The electric mobility firm Oye! Rickshaw has announced its plans to invest up to $500 million (over ₹3,700 crore) in the next three years to set up battery swapping infrastructure for electric three-wheelers across India. The company, backed by investors such as Matrix Partners, Chiratae Ventures, Xiaomi and industrialist Pawan Munjal, will be investing money close to $20-30 million between this year and the next to accelerate its battery swapping business.
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The company had set a goal of deploying 10,000 lithium-ion batteries by the end of this year, however, the plans have been impacted as a consequence of the second wave of the Covid-19. The electric mobility company is now trying to deploy 6,500 lithium-ion batteries across 5,000 vehicles. Oye! Rickshaw CEO and co-founder Mohit Sharma said that this investment is significant for the company's growth as it is also aiming for expansion of business. The CEO said although the second wave posed a huge challenge, the firm is trying to back to the original plans by September 2021.
Sharma also stated that since the battery swapping business is relatively new in the country at present around 250-300 driver-partners have taken onboard. "By December 2021, most of our fleet is going to be on swap...Our plan is to double up our supply in the next five or six months...So these amount to about 6,500 batteries needed to be purchased," he added. Showing confidence in the market, Sharma also noted that the market holds huge potential with millions of users.
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The electric mobility company raised $12 million last year. It is currently centred around Delhi-NCR and parts of Haryana with over 5,000 driver partners on its shared, electric, micro-mobility marketplace for e-rickshaws. Oye! Rickshaw also claimed that it has over 13 lakh registered users with 91 lakh rides and 51 lakh deliveries completed.
(With inputs from PTI)