Hyderabad: Versatile Auto Components, a Hyderabad-based electric vehicle maker, is betting big on its electric scooter VE-45. The company currently makes 3,000 vehicles per month at its Pashamylaram unit and plans to triple its production by March 2019.
The vehicle that was formally unveiled by Telangana Industries Minister KT Rama Rao in July this year wants to become the solution for short distance commute for all, including those who are deprived economically to own a vehicle.
The company has sold 560 vehicles till date and has an order-book of 2,200 vehicles (mostly from Hyderabad, Nizamabad and Warangal), which it will be delivering in a month’s time.
Versatile founder Chandu Kumar Potti told Telangana Today, “We intend to create a capacity to make over one lakh vehicles a year by March. We are adding production lines. To ensure access to the buyers, we have opened our first showroom at Sangareddy. We have received around 65 franchisee enquiries from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. We will evaluate them.”
He added, “India historically had been importing vehicles from other countries. The nation is now seeing some progress with regards to indigenisation. Versatile wants to change the manufacturing scenario by developing vehicles that suit to Indian roads, socio-economic conditions and affordability. We want to create a new dimension to mobility.”
The vehicle uses indigenised parts, barring few imported components. The company’s in-house team has designed, developed and manufactured the vehicle. It spent four years to develop its electric vehicle and came out with a prototype in 2016 and the bike went through a series of tests for about 18 months, before commercial launch.
The vehicle can run 45 km per charge and comes with dual brakes that ensure effective braking. The single-seater vehicle can carry a load of over 150 kg. The vehicle is priced at Rs 21,000 (excluding GST).
Meanwhile, Gurgaon-based bicycle-sharing startup Mobycy has recently tied up with Versatile to embed internet of things (IoT) feature into the vehicle, while showcasing the mobility solution at the Station Access and Mobility Program (STAMP) Challenge held at Hyderabad. WRI India Ross Center for Sustainable cities, Toyota Mobility Foundation in collaboration with Telangana government and Hyderabad Metro Rail, backed by IIIT, TiE and CII jointly organised this challenge.
As an outcome of this, Hyderabad Metro Rail has accorded an in-principle nod to Mobycy to roll out 3,000 vehicles (made by Versatile) at the metro stations for last mile connectivity to the commuters on a rental basis, using a smart card.