Bengaluru-based EV maker Simple Energy, which launched its maiden e-scooter offering Simple One across 13 states this month, is looking to manufacture an electric four-wheeler as part of its future product range, its founder and CEO Suhas Rajkumar has said.
As part of its short-term plans, the start-up is readying to launch a business-to-business (B2B) product by this year-end besides an e-bike by next year in addition to a new powertrain in the next one to one-and-a-half year, he said.
"We are looking at going multiple and we are looking at obviously a four-wheeler as our future planning. We have a vision that is there. That is the reason we are increasing our R&D (research and development) team as well," Rajkumar told PTI.
Emphasising that as a company it wanted to grow with multiple product offerings, he said, "We are just not looking at improvising the current product offering. We want to introduce into different sections in the automobile itself."
He, however, said the company will come out with two more products in the next three years. "We are also focused on B2B products, more on the last-mile delivery and logistics. We will be introducing the product by year-end. Currently, it is in the testing and homologation stage.
"The B2B will be to serve a particular need of the market but our focus is always on B2C (business-to-consumer) because we are innovating on the powertrain," Rajkumar said.
He said Simple Energy has developed its own motor and battery, among others.
"So, we want to innovate on those lines and get a hang on it, so that we can develop any kind of automobile going forward," he added. That is the company's key focus, Rajkumar said.
"We are looking more into two wheels, we might go ahead and launch a four-wheeler then launching a two-wheeler," he said. He, however, said it is too early to set a timeline, as the company right now is focused on starting production of the scooter at the manufacturing plant by the year-end.
The company is setting up a factory with one-million capacity at Hosur (Tamil Nadu). "We have been keeping adequate capacity so that if the demand increases, it can match with that demand. It will take at least three years to consume one million capacity. It is what we think but it will depend on how the market responds and we definitely have plans," he said.
The company is working on a new powertrain to further improve its offering on Simple One. "That is in the R&D phase and it will take one to one-and-a-half year. We have to improve our technology as we grow. We want to be at least 3-4 years away from the competition," he said.
Rajkumar said that besides expanding across cities and states in the next two years, the company also will focus on exports rather than just domestic market.
As part of the long-term plan as of today, the primary focus will be on delivering into multiple cities increasing its footprints across India and not just in the 13 states it has announced. It also plans at least 1,000 charging stations in the next one to one-and-a-half year, he said.
"At the same time, we definitely have plans to export as well and just not focus on the domestic market," he said. Currently, the plan is to install over 300 charging stations in the next 3-7 months, he added.
Noting that the market is growing and getting more mature, he said, "We expect at least 30,000-40,000 units in the first year of operations from 13 states." "Realistically, we still feel it is two years away when we achieve the volumes. However, we are aiming up but again, the market has to respond.
"It may be next year realistically how the market is responding. It is clear at this stage that we can sell these numbers. But 2-3 years down the line, we may look at bigger numbers," he said.
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