Transportation

GIC backs Indian EV startup Euler Motors in $60 million funding

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electric cargo three-wheeler parked in front of shipping containers
Image Credits: Euler Motors

Euler Motors, an Indian startup that designs and builds commercial electric vehicles, has raised $60 million in a new funding round as it works to ramp up its production capacity and broaden its offerings.

Singapore’s sovereign fund GIC led the New Delhi-headquartered startup’s Series C funding. Blume Ventures, Athera Venture Partners, QRG, ADB Ventures and Moglix also participated in the funding, which values Euler Motors at $200 million.

Long before the Olas of the world ventured into building an electric bike, which occasionally catches fire, Euler Motors tested hundreds of prototypes and clocked millions of miles to see if they can weather the conditions of India’s roads and extreme temperature range.

The result is an electric cargo three-wheeler called HiLoad EV that features several industry record-breaking features including a payload capacity of 688 kg (1,516 pounds). It is powered by a 12.4 KWh liquid-cooled battery pack that takes up to four hours to charge, but supports fast-charging to deliver 50 kilometers for just 15 minutes of work.

The startup, which currently produces about 100 vehicles a day, has a back-order of 9,000 vehicles that it is currently sifting through.

Prior to starting Euler, Saurav Kumar founded IoT startup Cube26, which was eventually acquired by financial services giant Paytm. After getting the exit, Kumar spent some time thinking about the environment and the growing pollution in the country — and how for India to achieve its high targets of cutting emissions, New Delhi would need to do something about all the two- and three-wheeler gasoline guzzling vehicles on the road.

“It takes about 10 years to make a dent into anything in India,” he said in an interview. “When we started Euler, it was clear that when people buy a three-wheeler, they are not looking for a luxury product, they are looking for a necessity product that feeds their family.”

“On an electric vehicle, it can only work if you have a great battery. We spent three years researching our battery before starting to use it. Our competition isn’t an electric vehicle, it’s most diesel and petrol-powered vehicles,” he said.

Euler Motors founder and chief executive Saurav Kumar with the startup’s three-wheeler vehicle HiLoad. Image Credits: Euler Motors

The world’s second most populous nation has undertaken an ambitious push to kickstart an electric vehicle movement in recent years. And much of this movement is riding on two and three-wheelers.

Indian automakers sold nearly 430,000 electric vehicles in the 12 months that ended in March this year, up from 134,821 a year before. Most of these were two- and three-wheeled vehicles, according to government data.

New Delhi, as well as state governments, are offering considerable subsidies to those looking to purchase an electric vehicle in part to cut carbon emissions in the nation. A $6,140 electric vehicle, after state and federal waivers, cost customers about $4,300. Before state subsidy, HiLoad EV sells for around $4,900. Its gasoline rivals sell for around $3,700, underscoring a further need of collaboration from governments, venture capitalists and early-adopters.

“Our vision is to not only develop industry-leading products but also the ecosystem to support the EV transition,” said Kumar. “This investment will fuel our ambition to establish Euler Motors as a frontrunner to drive electrification of commercial mobility in India by scaling our manufacturing capacity, expanding distribution footprint and strengthening the team to deliver delightful experiences to our customers.”

Euler Motors says it has set up a charging station of over 500 points, and is the only player to provide four types of different charging to customers. The startup, which is currently largely operational in the capital region, plans to expand to 12 regions within the country by the end of the financial year.

Also during this time frame, Euler is hoping to ramp up its monthly production to 1,000, Kumar said. It is also looking at several other categories of vehicles, Kumar said, but the focus remains on scaling the existing model for now, he said.

Euler eventually wants to expand outside of India and bring its India-made vehicles to the world, he said. The startup aims to be the “Tesla of commercial vehicle,” it said.

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