Interview: Our goal is to create an ecosystem for electric vehicles – Yatin
The EV industry has grown exponentially in recent times, and when it comes to the electrical mobility industry, we’re not just looking at EV manufacturers, but the entire ecosystem, including battery and cell manufacturing, component manufacturing, and more.
One such EV manufacturer is Wordwizard Innovations and Mobility, located in Gujarat. The company is best known for creating the Joy e-bike range, which includes Monster, Wolf, Globe and Honeybee. At a time when established EV makers are facing the heat of battery failure, WordWizard has not shied away, instead inviting reporters with open arms to tour the facility and discuss plans ahead.
WordWizard combines its range of electric scooters at its convenience in Vadodara while importing parts from China, mostly plastic. However, the company has even bigger plans – the EV maker has invested in 100-acre land near its existing facility to create the ecosystem needed to make EVs.
The open land will soon host a wide range of ancillary plant and its cell production facilities, where WordWizard would welcome other manufacturers to lay the foundation. This will be done through MoU and JV, while WordWizard will invest in various ways including land. To better understand its ideals, Yatin Gupte, chairman and managing director of WordWizard, spoke to the person behind the Express Mobility plan.
“We started in 2016 with little capital. Our goal was to create an ecosystem for electric vehicles as such systems exist worldwide. We used to import spare parts when we started, now, about 90% of our electric scooters have localization. We have started reverse engineering charger, controller, steel parts etc. Our chassis come from major suppliers outside Maharashtra who make frames for Bajaj and TVS, ”said Yatin Gupte.
These chassis suppliers had to create a separate production line for WordWizard because most of their chassis was for ICE engine vehicles. After helping set up their line, they now deliver ই 500 chassis per day to WordWizard. WordWizard did the same with batteries and source them locally.
“The whole idea of the ancillary plant is to reduce the dependence of other manufacturers on imports and point it out here,” the chairman said.
Wradwizard has acquired a 100-acre plot of land and plans to allocate it to companies ready to bring their technology or innovation. Warwizard will give them free land, electricity, infrastructure and manpower. Yatin added, “There are some companies who want to share their technology with us for a year or two, but do not want to establish a base in India. In such cases, we also put in the capital.
So far, WordWizard has gained interest in steel companies and, among others, a circuit designer who will create circuits, controllers and cable harnesses for WordWizard. “We are in talks with lithium cell manufacturers to set up a base here and if we get a deal, we will have the ability to control the price of the battery,” Yatin said. He added, “If we do that, the price of EVs will go down and in the next two years they will be more affordable than ICE cars.”
Warwizard will also make large investments in its ancillary plants. In the first phase, Rs 200 crore will be invested, which will be done before October this year. Also, the accessory business will not only meet the winning e-bikes, but also the open market. There will be more investment and an additional investment of Rs 350 crore will be required to set up battery production alone In total, ~ 1000 crore will be invested.
E-bike makers have investigated pricing for the components and found many of them to be cheaper in India than imports. “We have seen that it is cheaper to make more than 40 ingredients here. Compare this with logistics costs for imports, taxes and time, EV makers can save a lot, ”he added.
Another important aspect of the accessory plant is that EV manufacturers can monitor product quality. This is an important aspect considering the number of EVs including imported cells that have caught fire in recent times. Many experts, including Yatin, point to cell quality as the main cause of EV fire.
In addition, the new accessory plant will have separate manufacturing units for the manufacture of low-speed scooters, high-speed scooters, and electric three-wheelers, which WordWizard is entering.
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