‘Functionality, TCO key parameters in last mile mobility’: Nirmal NR, 3W business head, Greaves Electric Mobility | Autocar Professional

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‘Functionality, TCO key parameters in last mile mobility’: Nirmal NR, 3W business head, Greaves Electric Mobility | Autocar Professional


The electric two- and three-wheeler segments have been the low-hanging fruits, driving most of the electrification in India’s mobility landscape, with a combined share of over 94 percent of all EVs sold in the country in CY23.

Of the total EV volumes of over 1.5 million units across vehicle segments last year, electric three-wheelers accounted for 581,686 units, and registered a year-on-year growth of over 66 percent. According to Nirmal NR, CEO, Three-Wheeler business, Greaves Electric Mobility, “Electric three-wheelers are the low-hanging fruits in the electrification journey, and therefore, 50 percent of all three-wheelers today in India are already electric. These vehicles need not be the most good looking, but enable our customers to earn their livelihood daily.”

“Functionality and total cost of ownership (TCO) are the two key parameters that matter most in the last-mile mobility segment dominated by electric three-wheelers,” he added, while speaking at the Autocar Professional InnerCircle, held in Bengaluru on February 20.

According to NR, while the recent boom in India’s e-commerce has led to several B2B applications, particularly for last-mile delivery through electric three-wheelers, “the real inflection point will come with the passenger-carrying e-three-wheelers going electric.” He explained that passenger-carrying three-wheelers accounted for three-fourths of the overall three-wheeler market in India, and added that with electrification undergoing rapidly in markets like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, there is a huge opportunity out there.

Taking to the issue of charging, and emergence of innovative solutions like battery swapping, NR said, “While all technologies are relevant, they play out differently in different pockets, across the country. For instance, while the use case for swappable-battery solutions is the highest in a metropolitan city, the technology will be irrelevant in places like Raebareli or Amethi.”

“Swapping, and fast charging are big opportunities in Tier-1 markets, but, in a smaller town, one is better off with a product having a larger battery that gives a higher range. Therefore, each solution is relevant for a certain market, and as a result, one might not be able to cater to every market. A startup must choose its play, and go after that market by offering the right solutions at the right cost,” he said.

With respect to government subsidies for seeding the e-mobility ecosystem in India, NR said that support is extremely important for the nascent electric mobility industry to develop first, and to create a level-playing field for everyone. “Therefore, large incumbents with deep pockets shunning the need for subsidies, are looking at the picture wrongly,” NR mentioned.

 

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