ElectricVehicleWeb.in can bring you another exclusive today about an Indian EV startup, based in Odisha, which began selling products less than 2 months ago under the ‘Eeve’ brand, and is planning an exciting unveil at the Auto Expo 2020 which opens on the 5th of February.
We caught up with Harsh Vardhan Didwania, Director at Eeve, and Sarthak Das, Marketing Manager at Eeve to talk about their upcoming scooter.
What do you have planned for the Auto Expo 2020?
We are coming with 4 different high-speed products, and 2 electric bicycles.
What is the biggest launch for you at the show?
The most exciting product on display is a high-speed scooter which is going to take the market by storm. You’d have to wait for the name to be revealed, but it is going to be pretty exciting. We have some peppy colours for this as well.
Can you tell us in layman’s terms what your scooter will compete with in the current market?
The specification would be on the higher side of our lineup, but the design and ergonomics would be very different, something closer to the Bajaj Chetak, it would have a more classic design. The scooter will have swappable batteries and GPS.
How are you planning to market your premium scooter?
We are going to offer a 5-year warranty, that is the one standalone point that is going to disrupt the market. We have a network of dealers in Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Bihar as of now. Once we move ahead, particularly towards the Northern part of the country, we are going to establish a chain of door-to-door service centres. We have 42 dealers on-board right now, moving forward we are going to expand into Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Bengaluru and Telengana – this is the plan for the next two months. By 2021 we will have a pan-India presence.
Your scooter’s components are imported from China. Have you had any discussion with your Chinese supplier about customizing products for the Indian market?
The product coming to the Auto Expo is designed to suit Indian conditions and roads. We don’t just get the complete knocked-down products and sell it, we had our Chinese partners here in India, who study the Indian road conditions and needs, and we get our products modified before importing them. The vehicle specifications – starting from the colours to the technical aspects are determined by us.
Is Eeve looking at localizing scooters and developing products in-house?
The next step is setting up the assembly of the battery packs in Odisha, which we expect to complete in 2021 and then slowly we will indigenize the components. In the next 2 years, we are going to be quite independent of whatever we are importing from China. China provides the world with electric vehicle batteries, that is the dependability we are going to have, but the packs will be created in our home state. We are already in talks with local suppliers for other components, and in about 2-3 years even the complete R&D for Eeve products will be from India.
At this time how much is your production capacity and the size of your workforce?
We have more than 200 people onboard, 70% of which are on the manufacturing side. The plant, located 60 km from Bhubaneswar, began operations in October 2019 and was inaugurated by the chief minister of the state, Mr Navin Patnaik, and by the next three months, we are going to complete operations for enhanced capacity. The current capacity at the plant is 250,000 vehicles per annum and once the expanded facility comes on stream, we can produce 500,000 vehicles a year.