Today the EV space is one of the most crowded and talked about industries, with mushrooming companies and start-ups that make EVs or EV components to push the EV age forward, how does another start-up, EVage, set itself apart from everything and everyone that is already out there? EVage decides to capture the last mile delivery vehicle segment – a crucial link in the supply chain which no one else has focused on. Inderveer Singh, Founder, and CEO of EVage lay it all out in simple terms.
EVage was conceptualized in 2014 and 7 years later today has garnered attention by making India’s first exoskeleton structure for an electric delivery van.
The company is now getting ready to revolutionize India’s commercial E-4-wheeler market with its purpose-built, lightweight, and sustainable E-Vehicles. Designed, prototyped, and tested over 7 years by the top minds in the aerospace industry. EVage vehicles are technologically fortified with modularity and micro-manufacturability.
Created to suit Indian roads and ready for launch this year, EVage 4-wheelers come with over 2,00,000 km of actual road testing and state-of-the-art safety systems for occupants, goods, and pedestrians. The startup is ready to file over 20 patents on repairability technology, lightweight, modularity, and thermal management technology.
Inderveer ( Founder of Evage) shares: “We have built this vehicle grounds up and we are looking at a formal launch soon. When we began in 2014, the electric mobility supplier ecosystem was missing. It was our conscious decision to make aerospace-inspired structures, and the people in our team are scientists from the international aerospace industry.
Understandably, our journey in the last six years has been speckled with issues just like any start-up would while trying to develop a product from scratch. We now have the vehicle ready. In fact, because of our unique EV offering – we will be providing electric vehicles to one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies for their deliveries and also have several global FMCG brands testing the vehicle currently.”
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Light and Modular in Design
If ‘Make in India, For the World’ is one differentiating factor for EVage, the other is the ability to offer 3 advantages in the form of lightweighting, modularity, and manufacturability.
Inderveer elaborates: “It is not only about going green in transportation. In logistics, decisions are driven by how much value we create for the users. So, the second USP is our ability to offer light-weighting and modularity, which leads to a higher number of efficiencies for the fleet operators. Thirdly, our manufacturability is extremely efficient which ensures that we can focus on better economics in the long run.”
Wanting to offer a purpose-built vehicle, specially created for the Indian market, he started scouting for engineers who had worked in high precision sectors such as the aerospace industry.
He says further: “The automotive industry has no precedent to make vehicles ultra-lightweight, super durable, reliable, and also extremely modular. But other industries do, like aerospace. EVs have a simple motor that does everything and it brings great simplicity to the design. This affords us the leeway for modularity, and innovative manufacturing could be done on top of that. We have imparted global standards of engineering, and technology development right here in Chandigarh, India. So, it is a matter of pride for us as a company.”
EVage has worked on optimizing the structure where the loads are analyzed and then the cross-section thickness is optimized wherever needed. Their preferred material to work with is aluminum.
|Exoskeleton Structure||Aluminum Composite Shell|
|Active Safety Crash System||Battery Swapping System|
|Motor Controller||Modular Suspension|
He shares: “We are opting for aluminum majorly in all our chassis and structural work because it is light in weight and corrosion-resistant. We have optimized our alloy which was custom-made for us. And, we use composites for the skin of the vehicle just like in aircraft. The composites we have developed are about four times lighter than steel and the strength is almost 2-2.5 times more than steel. It makes the skin stronger and highly durable yet super light.”
“We have crash-tested it and have videos of the vehicle running on the track to showcase the durability of. And because it is not any composite material and the way we manufacture these composites that define how the material will yield. When it comes to the repairability of say a scratch, dent, or crack, we apply a few chemicals that integrate into it and it is repaired. This is a localized repair function where it would be more cost-effective to repair this when compared to steel.”
As a startup, we did not have the capital to manufacture millions of vehicles, says Inderveer. “One way was to make extremely niche vehicles, sell a few of them at a higher margin, but then we don’t solve the larger problem of sustainable transportation. So, we focused on decentralized micro-manufacturing, which are small-scale profitable setup, covering as low as 25,000 square feet. To make this possible we worked on light-weighting our components with a lot of modularity. We are proud of the fact that we would be the first company in Asia to create micro-factories for automobiles”.
EVage plans to have 20-30 such factories spread across India, depending on demand and geography.
To run these 20-30 odd micro-factories, cost-effectively, however, requires a highly localized supply chain! “To make our supply chains efficient, localization is one of our core focus. In 7 years, from next to no manufacturers of EV components, we have been able to localize more than 85% of our components. In the next 12-18 months we are looking at 100% localization, except cells,” shares Inderveer.
EVage and their team of 40+ engineers are planning to ‘have a sizable chunk of the last mile delivery vans in the next couple of years. They are looking at capturing a considerable market share in the delivery vehicle segment.
In the mid-term, competing globally makes up a part of EVage’s vision. Inderveer shares “It will be taken up in a phased manner. Our architecture, and the components that we have, are reliable enough to compete globally. There will be some adaptations for left-hand drives and other iterations too. But we hope to be a global player in the next couple of years, and there is already quite an interest that we are generating globally.”
EVage’s long-term vision involves becoming pioneers of sustainable transportation in India and the world and the company is gearing up to it.
Inderveer feels: “Globally, it is the luxury vehicles that are selling. The actual transportation would happen when electric mobility gets integrated into the daily lives of people. And that is what we are doing as a company. We are getting the daily deliveries electrified. We plan to help companies reach their environmental and sustainable targets to make cities better places to live in. And we are pioneering this because we believe that we are the only ones who are looking at things that matter.”
And why not! For, EVage is working on changing lives for the better, one electric vehicle at a time!