Kinetic sees better prospects for cargo movers after Covid-19, plans 500 kg payload model

by Sumantra B Barooah 04 May 2020

In the wake of the latest pandemic, there could be lesser number of people travelling by public transport or commercial passenger vehicles like auto-rickshaws. However, more people would now start preferring home delivery of goods and authorities will sanitise public places more.

The former trend would mean subdued sales of passenger carriers by players like Kinetic Green, the electric vehicle business arm of Pune based Kinetic Group. That has made Sulajja Firodia Motwani, founder and CEO, Kinetic Green Energy & Power Solutions and her team to tweak their market and product strategy. “In the coming months there may be a dip in passenger demand but this cargo and special application vehicles will give a boost,” Sulajja tells Autocar Professional.

As part of their strategy to tap the opportunities in the cargo carrier market, Kinetic Green will launch a model with a payload capacity of 500 kilograms, the maximum in Kinetic Green’s portfolio. The vehicle will also be the most powerful, in terms of performance.

The model, with a top speed of 55 kmph will be launched in July.  It will have a driving range of around 110 kilometres in a signle charge. The OEM has invested around Rs. 20 crore in the ground up project which will feature independent suspension, hydraulic brakes, and a new powertrain. “We are moving up the performance and value chain,” says Sulajja. She adds that the new model will also qualify for FAME subsidy, like its existing siblings.

The new cargo carrier is expected to be priced at around Rs 290,000. It would be about Rs 40,000 more than the medium speed cargo carrier with a 400-450 kg payload capacity and 40kmph speed limit. The entry level cargo carrier in Kinetic Green’s portfolio has a top speed of 25kmph, and a payload capacity of 380 kg. This version’s specifications and cost fit best for Kinetic Green’s range of fogging and spraying application vehicles that were launched last week. These vehicles can be used for disinfecting outdoor areas like public places, slums, large industrial campuses, hospitals, factories and residential townships.

Kinetic Green says it has already delivered a few vehicles to municipal corporations in Faizabad (U.P), Navi Mumbai and Mumbai. Sulajja and team are looking for more avenues. “We will work through facilities management companies, who are doing the cleaning contracts for corporations,” says Sulajja.

With a 130 cubic feet capacity, the stronger half tonne cargo carrier will be pitched for gas cylinder distribution application too. The vehicle will have a passenger carrier version too. Given the current scenario, it’s quite likely that the cargo carrier version will take the lead for sales of Kinetic Green’s next offering. The electric vehicle (EV) maker, which has sold around 25,000 units in the past 4 years, was expecting to reach a break-even point in its business during 2019-20 but the goal post moved as COVID-19 brought operations to a halt. With focus on new avenues and applications, Sulajja and team would hope to gain new business, and drive into profitability.