E-scooter start-up Yulu will launch by the end of the current calendar year, faster scooters that can hit a top speed of 40 km/hour, co-founder RK Mishra told FE. For the newly launched scooters, riders would need a driving licence, helmet and the vehicles need to be registered with the regional transport office (RTO). These requirements are not there currently as Yulu scooters can run at a maximum speed of 25 km/hour.
Mishra said the company will initially launch about 5,000-10,000 of the higher speed scooters and scale up further depending on the response.”The plan to launch a vehicle that has a better speed is a function of demand. We’ve got a lot of enquiries from our potential clients asking for a more powerful motor. We are also aiming to make the city speed model very similar to our existing scooters because then we can tap into the Yulu infrastructure already in place. Of course the motor capacity will be much higher,” Mishra explained.
Micro-mobility electric start-ups like Yulu and Zyp have already seen their demand soar as cab aggregators like Ola and Uber are facing driver shortage, because of which they are unable to meet the demand. Mishra said, “Yulu has a peculiar problem. We have unlimited demand but limited supply — we are not able to provide the number of vehicles that our users want.”The new scooters will be built in partnership with Bajaj Auto, which is also an investor in Yulu.
Yulu is also preparing to scale up its ‘dark centres’ — which are basically mega charging stations that have a capacity of about 200 kW. These centres will charge batteries in bulk and ship them to Yulu hubs across Bengaluru in a “milk bottle like operation”. The company aims to have 50 of these mega charging points in the city, by end of the current fiscal, Mishra said. It currently has three of such centres.
These centres will charge about 1,200 batteries per day, three shifts powering 400 batteries each. Yulu might even consider adding another shift to charge a total of 1,600 batteries each day to cope with the increasing demand, Mishra said.