The thought provoking campaign underscores battery swapping important for EV adoption and environmental protection
New Delhi, June 30, 2021: Chargeup, a company building Bharat’s largest battery swapping network for e-rickshaws, has raised an undisclosed amount in its ongoing Pre-Series A funding. The funding round was led by MapmyIndia with participation from a group of HNIs. The funding will be used as investment in marketing for customer acquisition and building the tech stack. Chargeup has adopted an advanced technology driven approach to offer Battery as a Service (BaaS) solutions to e-rickshaw drivers. Battery swapping eliminates range anxiety and eliminates the need for buying or managing batteries as the swapping service provider takes care of these needs.
The company’s standardized battery technology and execution capabilities are geared towards delivering its brand promise of a 2-minute battery swap within a radius of 2 km to ensure twice the revenue for drivers and dealer partners. From 2 stations at the outset, the company has grown to 18 stations catering to 500+ drivers daily. The company is clocking 9,000 swaps per month and has covered 3.5 million km on its platform since inception.
Speaking about this, Varun Goenka, CEO and Co-founder, Chargeup, “We are excited to take the next step towards growth with this funding. With MapmyIndia’s commitment, our synergy to build the right tech stack for the drivers will strengthen and give us a lead. We hope to leverage their best-in-class stack of maps and location technologies as well. The funding support from HNIs is also a major boost to our offerings. With a strong grip on the execution of this business, Chargeup works on a Capex light and Opex light model thus making it fast scalable.”
The nationwide COVID-19 lockdown negatively impacted the demand of swappable batteries from the drivers due to reduced mobility of e-rickshaws. Chargeup sought to turn this situation over by creating a demand for drivers in the transportation sector.
According to estimates by Mordor Intelligence, the Indian Electric Vehicle Market was valued at USD 5 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 47 billion by 2026 registering a CAGR of above 44% during the forecast period (2021 - 2026). The Indian government plans to convert about 30% of all passenger vehicles to EVs by 2030 under FAME-II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles-II) initiative. Removing battery cost from the equation can make EVs cheaper by up to 40% and make them affordable for fleet owners.
Being an early mover in the Indian EV battery charging sector, Chargeup is set to lead the segment in 2021-22 and will be driving standardization of operations through integration of cutting-edge AI and analytics tools. The company is rapidly expanding its BSS network and aiming to benefit the lives of millions of e-rickshaw drivers in India, while also expanding coverage to 2 wheelers and other LCVs.
Chargeup, Bharat’s largest battery-swapping network was founded by Varun Goenka and Akshay Kashyap in 2019. Powering India’s electric mobility target, the core objective of Chargeup is to create the largest distribution network for electric 2&3 wheelers. Chargeup offers the simple solution of Battery as a Service (BAAS). The company enables the e – rickshaw drivers to join the service without any upfront costs. By subscribing to a daily battery rental plan, Charge-up allows the drivers to visit the swapping station as many as 2-3 times a day to swap the discharged batteries with fully – charged batteries. The entire battery swapping process takes just about 2 minutes and the Lithium-ion batteries weigh less than 30 kg as compared to the conventional ones. Through this practice, the company has allowed the drivers to increase their range and revenue.