Rapid EV charging gaining ground; Altigreen, Exponent partner to make 15-minute rapid charging a reality for electric commercial vehicles
By Rajiv Raghunath - August 04, 2022
Rapid charging network of 100 e^pumps will be set up in Bengaluru in FY’23, other cities to follow
Even as EV charging stations are being seen as high potential OOH/DOOH media locations, the jury is still out on whether the relatively long duration of charging of vehicles would reduce the footfalls at each such charging station or unit. With rapid charging units, that issue may likely get addressed in good measure.
In this light, the tie-up of Exponent Energy, a start-up simplifying energy for EVs, and Altigreen Propulsion Labs, a leading electric commercial vehicle manufacturer to launch a rapid charging unit for electric commercial vehicles (eCVs) gains significance. The two companies have jointly unveiled the fastest charging electric 3-wheeler that rapid charges from 0-100% battery capacity within 15 minutes.
The Exponent Enabled Altigreen neEV HD has an 8.19 kWh e^pack - a proprietary battery by Exponent. The vehicle delivers a city drive range of 80-85 kms and charges up in 15 minutes at Exponent’s e^pump network. This is achieved by the e^pump delivering 600A of current to the e^pack (15x industry standard) while managing individual cell characteristics including thermals to ensure safety, long battery life, and performance consistency even at 50 degrees Celsius.
Speaking about the first-ever 15-minute rapid charging deployment for CVs, Dr. Amitabh Saran, Founder & CEO, Altigreen Propulsion Labs, said, “At Altigreen, we are constantly looking to push the boundaries of innovation for both vehicles and technology. Our focus has always been the driver; our endeavour is to exceed their expectations and that’s why we are industry leaders in driving range, ground clearance, volumetric load capacity and vehicle speed. This partnership with Exponent will now make us the fastest charging 3-wheeler that offers flexibility and freedom to our customers, and helps them earn even more.”
With a fresh round of Rs 300cr investment led by Sixth Sense Ventures, Reliance New Energy, Xponentia Capital, and others, Altigreen is aggressively ramping up its R&D and production capabilities while developing a robust pan-India distribution network to offer the best and cleanest last-mile transportation. The same will be used to offer the benefits of Exponent’s 15-minute rapid charging across India.
Elaborating on the partnership, Arun Vinayak, Co-founder & CEO, Exponent Energy said, “For all of India to go electric, EVs need to charge faster and last longer. Our e^pack & e^pump make this possible with 15-minute rapid charging and 3000 cycle life warranty (a new industry standard). By being cell agnostic, we can leverage the existing manufacturing ecosystem that produces LFP and NMC cells extensively, and scale much faster. Altigreen’s engineering first approach gave us the confidence to work with them and made us realise they are the best partners for us. Hats off to engineers at both Exponent and Altigreen for making rapid charging not only a concept but a roadworthy reality in such a short period of time.”
Exponent has collected data for thousands of charging cycles (equivalent to many lakhs of kms) in 18 months of e^pack’s evolution. After 6 months of joint development and on-road testing with Altigreen, the solution has reached maturity to hit the market. Some of the milestones include 5 back-to-back rapid charge cycles on a vehicle for a 400-km run in a single day; and clocking over 10,000 km of city-driving in a 40 day period!
With their recent fundraise that included the family office of Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, and CEO, Hero MotoCorp, Exponent Energy is ramping up its e^pack production and setting up 100 e^pumps across Bengaluru in its first leg. Other cities will follow, in association with Altigreen.
Exponent Energy has raised $6mn so far from prominent investors such as Motherson Group, a leading global supplier of automotive components along with YourNest VC, 3one4 Capital, AdvantEdge VC, and angel investors Rajesh Yabaji, Co-founder & CEO, BlackBuck, Pushkar Singh, Co-founder & CEO, LetsTransport.