The Ahmedabad-based startup, Matter, which has so far invested USD 3 million (over Rs 20 crore), will be launching its lithium ion batteries for solar and renewable management by April, which will be followed by its first electric motorcycle closer to Diwali this year. They are bullish about the growth of the EV market in India and they expect to clock a billion dollar revenue by 2025. ”2021 is the year of the electric, according to Matter… The industry as an entire would be much larger in five years time than even the simplest of estimates. ”We expect an equivalent thing that happened with 4G, the speed of adoption of 4G exploded above everyone’s expectations, which is what we expect with EVs as well, ”Matter Founder and CEO Mohal Lalbhai told PTI. Explaining the rationale, he said with India eager to become a USD 5 trillion economy and its commitment to the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the country has no option but to modify to EVs, eco-friendly newer energies and energy solutions.
On why the sector has not been able to grow in the past, Lalbhai said, ”Electric (vehicles) fundamentally in India have either been overpriced products or under delivering products. There has never been a true value for money fit.” Stating that customers understand internal combustion engine vehicles and its value proposition, he further said, ”But in electrics, there are some companies who are 100 per cent more expensive than the comparable internal combustion, some who are 20 per cent cheaper, but they don’t really deliver”. He said inferior quality Chinese product kits are brought in and assembled in India, and then sold at much cheaper prices.
However, he noted, that’s changing with new players coming in and focusing on developing their own products in India, investing on R&D and attempting to offer the right value proposition in EVs. Matter has been focussing on developing an electrical motor that might have the performance almost like the interior combustion vehicles, he added.
When asked about the company’s own ambitions, Lalbhai said, ”By 2022-2023, we would like to do close to 50,000 vehicles and including battery and vehicle, we would like to do about USD 100 million (about Rs 700 crore) in terms of topline and by 2025-26 (target) is a billion dollars combined revenue from vehicles and batteries. ”In order to realize this target, Matter has lined up its product launch and market expansion plans in situ , he said.
”We are branching out into two separate business lines. One is batteries, which we might be rolling call at April 2021 then vehicles closer to Diwali 2021,” Lalbhai said, adding EVs are going to be under the Matter brand and batteries under Matter Energy.
In the battery segment, the company is focusing more on grid level solutions such as 400 kilowatt to a megawatt level lithium ion batteries for solar and renewable management in large scale projects on a pure B2B business basis. ”And EVs as a product, the motorcycle beginning in November, that’s getting to be our B2C side of the business,” he said adding, as far as EV products are concerned, the company’s primary focus is going to be high performance motorcycles.
Elaborating on the company’s product plans for the short to medium term, he said, ”We would have two motorcycles within the market and from the battery side, we are working on a couple of specialty applications then there would be tons of UPS inverter driven business also therein segment there.” within the EV segment, he said the primary product won’t have a detachable battery but the second product onwards the battery packs are going to be relatively smaller, more or less the dimensions of a tiffin, which may be taken out for charging.