Mumbai-based Electric Vehicle (EV) maker Raft Motors is all set to launch its new E-Scooter. They claim that its long battery range will give a tough competition to the existing e-scooters in the domestic market. This will be the longest running electric scooter in India. According to Raft Motors, this scooter can cover a distance of 480 km on a single charge. Bookings for INDUS NX will start from November 2.
Raft Motors will launch three models of its e-scooter INDUS NX in the market-
- Base model: This scooter with portable 48V 65Ah lithium-ion battery will have a range of 156 km. Its ex-showroom price is Rs 1,18,500.
- Mid-range: Will be powered by a 48V 135Ah portable battery. This scooter can go up to 324 km in a single charge. Its ex-showroom price is Rs 1,91,976.
- High-end: Dual-battery option with a capacity of 9.6 KWH, which can give a range of up to 480+ km on a single charge. Its price is Rs 2,57,431 (ex-showroom).
All these variants will come with 1 lakh km (three years) warranty and in-house assembled lithium-ion battery. The company has been manufacturing this battery since the beginning.
No more worrying about charging
Parivahan Shukla, co-founder of Raft Motors The Better India He said, “Our aim was to create an electric two-wheeler with such a battery range that the riders do not have to worry about charging. INDUS NX is one such double battery scooter. Its 48V 135 Ah capacity fixed battery mounted under the footboard covers a distance of 325 km on a single charge.
It does not need to be charged immediately. It houses another portable battery with a capacity of 48V 65Ah. Once the fixed battery is discharged, the rider will have to switch on the Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB) and the Scooter EV will start running on the portable battery. Now you can travel up to 156 km and beyond without any hassle. Now you will not have to face the hassle of running out of your EV battery on the way.
Rakesh Salve, the second co-founder of the company says, “Along with the e-scooter, we are also offering a 10 amp charger. With this, it will take about three to four hours to charge the INDUS NX from 100 to 150 km. But if customers want, they can also buy 30 amp fast charger from us. For this a separate payment of Rs 15000 will have to be made. This charger will fully charge the vehicle in just 6 hours.
Features like theft alarm and child-safe parking mode
The INDUS NX also gets features like reverse gear, theft alarm, keyless-start, remote-locking, child-safe parking mode and a top speed of 45 kmph. Raft Motors was started in the year 2016 by Rakesh Salve and Abhinav Shukla. Then they used to manufacture helmets and safety guards for two wheelers and four wheelers.
But when the government banned the use of safety guards for four wheelers in the year 2018, all their attention shifted to the emerging EV sector in India. He started manufacturing products for electric vehicles in 2017. Earlier both of them were working with lead acid batteries.
But that work was not saving the EV’s fuel cost. Later in 2017, they started assembling Lithium Ferro-Phosphate batteries and became the first venture in India to offer one lakh km warranty to the customers. Says Ambience, “This has helped in building the confidence of our customers towards the product. Customers have driven their electric vehicles for 1.25 lakh km in 2021 thanks to our batteries.”
More than 550 dealerships across India
Rakesh said, “Parivesh and I started this venture about five years ago. Within a year, we realized that the automobile industry, especially the EV segment, is quite challenging. There will always be a need for new ideas and improvements to move forward with this.
He said, “Over time, the direction and face of raft motors changed. Today we have a presence in more than 550 dealerships across India. But we still call ourselves an established startup.” Rakesh has more than 15 years of corporate experience while Ambiente is an age old player in the automobile industry.
App-powered portable charging station
After Lithium Ferro-Phosphate battery, the company tried its hand in EV two wheeler. They brought such e-scooters in the market, whose battery range was more than 60, about 125 km. However, the lack of charging infrastructure and average battery range in India are still a matter of concern. As per the environment, there are few charging stations in the country due to lack of charging infrastructure. As a result, EV companies are running at a loss. To overcome this problem, Raft Motors has created a portable charging station. For which the customer will have to spend Rs 5000 extra.
“This portable charging station is powered by an app and does not require any specific location or specific person. After scanning the code on the app, you will have to pay only Rs 25 for one hour of charging. This portable charger can be installed anywhere in the market, from general stores to office complexes and malls. This portable charging station has just been launched, almost a month back. We have been working on this for the last six-seven months and will start delivering it to our customers from November 2. However there is no need for this portable charging station for our new e-scooter INDUS NX. But other EV companies can take advantage of this.”
there are more ways
At present, these e-scooters are being manufactured on a large scale at the Vasai-East Manufacturing Unit in Mumbai. But his thinking is a little different. Instead of a large manufacturing unit, they aim to set up smaller units. They want to have a small manufacturing unit in every 10 districts. There is a reason behind this too.
Rakesh says, “Along with the EV, the charger also needs repairs and spare parts. It becomes our responsibility to provide all these facilities around the customers. Even after searching in the market, EV technicians are not available. In fact, our education system doesn’t even teach students about EVs.”
He further added, “In these smaller units, we will also train local people in fixing, servicing and repairing electric vehicles. Unless there are trained technicians, our business cannot be successful. Today, customers fear that if their EV breaks down on the road, they will not be able to get it fixed anywhere near them. Only the technician of the concerned company can fix it, no one else.”
30 days training also for EV repairing
In order to repair or inform about the EV, 30 days training will be given to the interested people. For this, a fee of Rs 99 will have to be paid. “After training, the person can join us or open his own service center or even work in the showroom of any other EV company,” says Prabandh.
Currently, Raft Motors is setting up smaller units in Bengaluru and Bellary in Karnataka, Dindigul (Tamil Nadu), Valsad (Gujarat), Raisen and Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, Ganjam and Kendrapara in Orissa and Sangrur in Punjab.
Ambience claims that all these units will start functioning by November 10, 2021. They aim to commission 100 such units by March 2022. This company of his is working without any external funding. Now it remains to be seen whether Raft Motors is able to fulfill its claims or not.
Original article: Ringchen Norbu Wangchuk
Editing: Archana Dubey
Also read: Returned home after leaving job, lives of lakhs of children and women being groomed
If you’ve been inspired by this story, or want to share any of your experiences with us, write to us at email@example.com, or Facebook & Twitter Twitter Contact on