Power Global, a Pasadena-based company that provides high-performance clean energy and mobility products for everyday applications, has announced a strategic partnership to supply its eZee swappable lithium-ion battery technology to auto-rickshaw manufacturer Rap Eco Motors in India to power mass-market electric three-wheeler vehicles.
Power Global’s battery technology will be used for Rap Eco Motors’ RANIE product line, which includes L3 and L5 models of a passenger auto-rickshaw, delivery van and cargo vehicle.
Following an initial product launch in April 2022, Power Global and Rap Eco Motors will manufacture 50,000 electric auto-rickshaws over the next five years, a joint statement said.
The project is expected to advance both companies’ roadmaps for “Made in India” manufacturing.
India, the third-largest emitter globally, has a strong dependence upon two- and four-stroke three-wheel vehicles powered by fossil fuels, which serve as essential last mile transport. With fuel prices rising by as much as 20 percent in the last six months, and with the cumulative costs of internal combustion engine-vehicle maintenance, drivers are increasingly turning to cost-effective electric auto-rickshaws as the vehicles of choice.
In an infrastructure-light country like India, automotive OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are embracing solutions such as battery swapping to reduce the upfront cost of EVs further, and to accelerate the nation’s clean energy transition.
Rap Eco Motors’ partnership with Power Global marks the Hyderabad-based company’s first step toward developing a comprehensive 360 solution for RANIE, built upon Power Global’s 48-volt swappable eZee battery module. Power Global’s engineered solution allows Rap Eco Motors to leapfrog the costly and time-consuming process of developing an in-house electrification solution.
Compared to existing fossil fuel-powered auto-rickshaws on the road today, each RANIE vehicle is expected to cut CO2e emissions by 3.7 metric tons annually and eliminate dangerous NOx and PM tailpipe emissions that contribute to air pollution.
“In the world’s largest three-wheeler market, we feel a collective responsibility to commercialize a sustainable and clean solution,” Pramod Chabria, co-founder at Rap Eco Motors, said. “Our complementary footprints across Northern India and Southern India prime us for critical national expansion, which will help spur the country’s adoption of more economical, less pollutive transportation for thousands of drivers.”
Power Global has a battery production plant in India’s Greater Noida Industrial Area which is slated to be the country’s largest in-country lithium-ion battery manufacturer and be capable of producing 400,000 modules annually. Power Global aims to deploy 10,000 batteries and light mobility electric retrofit kits supported by their battery swapping network by the end of 2022.
As Power Global continues to grow its presence in the country, the company is joined by Rakesh Kerwell, Director of Business Development, who played an integral role in the partnership. Kewrell was a former Director at DLF Limited and former Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Reliance Industries Limited. He will be joined by two additional strategic hires with deep automotive backgrounds at Honda and Hero MotoCorp: Ajay Dhiman, Head of Manufacturing, and Rajeev Sharma, Chief Engineer.
“For India to successfully capture a bigger market share of the light e-mobility sector, we need to onshore all components of electric auto-rickshaw manufacturing in-country,” Pankaj Dubey, CEO of Power Global’s India subsidiary, said. “Rap Eco Motors has already dominated the regional market through its ambitious business strategy and shares our mutual vision for ‘made in India’ electrification solutions. We feel privileged to help chart their course toward national growth, and we believe our companies’ close collaboration will deliver a cleaner, more cost-effective electrified solution for auto-rickshaw drivers everywhere and strengthen our local economies.”