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‘Union Budget not favourable for promotion of electric vehicles’

The Budget is not quite favourable for us. While the government is pushing manufacturing of EVs in India within set guidelines and urging everyone to go eco-friendly, a huge amount of taxes is being slapped on the import of batteries and other important components needed to assemble an EV," says Srinivas Reddy, director of a Pune-based start-up.

Written by Dipanita Nath | Pune | Published: February 9, 2020 3:32:34 am
Union Budget 2020, electric vehicles, Srinivas Reddy, Auto Expo Greater Noida, pune news, maharashtra news, indian express news Srinivas Reddy

The prototype of an e-scooter, with a futuristic design and advanced technology geared towards reducing carbon imprint, was launched by a Pune-based start-up at the Auto Expo in Greater Noida on Thursday. The firm’s director Srinivas Reddy talks to The Indian Express about how he has positioned the electric vehicle (EV) as a luxury vehicle through its “high-spirited” look, 110 kmph speed, rechargeable battery that powers up within five hours and an inbuilt app to provide information on battery status, maps, location and range, among others. Excerpts from an interview:

How would an e-scooter tackle the problem of global warming and climate change?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are more fuel-efficient and are characterised by low emissions. Climate change is real and it’s already happening at a fast pace. What’s in our hands is to embrace the change and adapt to measures that will reverse the effect.

How do you plan to tackle problems such as lack of charging ports and infrastructure for EVs in Pune and other cities?

That is the whole idea to initiate this project. We want to push our vehicle in the market in such a way that the urgency to build EV infrastructure gets a massive push. But having said that, our scooters can easily be charged through a 5 amp socket. So you can just stop and charge the vehicle on the go.

What, in your opinion, gives a scooter an advantage on roads?

Scooters are zippy and easier to use. But ride quality and stability could be issues with two-wheelers. Our e-scooters are economical as there is no fuel cost. Maintenance will be less as compared to conventional scooters. The major attraction is that e-scooters are environment-friendly, they directly address the problem of noise and air pollution. When it comes to utility, there are few and almost negligible parts that require service. So, riders don’t have to take the vehicle for service every now and then.

Who is your target clientele?

Our target clientele comprises those who, at present, own ICE (internal combustion engine) two-wheelers and want to switch to EVs but aren’t able to make up their minds because of the conventional designs available in the market. Then come questions about range, power and infrastructure. We have taken all of this into consideration. We are also targeting new buyers who want their first vehicle to be electric. We are building premium EVs that have a futuristic design and features that can be customised.

Is the recently-announced Union Budget favourable towards your goals?

The Budget is not quite favourable for us. While the government is pushing manufacturing of EVs in India within set guidelines and urging everyone to go eco-friendly, a huge amount of taxes is being slapped on the import of batteries and other important components needed to assemble an EV. All this has delayed the aim of making EVs the future of our country.

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