Why tech-driven vehicles are the future:

Anirudh is of the opinion that EVs are the future and also predicts many tech-driven innovation in the sector. Asked if latest technologies like navigation, accident prevention can be part of the technologies, he says,  “Yes it is very much possible to enable such features. Our own bike has lot of configurable alerting for vandalism, accident, unauthorized movement, exceeding geofence, etc. With some driver assist systems, forward collision warning and could be introduced.”

AI could be used for fault detection, battery/charging optimization, range prediction and other areas.

Some of the key predictions he notices in the forthcoming years are Energy storage- since globally there is continuous investment in batteries with higher density, longevity, faster charging and more, Drivetrain technology as there is still a lot of room for efficiency improvement in EV drivetrains that exist today and IoT. IoT drive use-cases as vehicles become more electronic and increasing amount of features and applications can be added.