IIT Hyderabad-incubated electric mobility startup Pure EV has forayed into the international market, as the company is set to launch its high-speed electric scooter Pure EPluto 7G in Nepal in October.
The move comes as part of the EV startups’ international market expansion strategy. Electric two-wheelers are the fastest-growing segment across the world among electric vehicle and there is more demand for them due to social distancing norms.
Pure EV has signed White Lotus Motors (WLM) for the distribution of its electric two-wheelers. Initially, WLM will establish two outlets in Kathmandu. Pure EV claims that the EPluto 7G, its flagship scooter, can meet the requirements of customers in Nepal. It is claimed to be capable of running easily in rough terrains.
We caught up with Rohit Vadera, Chief Executive Officer of PuREnergy, to get an update on the export plans:
What is the plan with your electric scooters in Nepal?
Rohit: We have given the countrywide distribution rights to one business group, White Lotus Motors. The launch of the products in Nepal will happen in a sequential manner. EPluto 7G is the initial focus for Nepal, and our new high-speed scooter variant of the ETrance series that will come closer to Diwali. In the Nepal market every single vehicle is a registered vehicle, and we’re going to focus only on the high-speed scooter market. In terms of outlet opening, currently we are starting out in the capital city of Kathmandu, and then gradually we are targeting the top 5 cities.
We are targeting sales of 500 scooters in the first year in the Nepali market. Nepal is quite small as compared to India, and the ePluto 7G, considering the income bracket there, falls in the premium category.
What are the countries you are looking at apart from Nepal?
Rohit: We have discussions, like with the Thailand Board of Investment, the thing is South East Asia makes sense because of the sheer number of two-wheelers on the road. The usage is quite common. The issue is as a startup, the Indian market has a lot for us to cover. Nepal was in the immediate proximity and so in terms of the logistics it was manageable. We’ll think about markets like Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Bangladesh next.
South East Asia is where we’ll invest in a step by step manner. It may materialize in the next financial year. We need to see how the scene develops in the next 6 months following the COVID-19 scenario.
What might happen is that in the coming few months we could find business partners (the company has sent out feelers) who can help in the import and distribution of vehicles, most likely we will be looking at sending semi-knock down products, because we don’t intend to setup any manufacturing facilities overseas. It will be like a small scale assembly plant in overseas countries. In any country the duties for the CBU is high, SKD is more favourable. We’ll explore what format we need to export in 6 months.
Pure EPluto 7G specifications
The Pure EV EPluto features a recognizable design. It gets power from a 60V 2.5 kWh portable Lithium-Ion battery pack which is designed by the company. Available in six different colour options, the EPluto 7G premium scooter can run at a top speed of 60 km/h and comes with a range of 90-120 km range on a fully charged battery.
Pure EV claims that it has received International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) certification for faster homologation in Nepal. The company aims 10% of the market share in the country’s electric two-wheeler sector by 2022.