Cycling for health Chennai company Voltrix Mobility’s electronic bikes focus on technology

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India has a budding electrical vehicles (EV) ecosystem, with both central and state governments pushing for EV adoption across segments–two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and four-wheelers. More Indians are switching to electric vehicles, with 15% growth year-over-year in the adoption of electric vehicles in the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations.

Although e-bikes might not have as many competitors on this market but their fitness-oriented benefits are leading people to move away from two-wheelers. They provide low-cost, energy-efficient emissions-free, and a cheaper alternative to transportation options for commutes and enjoyment rides.

Chennai-based Voltrix Mobility is an e-mobility technology startup focused on creating a vertically-integrated platform for the fast-paced development of e-bicycles for consumers and B2B delivery needs. It was founded in the year 2019 with Viveak M. Palanivasan, and Sakthivigneshwar R The company launched “Tresor,” an electric bicycle specifically made for urban transportation in January of this year.

The beginning

Viveak and Sakthi that were first introduced to one by a friend, decided to start a business on their own.

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Viveak joined the team of management of the solar rooftop business which was focused on offering energy solutions using solar. Sakthi however, in contrast, was the core developer and competed in international competitions with his IoT and electrical solutions.

They decided to begin in the field of clean energy. Through market study, the founders talked to their customers and realized there was huge potential in the creation of electric bikes. They recognized a potential opportunity because there were a handful of companies like Hero Cycles, GEEKAY, and E-Trios operating in this segment.

The team created Tresor, the Tresor cycle by addressing every consumer problem, including battery protection in the event of rain as well as a pedal-assist system to extend battery lifespan, and charging capabilities. A group comprising 15 employees full time were involved in the project, as well as an additional 10 externally assisted with the areas of logistics, finance and IP.

The technology behind Tresor

The first product from the company, Tresor can ride up to 60-80 kilometers in a single charge. The cost is 3 rupees for each charge and charging could take as long as an hour.

The company says its uniqueness lies in the design of the battery in a way you can put in a bag, and then charged with a mobile charger. When it is removed, Tresor can be used in a regular cycle.

It also makes usage the use of I I. -PAS (Intelligent-Pedal Assist System) that allows for effortless driving and an extended battery life based upon five different levels of pedal assist and one that is completely manual. It permits the rider to pedal without much pressure or push. It can reach the fastest speed of 25km per hour at a level of 5.

With Sakhti as the driver the Tresor’s technology is based on the basic version of BOS (Bike Operating System)-Antares 1.0 that has been developed over the hardware that was in place and allows to connect all the car’s electronic components.

Viveak informs YouStory that up to 60% of an e-bike’s performance, reliability, and user experience are dependent on electronic components like batteries management systems (BMS) motor controller and the sensor system. However, companies operating in the market gave more importance to suspensions–something that Voltrix would change using its Antares its operating system

The CEO also says that the company is considering building its own hardware that will come with a range of technological attributes, such as a reduced size of the battery and keyless authentication.

The team tested a variety of battery types and electric bikes. The model currently in use has been chosen as the basis model. Voltrix promises to develop a new model next year including new features like Antares 2.0 OS and keyless authentication to ensure safety as well as a display of range estimates and smaller battery sizes.

It plans to also reduce the time for charging, add security options for battery packs, as well as introduce an expandable controller that can be expanded to include a range of two-wheelers and bikes and improve the diagnostics system and the authentication of spare parts.

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Challenges

The most significant challenge that the startup has to overcome is creating a strong supply chain, due to the absence of a manufacturing system for electric bicycles in India since the majority of essential and high-quality bicycle components are imported. For example, Viveak highlights that crank disc brakes, disc brakes, as well as gears are not made in India or imported even though they could be made in India which increases the time it takes from beginning to the point of completion.

When it was a first-time entrant Voltris encountered it to be extremely difficult to procure materials because the quantity of orders was higher than the quantity needed. Through time and perseverance Voltris’ founders were able procure the necessary materials from well-known producers.

We were required to display what we were trying achieve and present our concepts so that the manufacturer would provide the material, says Viveak.

The manufacturer were pleased to assist after viewing the designs. Voltrix sources its raw products through Taiwan, China, Europe and Vietnam.

The CEO, however, says the company will procure components from the nation. The team is looking to start with sourcing electrical components locally.

It is currently working on vertical integration of products, which means designing the component and having it manufactured outside.

Market opportunity

According to KPMG According to KPMG, it was estimated that the Indian bicycle market was estimated as $1.3 billion and is projected to reach $3.51 billion by 2030. E-bikes are responsible for the largest increase.

The e-bike consumer segment is in a infancy stage, not being a 1% share of all bicycle sales says Viveak.

This poses a significant issue for Voltrix. To address this issue, Voltrix plans to develop cargo e-cycles, such as front load and utility cargo that is suited to the B2B market.

The B2B segment would kick off in a matter of minutes as well, while B2C has been growing steadily in the past two years. With the help by dedicated cycling lanes and the infrastructure We can expect it to expand even more, he adds.

The company hasn’t raised any funds , however it is planning at raising a seed round of capital to develop the platform and to fund numerous product development projects

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