Startups Expand Their Footprint in India’s EV Market_ Interview

The electric vehicle (EV) sector in India expects high growth in the current year on the back of robust funding received by EV companies in 2020.

Companies believe that demand will surge for EVs in the next few years, with electric two-wheelers (E-2W) and three-wheelers (E-3W) driving the sector’s growth.

Mercom spoke to Narayan Subramaniam, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ultraviolette Automotive – a Bangalore-based EV startup – to understand his perspective on the industry, goals, challenges in 2020, and outlook for 2021. Here are excerpts from the interview.

  1. How is the EV sector doing right now?

The fragmented Indian EV market has a number of active local players due to high growth and an affordable and readily available workforce. Although established players in the market are introducing new models, startups have taken the lead in this market and expanding their presence by raising funds from investors and tapping into new and unexplored cities.


  1. Could you talk about Ultraviolette’s business model and target audience?

At Ultraviolette, we are working to create a robust EV ecosystem that will surpass traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles in various aspects, including design, performance, and durability. We aim to provide a high-tech, power-packed, and power-efficient alternative to ICE two-wheelers in the premium category.

We design and develop products and solutions focusing on delivering high-performance levels and unparalleled user experience across the usage and ownership experience cycles.

  1. How was 2020 for your company?

The Covid-19 pandemic has definitely affected our progress. We had to slow things down due to the pandemic. But entering 2021, we have gained momentum with the development of our product. We are building up the scale and gearing up for an exciting launch.

  1. How do you see the electric two-wheeler segment’s growth in India over the next five years?

By 2025-26, Ultraviolette is looking to be a dominant player in the electric mobility segment. The company is developing in-house battery technologies and working on the other parts of EVs, including vehicle architecture and their scalability to different segments and platforms.

  1. What is your take on the current government policies towards the EV segment? What more needs to be done?

The current government policies have had a positive impact on the EV Segment. State governments like Delhi and Telangana have had their take on the subsidies for the EV Segment. The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Phase II policy (FAME II) and NITI Aayog’s policies have been pivotal in influencing consumers to switch to EVs.

As far as policies are concerned, it would help the sector if the government could extend the timelines and quantity for the acceptance of subsidies for the E-2W segment.

  1. Could you talk about recent key technology developments that can drive the EV segment’s growth in India?

There has been significant demand for EVs in India, not because of the technology but due to sustainability and consumer interest. In recent times, the increase in fuel prices has led consumers to think of an alternative and efficient commute mode. EVs are eco-friendly – unlike ICEs – and have a sustainability factor that make them more attractive to the consumer. Product availability has increased significantly, giving consumers a wide range of options. All these put together have had an impact on the growth of the EV segment in India.

Here are several important developments that shaped India’s EV sector.