While the world is moving towards hybridisation as well electric vehicles, here in India it is still a long way off. The usual, infrastructure issues, range anxiety as well as general lack of understanding by the buyers. For reducing pollution, there though are alternate fuels like CNG and LPG. Greenfuel Energy Solutions is one such company. Founded by Akshay Kashyap, Greenfuel Energy Solutions has a vast experience in the field of alternate fuels. After all, they supply CNG kits to reputed names like Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland. While continuing with the same, Greenfuel Energy Solutions has moved on to becoming an organisation that will develop lithium-ion batteries for electric two and three wheelers in India.
We had an email conversation with Kashyap and this is what he had to say about the advent of Li-ion batteries and the future of electric two as well as four wheelers.
LM: Why the move from CNG kits to electric vehicles?
AK: Greenfuel believes in Sustainable Mobility and Both Electric and Gas will be dominant Alternate fuels going forward. Therefore adding the Battery division for Electric was a natural progression for us.
LM: What is the cost involved in procuring batteries or do you make them in-house?
AK: We make battery packs in-house. The cells are procured from Korea. We do no use Chinese cells.
LM: How safe, reliable are these new batteries?
AK: Safety of these Li-ion batteries depends a lot on the the design aspects of the battery pack and associated components in it. This is where we have spent two years of research to have Li-ion battery systems that are high performing and safe to use.
LM: Can you convert a regular fueled scooter to one running on battery?
AK: This is possible. However Greenfuel limits itself to the battery part on the powertrain today.
LM: Why the focus on 2&3 wheelers? Any vehicles that you have made till now or supplied kits to any vehicle manufacturer?
AK: We believe that 3-wheelers and 2-wheelers will be the early adopters for e-mobility. Therefore to have a safe and reliable battery pack designed for Indian conditions is the need of the hour. That’s where Greenfuel product fits in. We are supplying battery packs to different companies.
LM: What’s the cost of the battery and when do I have to replace it. Where do I get the replacement from?
AK: A typical good battery pack would cost starting USD 300/ kwh and upwards depending on the complexities you want to build in. Chinese products may be cheaper but depending on their source, they may not be reliable or safe. The packs must be designed for Indian conditions which the Chinese packs are not.
LM: Are you also going to put up charging stations soon? Is there a fast charging option? Range options available?
AK: We do not plan on putting up charging stations. You can fast charge a vehicle as well but if your battery pack is not designed to accept that charge you will have lesser life from the battery. Therefore the vehicle too needs to have a design for fast charging not just the charger alone. Range is a function of motor power and KWh of battery. Batteries have to be sized according to motor power to give desired range.
LM: Has the government given you any facility to dispose or recycle lithium-ion batteries?
AK: No. We don’t have that yet but I am sure as the increased penetration of Li-ion batteries happens, this too shall come about soon.
LM: How soon can we see these vehicles on the road?
AK: Vehicles like electric 2-wheelers and 3-wheelers are already available on road. We don’t make vehicles but the batteries that go into the vehicle which is about 50 per cent of the cost of the vehicle and as such the key to the performance or non- performance of the vehicle.