Ex-Musk aide's startup plans to convert existing vehicles in India to electric
US-based clean energy and mobility products start-up Power Global, founded by former Elon Musk aide Porter Harris has announced that it plans to retrofit around 8 lakh existing conventional engine three-wheelers in India and convert them into electric versions. The startup will tap these retrofitted vehicles for its batteries, which would be offered for swapping through a subscription model.
Power Global also plans to invest around $25 million (approx ₹185 crore) to set up a lithium-ion battery manufacturing unit and a battery swapping infrastructure in the country over a span of two to three years. The company plans to set up a one gigawatt hour capacity battery plant at Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
The startup plans to manufacture at least four lakh battery units from the Greater Noida factory every year. Mass production in the factory is expected to begin sometime in the third quarter next year. The factory will also be used to produce retrofitting kits for three-wheelers.
As Power Global will scale up its manufacturing and battery swapping infrastructures in the country, the investments would further go up but they will be done by others such as infrastructure partners.
The main idea behind the investment in India is to do electrification of "the most polluting vehicles in the country like two-wheelers and three-wheelers which are in very large numbers", Power Global's India subsidiary CEO Pankaj Dubey told PTI.
He elaborated that the company plans to convert almost 15 per cent of about 55 lakh three-wheelers on road currently to electric versions within next five to six years. He highlighted how this will also save cost as the owners will not have to buy new three-wheelers in order to own an electric one. “Their existing vehicles only will be converted to our solution and we provide them with a kit to convert, which should be done in just a few hours," Dubey said.
(with inputs from PTI)