Pune-based CAS Modeling, a global automotive design and modeling service consulting firm, is the latest in the list of start-ups betting big on electric mobility. The three-year-old company is working on introducing an smart electric scooter in India by the end of 2018.
The company currently offers services that include CAS mockups (show car mock-up, functional mock-up, aesthetic mock-up, visual mock-up), class A surfacing, exterior and interior trim, automobile lighting solutions and CAS 180 degree. The company currently has 15-full time designers who not only cater to the domestic market but also an international clientele.
Speaking exclusively to Autocar Professional, Yogesh Iyer, director, CAS Modeling, said: “We are one of the few world-class automotive designing studios in the country. While many OEMs have developed partnerships with global designing studios, there is a lack of top-quality designing studios and professionals in the country.”
CAS Modeling claims that all major domestic OEMs are currently availing its services for designing their products. The company says that it helped design a new product for one of India’s leading automobile manufacturers, which recently rolled out its third-generation model of one of its popular hatchbacks.
Targeting competitive pricing for e-scooter
Iyer states that at present, adoption of electric two-wheelers has yet to pick up pace in India primarily due to the high cost of the battery, which eventually makes conventional ICE-two-wheelers look much more price attractive to customers. “We are working on a unique solution to address this challenge. CAS Modeling is working on an e-scooter which will be priced competitively along with addressing the challenge of long charging times.”
The barebone chassis of the upcoming electric scooter.
Initially, the company had announced plans to develop a solar-powered electric scooter, which would eventually address charging woes. But with the solar panels needed for the project not being manufactured in the country, CAS Modeling is working on an alternative solution. “Initially, we thought of this project but it did not look feasible. It did not make sense to import the battery, the solar panels and then just assemble it. We want to design and make the product for India in India,” said Iyer.
The company director did not reveal details of the project but said that it will bring out the first prototype before end of the year. He further stated the company will first offer its product in Pune, Maharashtra, which apparently not only has the biggest two-wheeler parc in the country, but also has the company’s head office. “It is easier for us to address the challenges and serve the customer better in a place where we are located. Also, every company starts somewhere, so we will start with Pune, and depending on the response we will expand it to other major cities,” stated Iyer.
The first e-two-wheeler from the company will utilise a proprietary ‘Lithium-Titanate (LTO)’ battery, which will be tuned to offer a top speed of around 80kph, and have a range of around 100km on a single charge.
Talking about partnering with major OEMs for the project, Iyer said, “We have been approached by many companies for the electric two-wheeler but currently, we are looking to bring out the product by ourselves. We are already in talks with different stakeholders for setting up of the charging infrastructure, but it is all in very nascent stage.”
Working with Henrik Fisker and Fisker F1
CAS Modeling is one of the few Indian companies that can boast of working together with legendary vehicle designer Henrik Fisker, chairman and CEO, Fisker Inc. The Indian start-up’s core team has worked with the legendary automotive designer on the Fisker Force 1 which was revealed at the North America's International Auto Show Detroit 2016 and later at Auto Shanghai 2017. CAS Modeling says from concept to show car mock-up, Fisker Force 1 designs were developed at its studio.
Yogesh Iyer, director, CAS Modeling (left) and Henrik Fisker with the Fisker Force 1 concept at the Detroit Show 2016.
The Fisker Force 1 is claimed to be the first American-made sports car with functional front DRLs and tail-lamps, both of which have been designed and supplied by CAS Modeling, which claims to also have the capacity to supply low-volume production of automotive components.