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Akshay Kashyap

Managing Director

GreenFuel Energy Solutions

1 Rating

ENERGY EFFICIENCY Battery technology is changing throughout

Sep 17, 2019

…says Akshay Kashyap, Managing Director, GreenFuel Energy Solutions, in this conversation with Juili Eklahare. He explains how specifications need to be put down when one makes an electric vehicle and why a battery pack company and vehicle manufacturer should collaborate in the early stages of the product. Excerpts...

What is GreenFuel Energy Solution’s plan to become a leading player in the electric two and three-wheeler space in India?

GreenFuel has developed a battery pack that is modular in nature and 48 Volt 2 kWh. There are different vehicles that require different kwh. For example, a scooter could need 2 kWh, but a three-wheeler could require up to 8 kWh. However, the beauty of our system is that one does not need to redesign the pack. We spent almost two years going through the battery performance in different conditions and built-in safeguards in our battery packs for extreme conditions. So, by doing this, we are very clear that we have one of the best engineered and most robust packs in India. We have applied for four patents on this pack. Thus, this makes us very confident that we have an offering in the two-wheeler and three-wheeler market that gives the best value proposition.

You say conventional OEMs will always have a problem balancing a new business model against their existing ones. How do you suggest this problem be solved?

When it comes to the business of faster adoption of EVs, worldwide and in India, it definitely comes through different business models. It’s not regular buying and selling; it can be called partnerships or lease models. Say, for example, a scooter manufacturer partnering with a company which offers scooter ride sharing. This is a way of increasing this penetration. We see traditional OEM models being geared towards making a product and selling it. Therefore, they have to find a business model that is somewhere in between, by either partnering with fleet operators or by offering this kind of service model on their own.

GreenFuel is already collaborating with OEMs for battery packs. What are the challenges you see in these collaborations?

When it comes to collaboration with OEMs, I believe that the battery pack company and vehicle manufacturer should collaborate in the early stages of the product in order to be able to specify the product. However, I do not see this happening, because right now, people are more concerned with what the price is rather than listing down the specifications. Therefore, the first thing to do when one makes an electric vehicle is to have the specifications put down.

Another thing in the traditional OEM business is that a lot of them feel that they want to make the battery packs on their own. I do not see this as sustainable in the long-term because battery technology is changing throughout.

What has been your approach to stand out and provide the safest and high technology battery packs?

A battery pack is a highly engineered product. It has four elements that are extremely important – the chemical nature of the cell, BMS & electronics, software, and the mechanicals. All these four elements have to work together in conjunction in order to give a safe and reliable battery pack. Our company has spent almost two years in R&D on the battery packs, working out the different conditions and possibilities. This makes us sure that anyone who uses our battery packs will find a difference in terms of warranty, performance and safety.

Also, there are a lot of myths surrounding battery packs. As a result, we are educating a lot of customers; we are getting them to experience our battery packs versus others’. Thus, we will partner with those customers that understand the need for a reliable and safe product.

What are your company’s short-term and long-term goals?

We want to ensure that we start with the right set of customers and with the right products. Therefore, for the short-term, our focus will be on collaborating with those customers in the mobility space. For the long-term, we are looking at mobility and storage as an area, and hope to take this business to at least ₹ 600 crores in the next five years. Eventually, we aim to set the benchmark for what battery systems should be.

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