A prominent producer of electric commercial vehicles, Altigreen Propulsion Labs, and the Bengaluru-based start-up that simplifies energy for EVs, Exponent Energy, have joined forces to introduce rapid charging for electric commercial vehicles (eCVs).
The companies have unveiled the quickest-charging electric three-wheeler, which charges from zero to 100% battery capacity in just 15 minutes.
An exclusive battery made by Arun Vinayak-led Exponent, the 8.19 kWh epack, is used in the Altigreen’s three-wheeler vehicle neEV HD.
According to the manufacturer, it is constructed using standard LFP cell chemistry. This makes it the first scalable and economical rapid charging option.
As per the companies, the vehicle has an 80–85 km city driving range and charges at Exponent’s epump network in 15 minutes.
This is accomplished by the epump supplying 600A of current to the epack (15x industry norm) while regulating individual cell properties such as thermals to assure safety, extended battery life, and performance consistency even at temperatures as low as 50 degrees Celsius.
It was stated that a rapid charging network of 100 epumps will be established in Bengaluru in the first quarter of 2023 and other cities will follow suit later.
It should be noted that Altigreen is quickly building up its R&D and manufacturing capabilities, thanks to a new round of Rs 300 Cr investment led by Sixth Sense Ventures, Reliance New Energy, Xponentia Capital, and others.
It has built a strong pan-India distribution network in order to provide the best and cleanest last-mile transportation. The same will be used to make Exponent’s 15-minute rapid charging available throughout India.
In a statement, Amitabh Saran, founder and CEO, Altigreen Propulsion Labs, said: “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.”
Furthermore, he said that this collaboration with Exponent will now make us the fastest charging 3-wheeler, providing flexibility and independence to our customers while also allowing them to earn more.
Meanwhile, Vinayak, co-founder & CEO, Exponent Energy, said, “Our epack and epump make this possible with 15-minute rapid charging and 3,000 cycle life warranty. 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,” he added.
Exponent energy said that the solution has gained market maturity following 6 months of combined development and on-road testing with Altigreen. According to them, some of the milestones include performing 5 back-to-back rapid charge cycles on a car for a 400km run in a single day and driving over 10,000km in a 40-day timeframe.
Exponent has also raided $6 million in funding from companies like Motherson Group, YourNest VC, 3one4 Capital, and Pushkar Singh, Co-Founder & CEO of LetsTransport.
Additionally, it has received an unknown sum from the family office of Pawan Munjal, Chairman and CEO of Hero MotoCorp, which was recently allowed by the Arbitration Tribunal, appointed by the Delhi High Court, to use the ‘Hero’ trademark for EVs.
However, here it is noteworthy that the government has released standards for charging stations as well as plans for battery swapping. These are two things about which many people often end up debating, highlighting the pros and cons for both.
Regarding that in a video, released to announce the partnership between Altigreen and Exponent, Saran said that in terms of swap vs fast charging, he would be on the side of the latter.
“I believe that there is a lot to be done on the fast charge side, because new cell chemistry is coming about and this whole price war is finally going to come down to uninterrupted mobility,” he noted.