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Electric three-wheeler cargo is a big potential market in India
Auto component maker Omega Seiki believes it is easier to target the B2B fleet segment in cargo three-wheelers with e-commerce and last-mile delivery because entry barriers are comparatively lesser. At the Auto Expo 2020, the company made a foray in the vehicle manufacturing space with the launch of its Singha and Singha Max models priced at Rs 3.5 lakh and Rs 3.6 lakh (ex-showroom), having a loading capacity of 500 kg each. “Our company is offering a three-year warranty of the vehicle and the mileage,” opined Deb Mukherji, Managing Director, Omega Seiki, while claiming that the vehicles have a range of 100 km with two to three hours of full charge on a 15 Amp charger. Singha & Singha Max offer 45 Kmph and 60 Kmph of top speed respectively. It also has an app to capture data through telematics and cloud computing on vehicle positioning, running and mileage data, best route tracking. “We are cautiously optimistic,” said Mukherji while mentioning that they do not have any plans to enter passenger vehicles and two-wheeler segments, going forward. “These segments are already very crowded with bigger players in the market,” said the Delhi-based company who will put their vehicles to fleet sales in May this year. Focusing on durability of product, the company is rather aiming to enter the electric four-wheeler cargo segment with one tonne capacity. “Something similar to Tata Ace,” Mukherji mentioned. “Manufacturing an EV is not as complex as IC engine vehicles because of fewer parts involved. But we do not want to venture into EV parts manufacturing as understanding battery technology is a tough game,” he added. Stating the vehicles to be ergonomically built, he added that the company has used simulation software in keeping up with Indian driving conditions. The entire driving and vehicle handling experience can be felt using immersion reality tools. Even though it would be too early to talk about the company’s success, Omega is aiming for 100 per cent local manufacturing once the government’s FAME-II policy is implemented in India. “A majority of Singha and Singha Max components are manufactured & sourced in India except for Li-ion battery cells,” stated Mukherji. The company is also talking to battery partners with possibilities of swappable options, though major challenges related to vehicle architectural design remains. "Only the swappable batteries can be successful for this segment because transportation and delivery requires a daily working shift of around 20 hours for an viable return on investment,” Mukherji added.