Simple Energy releases the longest-range electric scooter in India
By siliconindia | Wednesday, 24 May 2023, 09:43 IST
The Bengaluru-based electric mobility startup Simple Energy is finally ready to challenge leaders in electric two-wheelers such as Ather Energy and Ola Electric, as well as incumbents such as TVS Motor Co. The company’s debut electric scooter, the Simple One, claims an impressive range of 212 km, making it the longest-range electric scooter in India to date, as verified by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), the Indian automotive testing and certification authority.
Simple One comes with a price tag of 1.45 lakh ex-showroom for the standard on-board charger variant, and 1.58 lakh for the 750-watt charger variant. The e-scooter is cheaper than Ather Energy’s 450X, which with its flagship pro-pack costs 1.78 lakh ex-showroom, but more expensive than Ola Electric’s S1 Pro, which starts at 1.25 lakh.
Simple Energy claims it is aiming for an unit-level breakeven when it comes to the bill of materials (BOM) for each scooter it will sell, and is targeting profitability at a per-unit Ebitda by next year, as it scales up production to its current installed capacity of 25,000 units per month, Suhas Rajkumar, founder and chief executive, Simple Energy, told.
Rajkumar says changing regulatory requirements with respect to battery safety, government incentives and unstable supply chains delayed Simple’s market launch. “However, we will race ahead in the coming months. Even if we are able to do 100,000 in sales in the next 12 months, we will be in a good place financially and with respect to demand," he said.
Simple claims to have gathered over 1 lakh reservations for the scooter against a refundable charge of 1,947 since August 2021, when it first opened bookings for the product. After a near one-and-a-half-year long delay from its committed delivery timeline, the company claims to have only lost 3-4% bookings. However, it will open a full payment window for its customers only now, and begin doorstep deliveries from July or August, followed by a shift to a dealership distribution model, with plans to be in 40-50 cities with an equal number of dealers by the end of 2024. Deliveries will first start in Bengaluru and other south Indian cities, followed by a gradual expansion into West and North India in phases.
Simple Energy has so far raised $45 million from HNI family offices and institutional investors, and is in the process of finalizing another round of fundraising, which will be larger than its last round. The company has spent nearly all the money it has raised so far, in constructing its manufacturing facility and lab, product development and R&D. “We are a tech-oriented company and will work on developing a powertrain for a passenger car, but it is at least three-to-three and a-half years away. The idea is to get into this segment because we are a mobility company, but it depends on how Simple will perform in next one year and how we are able to prove our position in terms of scale, quality and bringing in much more affordable scooters," he said.
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