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Addressing Range-Anxiety, Affordability and Charging Infra Will Push EV Sales in India - Interview

Simple Energy Mark 2 with 240 km all electric range is expected to be launched in India on August 15. (Image: Simple Energy)

Simple Energy Mark 2 with 240 km all electric range is expected to be launched in India on August 15. (Image: Simple Energy)

There is a reason why the buyers are inclined to buying an ICE vehicle given an option even today, but this can be changed by addressing Range-anxiety, Affordability, and Charging infrastructure.

India is fast becoming a hotbed for India-made electric two-wheeler makers, ever since central government announced massive benefits on electric vehicles, over and above state govt subsidies, that has pushed benefits on owning an electric two wheeler by upto Rs 35,000. One such company hoping to make it big in the domestic market is Simple energy a Bengaluru based startup that has unveiled the Simple Mark 2, a 240-km electric scooter, the highest range for any two wheeler in India. Simple has said that they will launch the scooter on August 15 in India. We got in touch with Suhas Rajkumar, Founder and CEO of Simple Energy to understand more about this offering and much more.

Tell us about Simple Energy and its operations

Founded in 2019, Simple Energy is an EV startup headquartered in Bangalore. Simple energy builds Electric vehicles from square one. Right from its surface design to chassis design, and from battery development to motor development, the company puts together comprehensive in-house, made-in-India products. Simple Energy was started to address EV customer pain points like range anxiety, charging time, and affordability in an EV.

Thus, the company aims at building performance-oriented e-scooters which are futuristic and value for money. The company had raised an undisclosed amount of pre-series funding in January this year and is also in talks to raise a Series A funding of $15mn.

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Tell us about Simple One, your first EV

The company’s flagship product- the electric scooter Simple One, previously codenamed Mark 2 will be launched on 15th August 2021. The e-scooter has a claimed range of 240km, a smart touch dashboard to help you connect 24/7, and a charging time of 40 minutes at home. More revealed specifications of Simple One are its top speed of 100 kmph, a mid-drive motor along with a removable battery, and futuristic design; it comes with all packed smart features like a touch screen onboard navigation, Bluetooth, etc. The e-scooter will be offered with a 4.8 kWh battery and will have three modes of riding, with an acceleration 0-50kph in 3.6 seconds.

What’s your take on the charging infra in India?

The charging infrastructure in the country is a market yet to flourish. We will see more players coming in to build the infrastructure in the years to come, thus helping in much quicker adaption to an electric vehicle. We also believe that charging infra development and EV adoption go hand in hand. But with products like the Simple One coming into the market, it would convince a customer to buy an EV even the public charging system is in the developing phase as the range and battery system would be able to compensate for that.

Your definition of a perfect EV to push more buyers?

The push would happen when the product surpasses the industry standards. There is a reason why the buyers are inclined to buying an ICE vehicle given an option even today. But this can be changed by addressing three main pain points: Range-anxiety, Affordability, and Charging infrastructure. At Simple Energy, our mission and primary goal as a brand is to address these pain points. A buyer and our target audience will be able to experience a fresh approach to an EV with the Simple One and other products to follow. Parallel to this would be the necessary push from the Government that could possibly help in mass adoption.

Your take on the Government support for EVs?

The support from the Government will certainly help in faster EV adoption. The recent FAME 2 revision was undoubtedly a welcome move for the EV industry. Such policies will encourage more manufacturers and OEMs to build Indian-made EVs and EV allied products for the country and ultimately help the buyer to opt for an EV as it would also give an incentive to the end-consumer.

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first published:July 20, 2021, 09:07 IST