Power Global Signs Agreement with Rap Eco Motors to Launch Mass Electric Auto-Rickshaw Line Powered by Swappable Battery Technology
Power Global, a leading provider of high-performance clean energy and mobility products for everyday applications, today announced a strategic partnership to supply its eZee swappable lithium-ion battery technology to auto-rickshaw manufacturer Rap Eco Motors for its mass-market electric three-wheeler product line RANIE, which includes a passenger auto-rickshaw, delivery van and cargo vehicle. Following an initial product launch in April 2022, the companies will partner to manufacture 50,000 electric auto-rickshaws over the next five years, advancing both companies’ roadmaps for “made in India” manufacturing.
The third-largest emitter globally, India has a strong dependence upon 2- and 4-stroke three-wheel vehicles powered by fossil fuels, which serve as essential last mile transport yet contribute to the country’s air quality crisis. Simultaneously, with fuel prices surging as much as 20 percent in the last six months, and the cumulative costs of internal combustion engine-vehicle maintenance, drivers are increasingly turning to cost-effective electric auto-rickshaws as the modern and reliable vehicles of choice. In an infrastructure-light country like India, automotive OEMs are embracing solutions such as battery swapping to further reduce the upfront cost of EVs to increase access and accelerate the nation’s clean energy transition.
Rap Eco Motors delivers premier e-rickshaws nationwide and abroad to countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. The partnership with Power Global marks the Hyderabad-based company’s first step toward developing a comprehensive 360 solution for the OEM’s electric auto-rickshaws, RANIE, which is built upon Power Global’s 48-volt swappable eZee battery module. In an ever-evolving auto-rickshaw market like India, Power Global’s engineered solution allows Rap Eco Motors to leapfrog the costly and time-consuming process of developing an in-house electrification solution. Compared to existing fossil fuel-powered auto-rickshaws on the road today, each RANIE vehicle is expected to cut CO2e emissions by 3.7 metric tons annually and eliminate dangerous NOx and PM tailpipe emissions that contribute to air pollution.
“In the world’s largest three-wheeler market, we feel a collective responsibility to commercialize a sustainable and clean solution,” said Mr. Parmod Chabria, a co-founder at Rap Eco Motors. “Our complementary footprints across Northern India and Southern India prime us for critical national expansion, which will help spur the country’s adoption of more economical, less pollutive transportation for thousands of drivers.”
Power Global’s domestic battery production plant in Greater Noida is slated to be the country’s largest leading in-country manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, capable of producing 400,000 modules annually. Supporting India’s FAME II mandates, which are driving OEMs to develop electrification solutions, Power Global aims to deploy 10,000 batteries and light mobility electric retrofit kits supported by their battery swapping network by the end of 2022.
Integral to this partnership, a new Director of Business Development, Rakesh Kerwell, will be joining the Power Global team. A former Director at DLF Limited and former Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Reliance Industries Limited, Rakesh is joined by two additional new hires whose deep automotive backgrounds at Honda and Hero MotoCorp, respectively, will be crucial to Power Global India’s next level of growth: Ajay Dhiman, Head of Manufacturing, and Rajeev Sharma, Chief Engineer.
“For India to successfully capture a bigger market share of the light e-mobility sector, we need to onshore all components of electric auto-rickshaw manufacturing in-country. Rap Eco Motors has already dominated the regional market through its ambitious business strategy and shares our mutual vision for ‘made in India’ electrification solutions,” said Pankaj Dubey, CEO of Power Global’s India subsidiary. “We feel privileged to help chart their course toward national growth, and we believe our companies’ close collaboration will deliver a cleaner, more cost-effective electrified solution for auto-rickshaw drivers everywhere and strengthen our local economies. As we like to say, ‘Made in India, for India’.”