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BW Businessworld

Altigreen Aims To Create Robust Ecosystem For Evs With Its Unique Biz Model

Altigreen is a home-grown venture floated by Amitabh Saran, Shalendra Gupta, Lasse Moklegaard, and John Bangura, experts in Electric Vehicle (EV) technology and business

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Altigreen Propulsion Labs (APL), which began its operations by retrofitting EV kits into conventional fossil fuel vehicles, is now taking rapid strides by creating a robust ecosystem for zero-emission vehicles in the country. The Bangalore-based start-up, which is into the design, development, and manufacturing of electric drivetrain solutions for two & there-wheelers as well as four-wheelers in the small commercial vehicle space, is looking to dispatch 10,000 units (including both EV solutions and CBUs) to five different OEMs in the medium term.  

With nearly 90% localization of its drivetrain solutions (excluding Lithium-ion cells) comprising motors, controllers, distribution box, power harness, signal harness DC-DC converter, gearbox, transmission, display cluster, and telematics, the company already qualifies for FAME II subsidies.  Without sharing any revenue projections or long-term volumes target, the company has maintained that it is confident of earning profits in the next few years. 

Talking to BW Businessworld exclusively on phone, Amitabh Saran, Co-Founder, APL maintained, “We wanted to first make sure that we put ourselves with a lot of design constraints and finally decided that our solutions will be designed, developed, fabricated, and manufactured in India.  Unlike one size fits all (by other players), ours has a different architecture. Electric vehicle is like a tablet on wheels wherein everything is driven with sensors and software, which can be tuned, optimised, made better, etc.  We are already working with three OEMs in three different vehicle segments and are developing customized electric powertrains for their future vehicles.”

It is to be mentioned that Altigreen is a home-grown venture floated by Amitabh Saran, Shalendra Gupta, Lasse Moklegaard, and John Bangura, experts in Electric Vehicle (EV) technology and business. Founded in 2012, Altigreen aims to make carbon-free transportation exciting, economical and accessible to all. The company initially started with HyPixi, the two propulsion systems are the vehicle’s internal combustion engine and a dual electric machine. However, later it decided to switch towards holistic EV solutions. It has also been awarded with 22 global patents.

 “When we stated our business, we were retrofitting electric powertrain in existing petrol and diesel vehicles just to ensure we could reduce emissions. But then market forces are basically something which determine the future and how things are changing. We realised that future is more towards full electrification and that too at the bottom end of the market,” maintained Saran.

Altigreen has recently displayed its 90XT, a 500kg payload electric three-wheeler prototype, at the recently held Auto Expo Components ’20 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The EV is built on a conventional cargo-carrying three-wheeler platform that can handle gradients between 17-18 degrees and its air-cooled electric motor generates a peak power output of 9kW. The vehicles offer a range of 100-125km on a single charge, taking less than four hours. A passenger version of this model is also on the anvil in due course. Both the products will be rolled out from its Whitefield facility (built along with its channel partners) in Bangalore.  

Talking about the aforementioned product, Saran revealed, “We are hoping to disrupt the electric vehicle market. The vehicle is currently undergoing homologation at certification agencies and once that is completed, we will start delivering these vehicles to one of the OEMs, which will be using its own brand. “We are geared up and are fully prepared for it and are rapidly closing orders. We are now delivering against orders of 300+ units and have e have visibility in thousands in the near term.” When queried about the price of the vehicle, he maintained, “It is for the vehicle manufacturer to decide as we are not selling it directly in the market.”

Apart from 90XT, Altigreen is also working on a couple of other product lines- 50XT for two wheelers and entry-level three-wheelers and 170XT for four-wheeler cargo-carrier based on the SCV platform with a peak power output of 17kW. “Our technology and drivetrain enable OEMs to create vehicles that will compete on both price and performance with conventional combustion vehicles,” maintained Saran. 

Saran is of the firm view that the writing is on the wall for other traditional fuels like petrol, diesel and even CNG as electric drivetrains are expected to take over in the medium to long term. However, he maintained that the transition towards full electric will be extremely rapid in the two, there wheelers and four-wheeler commercial vehicle segments rather than in passenger vehicle space.  

“The bottom end of the pyramid is where the real disruption is. With annual sales of 21 million two-wheelers, 1 million-odd three-wheelers, half a million four-wheeler commercial vehicles, these segments are ripe for electric vehicle adoption because it is driven by pure economics and by duty and drive cycles which is good for electric,“ signed off Saran, who also had a stint with NASA.

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