Hyderabad-based E-Trio to tap retrofit EV car segment

E-Trio Automobiles founder Sathya Yalamanchili says they are focusing on business-to-business in the initial years and are in talks with cab aggregators.

Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based E-Trio Automobiles has been focusing on the emerging electric vehicles space and is all set to launch its retrofitted cars in India. The company claims to be the first in the country to get Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) approval for retrofitted car kits in Alto and Wagon R.

These electric cars do not require gears, come with a swift and smooth acceleration. The approved Alto and Wagon R can run up to 150 kmph while the rest run at 210 kmph on a single charge. Cab aggregators can buy the fully-retrofitted car with the EV kit from E-Trio at $10,000 (about Rs 7,20,000).

E-Trio Automobiles founder Sathya Yalamanchili told Telangana Today, “We are focusing on cab aggregators. We will focus on the B2B space in the initial years and will later on explore the B2C space. We are in talks with original equipment manufacturers for new models of business involving retrofitting of vehicles to turn them electric. Initially our focus will be on tapping Hyderabad market and later we will explore Delhi market by creating an assembly and integration zone there.”

The company has an integrated facility at Bolaram spread over an area of 60,000 sq ft that can make 1,000 cars every month. The company is looking at a small hatch back and a sedan. Currently it has a technology tie up with an American company and procures powertrains from Taiwan and China.

Today E-Trio assembles its battery packs of different dimensions and capacities for its cars. The company also has signed a technological partnership with a Chinese company for quick charging (25 minutes) and advanced battery which can handle Indian temperatures.

EV advantage
The electric vehicle kit offers intelligent controllers, which adopt the advanced international AC motor control algorithm to achieve a precise control for the speed and torque of the motor. It also provides anti-slip feature on the downhill and improves safety of driving besides regenerative braking. It has intelligent battery management system which monitors voltage, current, SOC (State of charge), SOH (State of Health), temperature and displays the data on an instrument cluster for the customer view. It also provides remote diagnostics/telematics to monitor the health of the vital components.

He adds, “Retrofitting is the way to go and need of the hour and these smart cars currently are the most efficient and economical cars compared to their counterparts in the market. Our vision is to create e-mobility which inspires and nurtures pollution-free India. We believe that affordable range is the key to helping electro mobility achieve a breakthrough in the near future.”

E-Trio facility is ready to sell kits and retrofitted cars in the market. The retrofitted kits comprising batteries and motors have been sourced from China and Korea while the controller is an in-house development. The company plans to upgrade batteries. It will make investments in technology and other areas. It expects to raise about $15-20 million in the next two years. In the next five years, the company anticipates the possibility of making a full electric vehicle ground up.

“The company has been testing cars for the past two years and our immediate goal is to roll out at least 5,000 cars in the next year. Certain pilot activity has been conducted in the IT corridor of Hyderabad to get a pulse on adoption. With the metro rail operating in Hyderabad, we see opportunities in terms of the last mile connectivity. E-trio is currently working with technology guidance from a R&D team led by Stanford alumni. In the long run, we will get kit approvals for other fast moving models in India. We are currently in discussions with some leading car manufacturing companies from Japan and Thailand,” Sathya informed.

The company sees growth opportunities in the coming years as awareness for green mobility will improve in the country. It will also expand its workforce from the current 40 to 200 in next 1-2 years, as it will scale up its operations.