PIXY ELECTRIC CARS PVT LTD
A STARTUP WITH A DIFFERENCE
Rajeev Ranadive, Chairman & Managing Director
Why pixy electric differentiates from other EV startups and how?
We observed that most startups are focused on the urban commuter market. This market is dominated by large and established companies with the existing plant, team of experts, and strong dealer network. To match their investment, capability and compete with them is a formidable challenge which we wanted to avoid.
Secondly, we found that the above customers are reluctant to buy the “EV” because the customer’s primary need is “means of commuting”. They would like to buy the Best product available to meet their needs within their budget. Trying to sell an EV to this customer by price-cutting and depending on the Government subsidy is a recipe for disaster. We, therefore, decided to identify a niche where the customer needs an electric vehicle for some specific reason.
Yet another differentiator is our team of very experienced persons with specific Industry experience and domain knowledge… Hardcore R&D or shop floor or field experience is most important to us.
Why Pixy Electric has put so much emphasis on the Market research and experience of the team?
The Indian automotive market is very complex and therefore difficult to understand without very serious and continuous market research. Large global companies like general motors and Peugeot have wound up. Indigenous and established companies like premier, Hindustan motors, and Kinetic have also closed down. The Indian market is changing faster than any other global market. For example, at one time, the cheapest car model was the highest-selling model. This equation is no longer true. The largest sale now comes from models a couple of notches above. Tata nano failure is a classic example of misjudgment. Mahindra has burnt their fingers by introducing an ‘EV’ in the same segment. Markets are like shark-infested waters. The captain can navigate the ship in the right direction only if he knows the waters and has an accurate map.
How do you plan to build your team of such experienced engineers?
My strategy is similar to the strategy of the legendary Lee Iacocca who revived Chrysler from its brink of bankruptcy. He assembled a team of his ex-colleagues and friends who had just retired and had a fire in their belly to achieve something. This leadership team can build a team of young engineers.
What is your specialization?
My engineering experience is in integrating drive systems on all kinds of vehicles, from two-wheelers to battle tanks and ships. marketing of cars throughout India, as well as technology transfer from global sources and B2B marketing of high tech products, has been my longest span of experience I have also managed complex and high-value automotive engineering projects.
Which product you are planning to launch?
We have developed “electric conversion kits” for cars. These are intended to convert existing IC engine vehicles to electric. The process is simple – just remove the engine and our kit fits as if it is an OE part. No modification to the original vehicle is needed.
What is the key technology developed by Pixy Electric?
We have developed state of the art motor indigenously and we manufacture it in-house. This motor is specifically designed for converting the existing IC engine vehicles
What was the reason for developing a motor when it can be purchased?
The motors available off the shelves for ‘EV’ application are designed to match the drive of the new ‘EV’. That means they run at very high speed with a high reduction gearbox. This system is not compatible with the existing IC engine drive.
Which is the first application you have selected for your conversion kit and why?
We have developed an application for Maruti Gypsy. This is a versatile and rugged vehicle used in the wildlife sanctuaries, farms, remote populations along the mountains, and of course the army. We have proven durability for this application by field testing in different climatic conditions for over one year. Now we are in the process of developing applications for a range of vehicles.
What is your business model?
We presently purchase components from the suppliers and do the integration in-house. We have already appointed dealers at some important locations and are In the process of creating a dealer network throughout the country,
Have you already sold the kits? Who are your key customers?
Yes, we have already sold kits. Our customer base is very wide, encompassing wildlife sanctuary, DRDO (army) to vintage car conversion.
How big is the Retrofitment market?
As per the statement made by Hon. Minister. Nitin Gadkari, 84 Lakh light motor vehicles are due for scrappage. For the owners of these vehicles, there are two options – scrap or convert to electric. As a result, a new market will come up of dealers who will buy used cars in bulk, convert them to electric and sell. This will be the ultimate re-cycling model of used cars which will have huge economic benefit to the country.
What about the competition?
There is enough space for multiple players. Some will specialize in low-end vehicles like ‘Riksha’, some on small cars, some on luxury cars, and some on buses and trucks. There is enough food for all.
Can this kit also fit on new vehicles as OE fitment?
Yes, of course. It is also possible to develop a range of new vehicles. We are already working on developing new and unique vehicles.
Is there an opportunity to export the kits?
Yes, we have received inquiries from Europe, Africa, and the UK for a wide range of applications for off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, motorboats, and also road construction equipment. The scope is limitless.
Are you looking for funding? If yes, who could be your investors?
Yes, we are looking for funding. Preferred investors are those who have some synergy with our project in terms of the manufacturing facility or who can bring in state-of-the-art technology and are looking for a base in India. We are also open to other investors who are willing to give us a free hand.
What are the honors and awards received by Pixy Electric?
Pixy has received Atal Innovation Award Grant. They have also received a Social Innovation award from “Pune International Center” (PIC) as well as CII Manufacturing Innovation Award. JSW –KPMG-Times of India have also honored us with Earth Care Award. Science and Technology Park, Pune under the Department of Science and Technology, GOI has seed funded our company.
|Company size||11-50 employees|