Euler Motors, an Indian startup that designs and builds electric commercial vehicles, has raised $60 million in a new funding round to ramp up its production capacity and broaden its offering.
Singaporean sovereign fund GIC led the Series C funding of the startup headquartered in New Delhi. Blume Ventures, Athera Venture Partners, QRG, ADB Ventures and Moglix also participated in the funding, which Euler Motors values at $200 million.
Long before the Olas of the world ventured to build an electric bicycle, which occasionally catches fire, Euler Motors tested hundreds of prototypes and clocked millions of miles to see if they could handle the conditions of India’s roads and the extreme range of temperatures.
The result is an electric cargo tricycle called HiLoad EV which boasts several industry-leading features, including a payload of 688 kg (1,516 pounds). It is powered by a 12.4 kWh liquid-cooled battery that takes up to four hours to charge, but supports fast charging to cover 50 kilometers for just 15 minutes of work.
The startup, which currently produces about 100 vehicles a day, has a back order of 9,000 vehicles that it is currently sifting through.
Before starting Euler, Saurav Kumar founded IoT startup Cube26, which was eventually acquired by financial services firm Paytm. After getting the exit, Kumar spent some time thinking about the environment and increasing pollution in the country – and how India could achieve its lofty emissions reduction targets, New Delhi should do something about all two- and three-wheelers petrol guzzling vehicles on the road.
“It takes about 10 years to dent something in India,” he said in an interview. “When we started Euler, it was clear that when people buy a tricycle, they are not looking for a luxury product, but for a necessary product that feeds their families.”
“On an electric vehicle, it can only work if you have a great battery. We researched our battery for three years before using it. Our competition is not an electric vehicle, it is the vehicles with the most diesel and petrol engines,” he said.
The world’s second most populous country has made an ambitious effort in recent years to spark an electric car movement. And much of this movement rides on two- and three-wheelers.
Indian automakers sold nearly 430,000 electric vehicles in the 12 months ending March this year, up from 134,821 a year earlier. Most of these were two- and three-wheel vehicles, according to government data.
New Delhi, as well as the state governments, offer significant subsidies to those who want to buy an electric vehicle, in part to reduce carbon emissions in the country. A $6,140 electric vehicle, after state and federal government waivers, will cost customers about $4,300. Before state subsidy, HiLoad EV sells for about $4,900. Its gasoline rivals sell for about $3,700, highlighting a further need for collaboration from governments, venture capitalists and early adopters.
“Our vision is to develop not only industry-leading products, but also the ecosystem to support the EV transition,” said Kumar. “This investment will fuel our ambition to establish Euler Motors as a frontrunner in driving the electrification of commercial mobility in India by scaling our manufacturing capacity, expanding the distribution footprint and strengthening the team to deliver delightful experiences to our customers.”
Euler Motors says it has set up a charging station with more than 500 points and is the only player to offer customers four types of different charging options. The startup, which is currently largely operational in the metropolitan region, plans to expand to 12 regions in the country by the end of the fiscal year.
Also during this period, Euler hopes to increase its monthly production to 1,000, Kumar said. It’s also looking at several other vehicle categories, Kumar said, but the focus remains on scaling the existing model for now, he said.
Euler eventually wants to expand beyond India and bring its Indian-made vehicles to the world, he said. The startup aims to be the “Tesla of a company car,” it said.,