Exponent Energy, a startup developing fast-charging batteries for electric vehicles in India, has raised an undisclosed sum from the family office of Hero MotoCorp chairman and CEO Pawan Munjal.
The startup has also partnered with commercial EV maker Altigreen Propulsion Labs to build three-wheelers that can charge from 0-100% battery capacity within 15 minutes.
Founded in 2020 by former Ather Energy executives Arun Vinayak and Sanjay Byalal Jagannath, Exponent has so far raised $6 million from investors including auto parts supplier Motherson Group, YourNest VC, 3one4 Capital, AdvantEdge VC.
India is one of the largest markets for EVs in Asia only behind China. According to the Federation of Automobile Dealer Association, Indian EV sales increased three-fold to 4,29,217 units in FY22, compared to 1,34,821 units from the year-ago period.
Mass EV adoption, however, faces a huge challenge in the area of battery charging technology and infrastructure. While automakers and auto part makers have tried to address this concern by making swapping batteries, and building charging stations, it still takes hours to charge an EV.
“It takes anywhere between six and eight hours to charge an EV. Altigreen has one of the faster-charging versions in some sense and takes only 3.5 hours for charging vehicles,” Exponent co-founder Arun Vinayak told DealStreetAsia in an interview.
After the new partnership, Altigreen vehicles can cut the time taken to charge a vehicle to 15 minutes, Exponent claims.
“This partnership with Exponent will allow us to offer the fastest charging electric 3-wheeler, thus opening even more flexibility and freedom to our customers, and helping them earn substantially higher,” Altigreen founder and CEO Amitabh Saran told DealStreetAsia.
The Exponent-enabled Altigreen neEV HD has an 8.19 kWh e^pack – a proprietary battery by Exponent, which lets the vehicle deliver a city drive range of 80-85 km.
With the latest funding from Munjal, Exponent plans to set up a rapid charging network of 100 e^pumps in Bengaluru in FY23. Vinayak said the company is well capilatised for 1-1/2 years.