Aeris-RevFin to roll out IoT-enabled EVs over next 4 years: Roadmap, challenges, investment & more

The Automotive IoT market is expected to reach USD 541.73 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 16.4% during the forecast period of 2019 to 2025.

By:Updated: Aug 17, 2021 5:28 PM
Sameer Mahapatra, Vice President and Country Sales Head -India & SAARC, Aeris Communications

 

RevFin has recently entered into a strategic partnership with Aeris Communications for an upcoming EV project under which RevFin will be investing USD 15 million in upcoming EVs that will be embedded with IoT solutions powered by the Aeris Asset Assurance Platform. Speaking of which, the platform primarily focuses in helping the financial institutions to be able to track, lend and understand the utilization of movable assets. RevFin being a fintech company, on the other hand, provides an advanced digital consumer lending platform underwriting financially excluded and underserved segments. Partnership with Aeris will help Revfin in realizing its vision to create an integrated EV lending platform with embedded IoT to help drivers in improving their income, ensure better EMI repayments, and reduce their insurance claims.

This would enhance the overall customer experience which would eventually help in growing the EV industry successfully in India. Also, specific to the three-wheeler EV segment, where more than 80% vehicles sold are primarily financed, this unique partnership sets the course on how EV leasing & lending business is going to shape in coming times. Express Drives recently had an interaction with Sameer Mahapatra, Country Manager-India & SAARC at Aeris Communications and Sameer Aggarwal, Founder of RevFin to understand the future of this partnership and more.

How is the adoption pace of IoT-enabled EVs In India? Is there a particular region of the country showing more demand compared to others?

Aeris – IoT is one of the enablers for EV adoption in India, if not the key driver. With IoT, EV OEMs, Battery manufacturers, financiers and insurers find themselves in a comfort space by having anytime, anywhere and from any device, access to real-time information on their investments in their movable assets, remotely. They can monitor the movement of the vehicles, track their location on map, monitor the vehicle performance or even the battery charge, overall asset utilization and get alerted on crashes, accidents and even driver behaviour. For the regional demand perspective, majorly northern & southern part of the country has seen major adoption of IoT, but other regions are slowly picking up the pace.

EV is an eco-friendly alternative to combustion vehicles, what challenges do you see in its adoption in a market like India?

Aeris – The main issue is establishing the real addressable market of EV before it ripens to become profitable. Readily available charging and troubleshooting infrastructure are required to turn consumers and make them confident in buying EV in India. Range Anxiety-the rational fear of being stranded with a flat battery, out of reach of the nearest charge point is one of the major concern areas of the EV buyers along with the price of the EV itself. Standardization and Charging infra would be the biggest challenge to be taken care of.

How does IoT application benefit/help drivers increasing productivity?

Aeris – For EVs, IoT is opening new avenues of growth with innovative business models, and huge cost savings when it comes to operations and enhancement in overall productivity for the fleet owners. Not only that, IoT’s ability to monitor the vehicle’s parameters while in use also gives deeper insights into the driver behaviour. A driver’s performance can be easily measured by the way they drive including speed, acceleration, driving range, harsh breaks, turns and other parameters. This helps the companies to monitor their driver’s performance based on real and accurate data. Drivers can now receive trainings to improve their driving skills, get real-time tips and comparisons with other drivers to improve their performance, increasing their overall earnings.

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Another key area where IoT is a game changer is not only the vehicle tracking ability but the safety and security features. With real-time vehicle tracking with location details, remote immobilization, and geo-fencing, vehicles can be kept safe from being misused and even theft. Yet another benefit which comes with IoT is predictive maintenance.

What is the usage of Aeris’ Asset Assurance Platform and how has it benefitted customers globally?

Aeris – The Aeris Asset Assurance Platform is the industry’s first comprehensive asset protection and repossession IoT platform for auto financing and lending companies and enterprises using third-party fleet services for their logistics and distribution. Our Revfin partnership highlights that EV embedded with IoT solutions powered by the Aeris Asset Assurance Platform are going to redefine the future of mobility in India.

The benefits of the Aeris Asset Assurance Platform are:
– Enables real-time tracking, secure lending and understanding the utilization of assets
– Provides a mechanism for proactive credit default detection.
– Improves business profitability by reducing repossession & redeployment cost-related losses.
– Improves customer management and discoverable profile for the portfolio.
– Prevents asset from being misused.

The platform and our comprehensive IoT solutions portfolio will not only help RevFin plug in revenue leakages with advanced predictive analysis capabilities; it will also help them create new inclusive and sustainable services, addressing the needs of their underprivileged consumer segment.

How does the future prediction trajectory of EV adoption in India look like?

Aeris – This is the new sunrise space. This would be led by 2W and 3W to begin with and aided by government drive, this would grow at a phenomenal rate in 2021-22. The data from Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicle (SMEV) is very encouraging. The gross EV sales have surged by 20% excluding E-rickshaws and around 1.56 lakh EVs were sold in last 2019-2020, under which two-wheelers accounted for nearly 97.5% of all EVs sold in FY20.

What are the key stand-out features of your EVs?

Aeris – Since the year 2018, Aeris has been helping multiple EV OEMs transform their standard EV into a smart and connected product! Our connected technology helps OEMs differentiate their products in the market. Aeris-powered smart vehicles don’t just act as an accessory to the consumers, but also help OEMs in having detailed insight on how their product is performing on road. Consumers in the B2C segment, especially the tech savvy generation, benefit by getting real-time insights & control of the vehicles on a click of a button from their smartphones. The B2B consumer segment which are mainly into last-mile delivery, ride-sharing business models etc, benefit tremendously as they are not only able to track their vehicle’s usage but also enjoy its safety with feature like trips data, geo-fencing, anti-theft alarms in case vehicle moves from its location, vehicle immobilisation in case of theft, lock wheel on demand and even driver behaviour.

What is the strategy for charging infrastructure?

Aeris – Poor charging infrastructure is one of the biggest roadblocks ahead in the wide acceptance of EVs in India.  Electric vehicles require a charging station, just as gasoline-powered vehicles require a gas pump. The investors in charging stations need to have a clear view on the demand and supply to keep high customer satisfaction. Building the charging infra with IoT technology at its core can help the charging infra owners as well as operators understand the real-time load forecast details on their charging stations (CS). At the same time, IoT can help the EV owners to trace the nearby charging stations via an IoT-enabled app on their mobiles, thus reducing search time, charging time, operational costs, long queues, and increasing the overall feasibility of charging stations and customer satisfaction.

What are your thoughts on Govt’s proposal to exempt registration fees for EVs?

Aeris – This proposal is expected to have a positive impact on the demand for Battery-Operated Vehicles (BOVs) & EVs, whether they are two, three, or four-wheelers.

Please help us understand the conversation starter behind this partnership?

Revfin – The brand ventured into the space of EV financing with an expansion focus beyond measure and being a fintech we have enabled our lending process enriched with ML & AI. For post finance operation and a proactive NPA monitoring we wanted to automate it in such a way that collection is streamlined and financed asset is secure. Conversations with Aeris lead to the synergies we both were trying achieve in the market.

What led to RevFin’s decision to work with Aeris’ Platform for the EV financing segment.

Revfin – We had evaluated few telematics companies, but Aeris’s product competency and focus in BFSI made our decision in moving ahead with the partnership.

How will this partnership boost their revenue stream for the upcoming years?

Revfin – Aeris Asset Assurance Platform helps us focus on the lending business without worrying much about the operational challenges around NPA. With platform helping us with proactive credit default detection & improved business profitability by reducing repossession & redeployment cost-related losses. We look forward to building this into a new business model for our B2C & B2B customers.

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