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BusinessSemaConnect bets big on India

SemaConnect bets big on India

Published: 16th May 2021 12:07 am | Updated: 15th May 2021 9:59 pm

Hyderabad: Electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure solutions provider SemaConnect is bringing its expertise in EV charging to the Indian market with its range of smart and well-networked EV chargers for two, three and four-wheelers. The company had been catering to global markets through its only manufacturing facility, located in India (Bengaluru). It finds potential to set up a second unit in the country, in Hyderabad, besides other viable locations.

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The company is launching a new charger for four wheelers- the Series 4, a smart charger designed with the Indian market in mind. This will be launched in the US in the next 2-3 months as a home charger. In India, it will be rolled out as a commercial charger, as Series 4I. Towards the end of 2021, the company plans to launch the Series 3 – a two/three-wheeler solution in India, which is set to have a large market.

Prashant Radhakrishnan, VP and Head Sales & Marketing (India), SemaConnect, told Telangana Today, in an exclusive interview, “The future of passenger automobile industry is going to be that of electric vehicles. The question is not- will it happen, but when will it happen? This technological explosion has happened because of several factors- cost of batteries, technological advancements in optimisation of batteries and longevity of range. SemaConnect has grown in parallel with the growth of the industry.”

Enhancing manufacturing

“We currently have 35 people in R&D, and we will be doubling this number by the end of 2021. We have about 25 people in manufacturing, which also will be doubled by then. We have a manufacturing capacity of 5,000 plus chargers per year across our product range,” he informed.

All the research and development, design, technology, power control, testing and manufacturing activities are carried out in India, since 2009. Through its manufacturing facility in Bengaluru, the company has been exporting its products to the US.

He said, “Our R&D and manufacturing will see hyper growth in the next 1-2 years. We are looking at doubling our production capacity. We will utilise all the government schemes be it Central or State-driven for identifying opportunities for expansion. Hyderabad remains one of the potential locations, which we may consider while deciding on the second location for manufacturing. We anticipate the two and three-wheeler charger segment to contribute 80 per cent of our business, going forward, in India.”

Target markets

With more than 12,000 smart-charging stations already sold in the US and Canada, catering to municipal, parking, multifamily, hotel, office, retail and commercial fleet customers (including major companies such as Gilbarco Veeder-Root, CBRE, and Electrify America), SemaConnect is one of the largest integrated electric vehicle charging providers supplying both charging hardware and cloud-based software.

The company furnishes mounting options and cable management, and wireless network services where the station owners can manage station access, set pricing plans, and view reports. “We look to cater to two markets in India- commercial and residential real estate, retail and large corporations (private sector) to start with, and government, utilities and PSUs later. We will serve PSUs through our partners. We will also tap opportunities to work with metro rail companies,” Radhakrishnan added.

Sector potential

Industry estimates that by 2030, about 40 per cent of 5-6 million passenger four-wheelers sold per year to be EVs, 65-70 per cent of 20 million two-wheelers will be EVs, and 100 per cent of over 10 million three-wheelers will be EVs. International studies have shown that in the case of EVs, each vehicle will need one charger at home of the owner and more chargers in public spaces. So, the total number of charging points will have to be 120-140 per cent of the number of vehicles on the road.

He further explains, “India today has 70,000 fuel stations catering to vehicles using internal combustion engines (ICE). In the case of EVs, parking lots will be the major spots for charging. The size of the charger market could be at least 70 million units per year by 2030.”

Founded in 2008, SemaConnect has been providing electric vehicle amenities to the North American commercial and residential property market over the last decade. It has raised multiple rounds of funding from venture capital and private equity funds with the final round of funding done last year from Trilantic North America. The company’s founder and CEO Mahi Reddy continues to lead the company through its next phase of growth.

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