India’s only seed fund for electric vehicle companies Micelio is set to step into the retail of electric two-wheelers. With four verticals – Micelio Fund, Micelio Studio, Lighting Logistics and the product company – Micelio is working to develop and promote electric vehicles in the country. The product company is now set to introduce its first-ever electric two-wheeler but hasn’t promised a timeline for the unveiling yet. We got in touch with Shreyas Shibulal, Founder & Director, Micelio to learn more about the company, its upcoming product and how it promises to be better than other last-mile delivery electric two-wheelers.
How does a seed fund like Micelio work? How does it help an EV startup?
Micelio Fund and the Discovery Studio work hand in hand. The discovery studio is the product development facility, for not just our portfolio company, but for anyone who would like to come to use it. The process is different for Micelio Fund and Discovery Studio. There’s an application process for the fund which usually involves a few rounds of interaction with the founder and of course if both parties agree, it will eventually lead to funding. We’ve only invested in one company so far.
The idea behind setting up the Discovery Studio was to bring down the barrier of entry to the EV space. Most companies that we encounter are hardware companies and initial capital expenditure and equipment can be expensive for them. We can provide this equipment and bring down the initial cost. We have one facility in Bengaluru and I think there’s definitely a demand for something like this.
What can we expect from the new upcoming electric two-wheeler and the logistics business?
We’re aiming for above a 150 km range. We’d have to bring down the speed a little bit to increase the riding range. Currently, we’re not revealing exact price points since the first couple of vehicles will be placed in capital usage. Other electric two-wheelers in the market today are anywhere between Rs 35,000 to Rs 1.2 lakh, our vehicle is designed to last longer so there may be a good chance it will be priced at a premium for that.
Lightning Logistics, an EV last-mile logistics provider, is operating in three cities in its pilot stage with 1,000 vehicles. So far, we’d been using off-the-shelf vehicles but we realised that a lot of these vehicles are now purpose-built for delivery usage for long durations. That’s one of the things that we wanted to really address with our product. Our product company is building a vehicle from the ground up, intended for last-mile logistics operations which are quite different from commuter vehicles.
An electric two-wheeler could be reliable for commuting purposes but not necessarily for logistics. It really has to do with the durability of certain components in the vehicle and has been designed for it to be used in our road conditions, and also 24×7. So that’s something that we’re placing a huge emphasis on, along with performance like acceleration and load capacity. So these are just some of the differentiators we’re looking at and we’re trying to innovate wherever we can. A brand name for the product is in the pipeline.
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