Indian fast-charging startup Exponent Energy is in talks with new and old investors to raise funds to expand its energy services business to three-wheeled passenger cars and buses, the chief executive of Indian fast-charging startup Exponent Energy told Reuters in an interview.

The company, which makes electric vehicle batteries that can be fully charged in 15 minutes using its fast charger, expects to close this round of funding by the end of 2023, CEO Arun Vinayak said.

He declined to disclose the amount, but said it would be higher than the $13 million (nearly Rs 1.07 crore) that Exponent raised last year from investors including venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners.

India wants to electrify road transport such as buses, commercial vehicles, cars and motorcycles to reduce pollution and reduce fuel imports. Meanwhile, clean delivery fleets help e-commerce and consumer goods companies meet their own emissions targets.

This has given impetus to Indian start-ups such as Exponent, which currently produces electric vehicle batteries and supplies trucking company Altigreen with a network of fast chargers, whose batteries are now installed in more than 200 three-wheeled delivery vehicles.

Exponent has orders for another 400 freight vehicles and 30 buses, Vinayak said.

By the end of 2025, the company expects to power 25,000 vehicles and be profitable with a revenue of around Rs 10,000 crore. 6 billion, he added.

Vinayak said the Exponent’s 15-minute charge means vehicles can be equipped with smaller batteries (the most expensive component), making EVs cheaper and easier to use. It also makes the charging business more viable due to faster turnaround times. Altigreen’s three-wheelers can travel 70 to 95 kilometers on a single charge, he said.

“Vehicle prices have dropped significantly due to the almost 30 percent smaller battery size. That’s a big advantage,” he said.

Exponent uses water-based technology to cool the battery while charging, preventing overheating.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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