The promoters claim their electric scooters have been designed to address various problems in the EV two-wheeler segment such as slow charging, low powered motors as well as shorter battery life with a target range of 300 km (plus another 180 km with portable battery) to address the range anxiety issues often related to EVs in the country. With the recent unveiling of its various models, Raft Motors has demonstrated a strong commitment to meet the EV aspirations of Indian consumers by providing the best quality products. It also has more products in its stable, besides EVs.
Presented here is a tete-a-tete with two young, dynamic, visionary, and enthusiastic entrepreneurs - Parivesh Shukla and Rakesh Salve, the brains behind Raft Motors. They speak about their range of products, future plans, the intricacies involved in tackling demands from the users as well as other challenges facing the industry.
Let us know the journey so far as it was an entirely new segment in the auto sector?
In fact, Electric vehicle is not something new to the users. It has been present in the Indian market since 2006 but it was not widely accepted due to various flaws. Those versions were using an outdated concept of Lead Acid Technology which had hardly a life span of 6 months. That means the user had to change it every 6 months. As a result, the companies producing these vehicles could not survive.
We entered in this market in 2017 with huge experience both in terms of its manufacturing faults as well as the marketing part. Prior to this we had taken the dealership of an EV company and ran the show for a year. We took a lot of effort to take the concept to people and promoted it in and around Mumbai. But when things were looking up good they terminated our dealership as they got some big party agreeing to invest more. So who could better understand the technicalities associated with EVs?
However, those days taught us a lot of lessons. There was no dealer support, no trained mechanics to solve even a minor problem. What we did, we noted all those issues, searched for solutions, and decided to have our own product. Already we had a brand – Raft Motors – it was our agency name. We applied for licenses, did the required paperwork, and thus Raft Motors was re-born as a company. We used our own resources to set up the plant.
To start with, we got rid of the major problem – in our vehicles, we started using Lithium Ferrophosphate Batteries, considered to be the best. It has roughly 3000 life cycles, which is a layman’s language means for 3000 times it could be charged from zero to 100. That’s a big leap. This battery gives the vehicle life of approximately 8 to 10 years. Considering the life span of the battery we’ve confidently fixed a one lakh kilometers warranty on our vehicles. It has given users a lot of hope and faith in electric vehicles. They thought that if they could use these vehicles for one lakh kilometers then they get their money’s worth.
According to our observation and varied interactions with the end-users we feel there are four major concerns – it should be comfortable and stylish, energy-efficient, after-sale services, and affordable rates. And we’ve incorporated all in our vehicles.
How is the production going? Are you utilizing the full capacity?
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