Want to target those who do not have a license: Manohar Bethapudi, Motovolt Mobility

Want to target those who do not have a license: Manohar Bethapudi, MotoVolt Mobility

Electric Vehicles (EVs) have been gaining immense popularity, with buyers and aspirants quizzing about everything they can, from pricing to battery solutions. TechEela’s Veena Mani caught up with Manohar Bethapudi, Head – Growth & Corporate Strategy at Motovolt, an EV start-up.

Veena Mani: You are in a niche segment of e-cycles. What made you think of this as a segment in the EV space, and what is its market like?

Manohar Bethapudi: There is a considerable gap when people want to upgrade their vehicles. They want affordable motor transport. That is how ideation began. In India, 60% of the population is what we can categorize as ‘middle-class.’ We are catering to these people who want affordable e-vehicles and not the ones priced at over Rs 1 lakh.

Veena Mani: Could you give me a split in business based on geography?

Manohar Bethapudi: We have customers across geographies. We have a base of 35 stores in tier II and tier III cities. 30 to 35% of our sales come from the rural markets. Another 30% comes from metro cities.

Veena Mani: What exactly is your target group other than affordability?

Manohar Bethapudi: We typically target those who do not have a license for whatever reasons- age or anything else. Our product is universal, and we want to target those without licenses or registration.

Start-up Motovolt wants to make EVs affordable for Indians

Veena Mani: When we talk of EVs, the most critical and controversial thing is the battery. That is everybody’s concern. And not just the battery, please also elaborate on the service because your competition is with established players. How would you differentiate yourself from other established players like Ola?

Manohar Bethapudi: We have a legacy in battery material, so we know what will work in Indian summer conditions. We have incorporated those points in the design phase. We are giving a warranty of 1 lakh KM because Indians want longevity. We are also offering our customers the doorstep service of their vehicles. They need to click on their app, and someone from the nearest outlet will help them.

Coming to the batteries again, you cannot remove the Ola battery, but our battery can be removed. Plus, our batteries can charge within 3 hours, but Ola batteries take more time. Another added advantage is our battery can be used for 2000 charging cycles which means it can charge for more than six years. That is our USP.

Veena Mani: For any start-up, funding is significant. What funding plans do you have?

Manohar Bethapudi: We are in the process of closing a funding round of pre-series A. We are working on localization but steering it up will need funding. We need to invest in new stores and brand building. Our target is 50 stores by the end of the financial year.

Veena Mani: One final question- What are your future plans?

Manohar Bethapudi: We are diversifying our portfolio to the high-speed category. Right now, our products are for one person to ride on. But we will move to cater to two-passenger vehicles also. We will then be a one-stop-destination for people who want all kinds of EVs.

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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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