EVs first came in 1870
So what took them a century to resurface?
In 1832, Robert Anderson developed the first crude electric car.
But they became practical to use by the 1870s.
Compared to gas and steam-powered cars, they were clean, quiet and easy to drive.
The likes of Thomas Edison even started working on improving the batteries.
But then at the start of the 20th century, Ford launched Model T.
That made gas-powered cars highly available and affordable.
The discovery of cheap Texas crude oil and better roads further helped.
And then there was no looking back.
EVs started fading out.
Companies kept experimenting with EVs but they always remained a prototype.
They started resurfacing when Toyota introduced the mass-produced Prius in the 90s.
This was followed by Tesla announcing a luxury EV in 2006.
Yes, Tesla has been there for more than 15 years!
And now EVs are becoming more mainstream.
Maybe if Model T was never launched, things would have been different.
So for this edition, I have 3 startups that are leveraging EVs in different industries.
Cheap and easy…In Southeast Asia, motorbikes are a common source of transportation. In countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, around 80% of the households have a 2-wheeler. But since most of them are combustion engine powered, they add to the pollution levels.
A local bike…Founded in 2018, DAT Bike is working on reducing the gasoline (and pollution) levels in Vietnam through its electric motorbikes. It’s the country’s first electric motorbike manufacturer. Right from designing and producing the parts to manufacturing them, it does most of the operations within the country. This helps to bring down the costs(and lowers the carbon footprint).
Manufacturing locally allows it to have tax breaks as well.
It is currently headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where it has a store also.
It also has a direct-to-consumer distribution model, which further brings down the cost.
As per your requirement…It currently sells 2 models- Weaver, which can do 100 kilometres of range on a single charge. This gets fully charged in about 3 hours. Its other model is Weaver 200 which can do 200 kilometers on a single charge with a top speed of 90 km per hour.
Just a click away…Food, grocery, convenience store items- everything is getting delivered to our place these days in a few clicks. But if one burrito is coming in a car, that’s not the most planet-friendly way. We need to find cleaner and more efficient ways to do that.
Leave the rest to us…Germany-based GetHenry is exactly doing that. It provides electric last-mile delivery bikes to courier and logistics companies. It provides a full range of services to these companies- from manufacturing and renting the bikes to them to doing on-demand maintenance and providing fleet management software services.
Courier and logistic companies can rent these bikes for a monthly fee.
The bikes are built to handle 80 kilometres per day.
GetHenry currently operates in Germany, Austria, Italy and France.
When it started…It’s interesting that its original business model was focused on e-scooter rentals at hotels. And it’s natural that when the pandemic hit and we started ordering everything online, it pivoted to last-mile delivery.
It’s the same everywhere…eCommerce, grocery, FMCG and Direct-to-consumer companies are on the rise in India as well. With this increase in demand, more delivery vehicles are on the road. Higher the vehicles, more the pollution- as most of them are powered by gasoline. A lot of these vehicles are 3-wheelers that are easier to navigate and can handle more load than 2-wheelers.
An end-to-end solution…MoEVing is solving this by electrifying these mobility solutions. It sits between the logistics companies that need cleaner solutions and the providers and enablers of these clean solutions like original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), driver cum vehicle owners and financial institutions.
For the logistic companies, it takes care of the deliveries from the source to the consumers.
It provides the infrastructure for vehicle charging, parking and maintenance.
It leverages data and AI for predictive maintenance of the vehicles and fleet optimization.
Growth trajectory…It currently operates a fleet of 600 electric vehicles in 10 cities and aims to scale to 10,000 EVs and 100 charging hubs in 30 cities by 2023. A push toward EV adoption from the government is also helping its case.
🙋Trivia of the week
X has a lot at stake from the negative impacts of climate change. Warming temperatures are accelerating the melting of the X Ice Sheet, the second-largest ice sheet in the world (the first is the Antarctic ice sheet) which covers about 80% of the country’s surface.
In 2019 alone, the ice sheet lost around 600 billion tons of ice, more than double X's 2002-2019 yearly average.
To fight that, X announced that it would suspend all new oil and gas exploration to fight climate change and focus on sustainable energy development.
Which country are we talking about?
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Have a good weekend and see you next week👋
even though EVs play a huge role in transforming our mobility to low carbon or through energy sources. The underlying issue is "are EVs practically sustainable?" The most important component of an EV vehicle is lithium and lithium is mined. Mining is never a sustainable culture and transforming mining sectors is a whole lot of process which needs more innovative ideas -- which in my opinion it's close to possibility to make mining sustainable. Therefore, although EVs play a major role in transforming into clean energy mobility solution -- underlying fact is it's not! One more thing -- there is a huge possibility and speculations going on with the supply of lithium in the long-term and many organizations/countries are trying to grab lithium mining spots. So, if supply of lithium becomes an issue, then we may need to shift to other energy source as the prices gets skyrocketed. --- maybe hydrogen!!! never know!