By : SHWETA BHANOT MEHROTRA
Headquartered in the US, one and half year-old energy management services start-up – Power.Global is gearing up to set up base in India. The company has appointed ex-Polaris India head, Pankaj Dubey, as the Managing Director for India operations, and aims at hitting the market with its petrol and diesel conversion kits for two and three-wheelers first before it goes full throttle with the manufacturing of actively cooled lithium-ion batteries and solar panels in India.
TOS: Lithium-ion batteries are the lifeline for EV’s success and also the costliest at the moment in the country. How does Power.Global plan to take on this challenge and tap the EV opportunity in the sub-continent?
PD: Power.Global’s planned operations and target is very wide. It is definitely in the energy management space, and includes manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries (actively cooled lithium-ion batteries) and solar panels in India. Currently, most of these are imported from China and we want to make them completely ‘Made in India’. We saw the need gap and an opportunity to play a key role in the electric and solar energy segment (including solar-run vehicles) in the country.
Power.Global will be making investments in setting up infrastructure, manufacturing facility, and engineering and design center in India that would support our operations globally. We have begun identifying our vendor base in India and signed non-disclosure agreements with various companies. Our aim is to have everything sourced locally for our batteries and solar panels to realise the cost efficiencies and develop the market.
TOS: How soon do we see you in the market?
PD: The first project that we are executing would be a conversion kit for the existing petrol and diesel vehicles to electric. There are many companies that are trying to sell EVs but we plan to convert the existing vehicles through our conversion kit. The end user would get very good performance and practical usage, considering the range they want to travel. This would enable them to get into the EV space and experience savings. We are planning strategies wherein we give them easy conversion from a petrol and diesel vehicle to electric. This would be available on two and three-wheelers. The kits have been developed and tested in the US and now will be brought to India. We plan production in 2021 (Battery manufacturing plant would be capable of 1GWh/yr to start, which is equivalent to ~10k Tesla P100 battery packs).
TOS: Why are cars not a part of your conversion kit offering?
PD: We are deliberately leaving four-wheelers out for now. But once we have our battery manufacturing facility up and running, we can always provide batteries for various applications, including four-wheelers and buses.
TOS: What is your take on the battery swapping technology? And will we see you opening up retail outlets in the country for the same?
PD: Battery swapping technology is a very important game plan in the success of EVs and we are happy that our government has worked out this important element for faster adoption of EVs in the country. We have planned very innovative solutions in this space and they should be a great success. Our objective is to support the OEMs, aftermarkets and other applications.
TOS: Since Power.Global is a public benefit corporation on a mission to make clean, affordable, reliable and modern energy available to all, will we see the company play a larger role in India, including other alternative sources of energy for vehicles such as methane and ethanol, for instance?
PD: As we move along, we would explore other initiatives as we are in the energy management space.