Indian Entrepreneur Builds Affordable Electric Vehicles
Over the next two decades, it’s expected that the number of electric vehicles worldwide will double.
The majority of this growth is expected to come from highly populated countries such as China and India, where having your own private vehicle is a relatively new thing due to their struggle keeping up economically with more developed Western nations.
However, both of these countries already have severe issues with air pollution- everyone suddenly being able to afford a car could be a huge disaster.
The city government of Dehli in India is already considering a plan of action to keep half of the cars at home on alternating days.
Introducing Ampere Vehicles…
Southern India is home to the town of Coimbatore, where couple Hemalatha Annamalai and Bala Pachyappa are developing simple and affordable electric vehicles as transport for rural drivers.
Hemalatha, 47, is the CEO and founder of Ampere Vehicles Private Limited, which specializes in load carriers, electric cycles and scooters.
According to Forbes, Hemalatha is targeting shopkeepers, farmers and rural farmers as her customer base, in tier 2 and tier 3 towns.
The local Coimbatore government has recently teamed up with Hemalatha, and now transport the city’s waste in 200 Ampere electric garbage vehicles.
It seems like Hemalatha has struck gold with this niche market- but she says it’s not about the money.
“Wealth accumulation is not my aim… I want to create a whole new manufacturing sector. I want a lot of women to come into this sector,” she said.
Already, one quarter of her 80 employees are currently women.
In 2009, Hemalatha and her husband gave up their high flying Singapore jobs to follow their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs. Their inspiration was a Japanese electric car, and since then Ampere has built over 30, 000 electric vehicles. Their revenues are currently sitting at around $1.5 million annually and expect to hit the $20 million mark in the next three to four years.
Three different models are made by Ampere- Angel electric motorcycles, Ampere V 60 scooters and Mitra load carriers, as well as special vehicles for disabled people.
On a full battery (eight hours of charging) the electric vehicles have a range of around 40 km and can reach a maximum speed of 26 km per hour.
In terms of cost, buyers can pay up to $2,270 for a load carrier and as little as $380 for a scooter.
Hemalatha convinced the head of Tata Motors to invest in her company by telling him, “In 2000, China sold 40,000 electric vehicles. In 2015, they are selling 32 million vehicles. Why not India?”.