In a country filled with budding electric vehicle manufacturers, standing out is necessary. GoGreen BOV is trying to do just that. The electric vehicle company, based out of Karnataka, claims to be testing a scooter that not only trumps the others in the market with a higher range but also with a larger warranty package. The highest warranty currently on an electric scooter in India is five years and this is mainly on the two-wheeler and excludes its battery or charger. GoGreen says that their upcoming electric scooter not only promises more mileage (ARAI certification awaited but the real-world is claimed to be around 140km/charge) but also an eight-year warranty. The latter is extended to the battery as well as the charger. Express Drives spoke with Dhivik Ashok, CEO and founder, GoGreen BOV to understand more about the product. But first, a bit from the horse’s mouth on the company, and investments.
Go GreenBOV started back in the year 2009. Go GreenBOV Pvt. Ltd. EOT was registered in the year 2017. I am a founder and CEO at Go GreenEOT (Energy of Things). My expertise is in the electric vehicle front. At GoGreen BOV, we have a very strong advisory board, non-executive advisor in the form of Prof AK Shukla. He is the only Indian to have won the “Electrochemical society award”. Our factory is located 120km away from Bangalore, the capacity is 640 vehicles per month and around 8000 vehicles per annum. This is built in a modular fashion which means capacity can be scaled up to 1,200 vehicles per month and overall 14,400 vehicles per annum. We are also in talks with a state government in the south for a bigger capacity expansion. As far as the investment is concerned, we have invested around Rs 80 crores into the same until now. We recently had an investor who invested an undisclosed amount of money into Go GreenBOV. We are in advanced stages of talks for our next venture round which should be closed soon.
Dhivik confirmed that while they already have one (more on this later) electric scooter on offer in the market, they are coming up with a yet-to-be named offering. This electric scooter, according to Dhivik, should score 9.5 on a scale of 10 as far as looks are concerned. “Unfortunately, I cannot share any pictures”, he quips. Well, Dhivik, we understand. He though shared other details that this will be a high-speed scooter, meaning which it will have at least 65-75kmph top speed, thoughtfully laid out storage spaces, connected vehicle technology and so on. It will have a front disc brake with CBS dialled in. No regenerative braking will be provided though. The Li-ion battery is non-removable for safety reasons. On the charging question, Dhivik said that even if the customer lives in a high-rise, the company will install a charging dock for him on the ground floor, using his electricity meter connection.
A USP of the scooter is that it will not have a physical key. Instead, a virtual unit will be used. So, if a friend wants to borrow your electric scooter, he/she has to take along your phone? Dhivik laughs and says that isn’t the case and instead, one can message them the keycode. What about in case of a phone theft? Dhivik says that his company is ready to reset, generate a fresh code and send it to the customer once validated. He says that they have rubber lining inside the storage spaces so that cellphones and other objects are safe and don’t get bashed up once the vehicle is moving. The expected cost of this new electric scooter will be under Rs 1 lakh while the launch can be expected by end of this year.
We asked him if remote vehicle diagnosis is possible. Dhivik confirms it is. In fact, through the cellphone app, engineers back at the base even know if the customer is using the original charger or not. As for the customer (only for Android-based phones at the moment; Dhivik jokes that iPhone users can buy an affordable Android cell just for this connectivity app) they can even check the battery life through the phone. Due to this advanced a technology, the service centres have been kept to the bare minimum. As it is, the service cost of an EV is way lower, at least by 95 per cent, than a conventional scooter.
At present, GoGreen BOV has the Sunoti scooter on sale. The company has been working on Sunoti from 2014. It took them six long years to launch the scooter in the market. This scooter comes with a five-year warranty. The scooter is also a high-speed vehicle and comes with a unique pillion seat that also doubles as a backrest for the rider. It also looks like a conventional scooter. Sunoti was made from the ground-up including the chassis. On being asked if there are any Chinese components in the scooter, Dhivik said there indeed were. He said that the plastic body of the scooter is a made-in-China part.
A component that goes in an electric two-wheeler in large, are instrumentation, motor, bodywork, wheels, braking, battery, and wiring. The battery is the core area that is built in-house, it includes 52 per cent of the cost of the EV. Every other component is outsourced from the manufacturers from India and outside.
Dhivik signs off the conversation by saying
The future plan for GoGreenBOV is to shift focus from B2B to B2C market extensively. We’ve identified and appointed 36 dealers and seven distributors across India. The short-term goal for the next financial year is to reach 144 dealers and 60 distributors. We are currently focused in the South of India and the future plan is to make a move and enter the West and North of India.
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