Charge-Up is charging up India’s EV battery system

You would have heard of Software as a Service (SaaS), but here’s a start-up which provides Battery as a Service (BaaS)- Charge-Up has put itself in a different category- finetech- where the company provides finance, network, and technology for battery swapping. Its co-founder and CEO Varun Goenka spoke to TechEela’s Veena Mani about the business and how Charge-Up works to create battery efficiency for EV vehicles.

You categorize yourself as fine-tech company. This is not a very familiar term. Could you explain it for the readers?

Fine tech means finance, network, and technology. As a fin-tech, provider, we work to make Capex the Opex for the end user. Today, when we invest in battery technology, we are making it pay-per-use. These are advance lithium batteries which are interoperable between two and three wheelers. Our core mantra is to reduce cost of ownership of batteries for riders. This makes more commercial sense as nobody needs to be worried about being confined to a particular radius.

I would like to know more about your technology. We have heard a lot about battery swapping. What is the core competency of your technology over other technologies that are in the market that also offer interoperability and battery swapping facility?

Batteries are dumb in nature and the tech makes it smart. The code makes it reliable for the end user. Our tech is such that driver app gives user clarity on when and where they need to swap. The technology will tell the driver that he is going from point A to point B, and where he needs to swap. The way we are building the tech will give them efficiency in asset management.

What helps better battery management?

Charge-Up does not manufacture chargers. We put an IoT chip. We build algorithms based on battery performance. Let us understand that a battery does not get damaged within a day. It happens over time. So, our tech helps real-time monitoring. If the battery goes beyond a certain temperature, our tech will give the rider an alert.

One of the on-going concerns in EVs is safety. We have seen a lot of fires and most of them are concerning batteries. Can your technology detect that?

Accidents like fires etc can be detected. That is what we have been working on in the last few years. We work with end customers where on our platforms OEMs and batteries come on board.

What are the company’s future plans?

We operate close 180 stations in Delhi-NCR. Now, we want to capture more cities. Metro cities will be higher in terms of quantum because there is last mile delivery which is smaller in tier II cities. We are getting into different alliances and partnerships which is essential. In terms of new cities, metros will be about alliances and tier II will be direct marketing.


Veena Mani

Veena Mani is an Editor at Techeela. She has been a journalist with leading media houses like Business Standard and Deccan Herald writing on start-ups, tech among other sectors.

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