Imagine a future where we all drive electric vehicles that are very good for the environment and our pockets. Imagine an entire infrastructure that is geared and set up to support this. That is what Chetan Maini – the creator of India’s first electric car, and his team are looking to do in two years
Electric Vehicles are going to be the norm going forward and they are very necessary if we are to halt the current levels of dependence on fossil fuels and the damage it does to the ecosystem. Also the economics of moving to clean energy are all overwhelmingly in favor of this shift.
But currently the costs of acquiring and maintaining an electrical vehicle are prohibitively high. The main part of that cost is the battery and the associated maintenance that comes with it. Chetan Maini and Uday Khemka are getting together and forming a company that will address this concern for all of us.
They are trying to make the battery somewhat like the LPG cylinder that we all use at home. What they are going to do is effectively remove the battery out of the equation and make it like fuel for your car. So when you buy a car that is electric, your car maker will give you a car minus the battery. You will have “battery bunks” where you will go and get batteries installed on new vehicles and then when they are about to run out, you drive into a bunk and they swap out the depleted smart battery with a fully charged one. The smart battery is not just a simple cell, it has intelligence and IoT sensors built-in and is a combination of great hardware and thoughtfully written software features.
So in effect, what they are trying to do is take us into the electric and clean future that awaits our vehicles and make it actually affordable for us to do so. They are also removing the hassle of everyone charging their cars overnight and the need for many individual charging points. They have worked out means to do this for all categories of vehicles from two wheelers to heavy vehicle fleets.
The government is also firmly committed to clean energy and has an ambitious target of making all acr electric by 2030. Here are some more details about the new company that has been formed for this purpose.
SUN Mobility is a 50:50 joint venture between Virya Mobility 5.0 and SUN New Energy Systems, pioneers in areas of electric mobility and clean energy. The company is led by Chetan Maini, Founder of Reva and Uday Khemka, Vice Chairman of SUN Group, two of India’s well-established leaders in the new energy economy.
The company aims to be the leading provider of universal energy infrastructure and services to accelerate mass electric vehicle usage. The organization plans to revolutionise the transportation sector by deploying a unique open-architecture ecosystem built around a smart network of quick interchange battery stations. These stations, predominantly powered by renewable energy, will refuel electric vehicles at cost lower than and speed faster than conventional petrol pumps.
They will partner with multiple OEMs to integrate SUN Mobility’s proprietary smart battery solution into a range of innovative electric vehicles – cars, buses, rickshaws, scooters etc. The smart batteries will be modular, easily swappable, highly secure, IOT enabled and can be easily refuelled on a pay-as-you go basis. This energy infrastructure integrated with electric vehicles, smart batteries and clean energy will accelerate the transformation of mobility towards a sustainable, pollution-free future.
Virya Mobility 5.0 is a wholly owned entity by the Maini brothers, who are the key promoters of The Maini Group and Founders of Reva Electric Car Company (now Mahindra Reva). Virya focuses on investing and developing electric vehicle technologies, charging infrastructure solutions and services ecosystem.
Virya’s founders pioneered revolutionary electric vehicle technologies in 1995. Since then, their relentless quest to create sustainable mobility solutions and energy ecosystems that are economically viable has made them explore numerous possibilities in alternative energy, powertrain, energy storage technologies and business models around them.
The Maini Group is one of India’s premier design and manufacturing entities. Their activities span across high-precision engineering components in aerospace and automotive sector, materials handling, warehousing and logistics solutions, and in-campus electric vehicles.
SUN New Energy Systems is the SUN Group’s flagship investment company in the new energy space and focuses on renewable energy, electric mobility and energy storage.
SUN Group is a diversified global group, with investments in India, CIS countries and other emerging markets. The founding shareholders of the group are part of an Indian business family that has been active in India for more than 100 years and first started working with CIS countries from 1950s onwards. The group has been active in areas such as, Food & Beverages, Oil & Gas, Mining, Real Estate, Infrastructure, Aerospace, Technology and Renewable Energy. In India, it helped establish the PE sector through a series of successful PE franchises. Such platforms, established by the SUN Group have also included partnerships and joint ventures with some of the world’s leading private equity and venture capital fund managers, and have mobilised and invested over $6bn in Indian portfolio companies since 1999
We are very excited and certainly looking forward to see where this new venture goes into taking our nation into a new era of clean and affordable energy that will be kinder to the pocket and planet alike.