Godawari E-mobility Pvt Ltd, a part of the Chhattisgarh-based Hira Group, plans to invest up to Rs 150 crore by 2023 for setting up an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing unit at Raipur and launch new products as it looks to expand in south and west Indian market, according to a senior company official.
The company, which currently operates a leasing business of electric three-wheelers under the Eblu brand in six states in east and north India, is planning to launch its own high-speed electric autorickshaw and a couple of electric bicycles by January next year under the same brand.
“From January 2021, we have been setting up a manufacturing plant at Raipur in Chhattisgarh itself where we are planning to develop electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers both manufactured by us,” Godawari E-mobility Pvt Ltd Director Siddharth Agarwal told PTI. The move is to supplement the company’s existing business of leasing electric three-wheelers, which at present it has been sourcing from a third party.
Elaborating on the company’s plans, he said, “In January 2022, we are looking to launch a high speed (electric) auto with a couple of e-bicycles to start with…and with that, we will be expanding towards the south and west India as well…these high speed autos are actually a need of the south Indian market because of the distances and the capacities.”
The company’s electric three-wheeler would have an average mileage of around 100-120 kilometers on a single charge and will be sold under the Eblu brand, he added.
When asked about the investment, Agarwal said, “We are looking for an investment of somewhere close to Rs 50 crore by the end of March (2022) and then going forward by end of March 2023 we would be looking for this investment to grow to Rs 100 crore to Rs 150 crore.”
The funding for the investment will be completely through internal accruals, he added. In terms of manufacturing capacity, he said,”We are looking to build up a capacity of one lakh two-wheelers and one lakh three-wheelers by the end of 2025 on an annual basis.” To start with the company is looking at 20,000 units in 2022 and then gradually build up in subsequent years.
Agarwal said the company’s upcoming lithium ion battery powered electric three-wheeler is currently being tested by government agencies ICAT and ARAI for approval. “Once we have all the approvals and everything is done then we will be planning a soft launch in January,” he added. On network expansion, he said from January 2022, the company will be expanding its footprint towards South Indian markets.
“We are looking to expand to somewhere close to 40 to 45 cities from January to March in South India to promote this new (electric) auto. Currently, we already have a 40 dealers network which is already present in the six to seven cities operating in north and east India. We have a total dealership network target of around 100 by the end of March 2022,” he said.
Commenting on the company’s leasing business which it started in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Delhi-NCR, Haryana, Maharashtra and Punjab in the second half of 2019, he said it had picked up momentum with around 400 customers onboarded before slowing down when COVID-19 hit.
“Last four months, we’ve had tremendous response again. Now currently we’re at around 1,100 vehicles onboard and on an average we are bringing 150 vehicles per month which is expected to go further up to maybe 200 to 250 vehicles going forward as more and more places open up and we are planning expand to other territories well,” Agarwal said.