ETO Motors foresee 10 times growth in charging infra solutions in coming months

  • Interviews
  • Mar 29,23
The company born in 2018 with the aim to provide all-electric mobility ecosystem for passenger and logistics vehicles is now a market leader as electric mobility solution provider. ETO Motors is looking to develop and maintain greater heights in coming months, tells Pavan Chavali, Managing Director, ETO Motors. In this interview Pavan Chavali shares more about ETO Motors, its growth plans and electric three-wheeler (E3W) start ups.
ETO Motors foresee 10 times growth in charging infra solutions in coming months

How has ETO Motors evolved since its inception?
We are born and electric! ETO was founded in 2018 by a seasoned team of professionals who had originally founded Olectra, which pioneered India’s first fully electric bus with its international partner BYD Auto. As a natural progression, we saw the next large-scale opportunity in the electric mobility segment, specifically the last mile segment with the two and three-wheel cargo and passenger vehicles. ETO has since been a trendsetter in the electric revolution. We have created a comprehensive roadmap to establish a robust EV ecosystem by investing in next-generation technology solutions and globally competitive products to drive the adoption of sustainable mobility.

ETO differentiates itself from other electric three-wheeler (E3W) manufacturers and last-mile service providers with its 360° outlook towards electrification. Manufacturing, last mile passenger and cargo services, driver partner empowerment through the creation of jobs, charging infrastructure services through our ‘Thunder-Box’ and fast charging solutions coupled with intelligent data analytics solutions make us a comprehensive 360° solutions provider.

We have produced more than 1500 E3Ws from our 78,000 square meters manufacturing facility in Jadcherla, Hyderabad to date. We installed around 800 Thunder Box charging points supporting major E3Ws and electric two-wheeler (E2Ws) through public and private charging across India and these numbers are growing by the day.

What is ETO Motors' business model?
We believe in the philosophy ‘doing good, can be good business’. As a part of our Electric Mobility as a Service (eMaaS) service strategy, we are providing last-mile cargo delivery services for major e-commerce companies along with passenger services from major metros in the country. These services are in collaboration with government entities and major e-commerce players. With a focused approach towards empowerment, especially women – we are successfully running multiple ‘all women driver partner’ fleets in Delhi, Hyderabad and Gujarat.

We partnered with major power supply corporations in expanding the public charging infrastructure across the country with the model of outright sale and revenue-sharing-based partnership models. We are also introducing our ‘localised e-commerce’ facilities encouraging women entrepreneurs to work with us in an empowered distributor model.

Why are you focusing on the last-mile connectivity segment with electric three-wheelers?
Our focus on last-mile connectivity solutions is to provide affordable green transportation to thousands of consumers in need of such services. E3Ws providing last mile cargo and passenger services account for a large pie of the vehicles with maximum environmental impact opportunity, with affordable, reliable and safe vehicles of ETO.

How is the Cargo E3W market in India at present?
The Cargo E3W segment has been showing a consistent growth trend since October 2022, with a 25 per cent increment in the number of vehicles sold in this category in the last six months. This growth will continue as almost every business segment – right from major e-commerce organisations to your neighbourhood kirana stores using 3W cargo services for their daily business are looking for reliable, safe and greener options to replace their existing IC engine fleets.

ETO Motors is also into EV charging stations. How is this segment growing?
Public charging infrastructure growth is essential for the quicker adoption of EVs. We aim at providing widespread app-based public charging services, not only for ETO customers and partners but to everyone joining the electric revolution. The energy landscape of multiple gas stations is going to rapidly change to technology-based charging stations not only providing cleaner energy but also seamless digital transactions. Can you imagine having a petrol station in the cellar parking of a supermarket? Yes, it is now possible to refuel vehicles with clean energy while you are watching a movie in a theatre or shopping for groceries in a supermarket or having that favourite biryani of yours in a restaurant. ETO is enabling this change across India.

What are the key challenges in developing a commercially successful E3W by a start-up?
Developing a safe, reliable and robust product consistently should be the key challenge for any E3W start-up. Consistent improvement in quality, with best-in-class safety features such as ‘bucket seats’ and ‘seat belts’ for passengers and driver partners, topple-free design for cargo vehicles etc are a few examples of ETO products going over and beyond the regular perception of E3W transportation. We are building aspirational vehicles at affordable costs with a ton of technology and safety features.

Are you working on any other EV models? If yes, could you please elaborate?
We have a solid product road map for the coming 24-36 months with multiple products planned to be rolled out to bolster the pace of last mile electrified solutions moving into mid-mile segments. We foresee a future where thousands of daily commuters do their end-to-end home-office-home commute in electric powered solutions. In the cargo segment, where the focus at present is from the last mile hub to home delivery, ETO solutions will be solving the problem of long distance ware house to hub deliveries through ETO vehicles.

Could you please brief us on your supplier ecosystem? How do you intend to make it more robust?
Coming from the legacy of producing one of the first electric buses in India, we thrive our strong supplier relationships with a no compromise focus on top class quality and reliable parts coming together to make safe and reliable green machines. We have strong supplier network PAN India and multiple technology partnerships across the globe helping us to constantly innovate our products, beyond the average pace of change in the country.

What are your growth plans for the future?
ETO aims to create and maintain successful and profitable relationships with vehicle owners & energy suppliers that would reduce the total cost of ownership of EVs and accelerate their market penetration. Acceptance of EVs across all segments, proven reliability and consistently increasing quality of the vehicles and energy solutions is the key catalyst for growth.

With the above aspects in focus, we intend to achieve 5 to 7 times growth in the overall quantity of vehicles providing services across all segments and 10 times growth in charging infrastructure solutions over the coming 12-18 months.

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