An electric three-wheeler runs non-stop for 147km on single charge – Well, this is something that was achieved recently by Altigreen, the Bengaluru based three-wheeler EV company. This feat was something that has not been seen so far in the Indian last mile connectivity industry, the company claims.
Altigreen, with its maiden product neEV, had an intercity six-hour run from Mysuru Palace to Bangalore Palace. Even after the six hours with a load of 150 kg, the three-wheeler had 24 percent charge remaining. Autocar Professional was part of this entire drive to understand what really happened on the entire course. Amitabh Saran,founder & CEO – Altigreen, Shalendra Gupta, co-founder and Debashis Mitra, Director – Sales, Service & Marketing received the vehicle with a flag in.
Amitabh Saran said, “Range anxiety is one of the biggest concern for the electric vehicle owners and potential buyers. This is a major challenge and we realised that while developing our first product. Building a robust EV charging infrastructure is a long-term solution to this. We need holistic solutions, not tomorrow but today.”
To ensure that changes are happening today, the neEV has a larger battery pack (11 KWH V/s market competition at 8 KWH) and used application engineering derived from its 26 global patents to ensure highest regeneration of energy and maximum mileage. “The drive reinforces our commitment,” Saran reiterated.
Describing how it began, Saran reminisced– “I have always been passionate about automobiles. I moved back to India in the late 90s and started different startups. Then slowly I had the idea to enter this segment. I had to start this in India to make sure it matches the Indian requirement.”
“Yes, hybrids are the right way to go electric in India. But this is only applicable till proper infrastructure and products come in. We, at Altigreen, will try and deliver products that are suitable for the Indian market and its needs. And, we are clear about making in India. That is why we use magnetless motors. We have been Aatmanirbhar for a long time now,” he added.
Altigreen was established in 2013 and started by creating a drivetrain for hybrid conversions and three years later changed to full electric conversions.
Founded in 2013, the company started by creating drivetrain for hybrid conversions and the company changed to full electric solutions in 2016. In 2018, they showcased their full electric three-wheeler at the AutoExpo in New Delhi. Now, they have begun series production and have started to deliver to their customers. They have their production full for the next two months to match demand.
“While ICE have grown from BS III to BS VI over the period since our launch, we have worked on the betterment of electric.” Saran pointed out.
The founder highlighted that India needed products for the ‘worst case scenario’ unlike other OEMs who made best-case scenario alternatives. This means the vehicle has to manage the waterlogged roads, potholes, overloading, traffic, extreme climates and a lot more. To ensure that the company has researched and developed neEV, which suits the Indian customer needs perfectly.
The company recently raised Rs 300 crore funding, which will be used for R&D, capacity expansion and increasing the number of employees at various levels. The company said that they have been investing heavily in the research and development of EV technology, bringing disruptive innovation in the space.
The neEV has a larger battery pack at 11KWH as against market competition offering 8KWH.
Nearly “93 percent of our products are made in India. Other than cells and microprocessors we have localised the rest. We cannot get the cells in India unless it is made here. But things are changing and we will soon have this too. The price of cells will come down drastically in the coming years. There will be other chemistries too,” he added.
So far, 26 patents have been received by Altigreen all of which have been researched and developed in Bengaluru. “We have spent crores of rupees to make sure it is the best out,” he added.
On EVs catching fire, Saran said, “It is not just the cell but also the choice of cells. One has to look at cells on the usage of the product. We make sure that our products work in temperatures suited for the Indian market. We have made sure that the packaging is better and over-designed the battery pack to make sure no mishaps happen.”
Currently 250 Altigreen vehicles are on the road and 85 parameters are being tracked every three seconds. This includes components across the three-wheeler and the idea is to use the date to improve the performance of the vehicle. “Pushing back the learnings to the vehicle and optimising it for the driver’s requirement is what we are doing. We will also be able to predict failures in advance. With the new investment, we will also be setting up a control centre which will track all the vehicles we put on the road,” he explained.
He elaborated on the company initiative with respect to a 15-minute fast charger which will soon be a reality in coming months. “Cells are going to be affordable very soon. And, we will make this happen really soon,” he concluded.
Debashis Mitra: 'Our focus is on last mile connectivity'