2023 Will Be The Year Of Rollout For Raptee And We Are Truly Excited To Show To The World What We Have Been Working On For Nearly 4 Years: Dinesh Arjun, Co-Founder and CEO, Raptee Energy Inc.

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Dinesh Arjun - Co-Founder and CEO, Raptee Energy Inc.
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Conversation Highlights:

  • If one has to bring electrification to the masses, 2Wheelers need to lead the way.
  • Raptee is the only motorcycle brand that can use the existing charging infrastructure that’s already in place for electric cars.
  • We aim to keep innovating HV tech to make it more robust and pioneer the transition to electric in the world’s largest two wheeler market and lead the electric revolution in India.

How did you begin your EV journey? How did Raptee Energy emerge?

When we started back in 2018, there we already 2 large EV OEMs who had been producing and selling electric 2 wheelers in India for over 2 years each. In addition to them, there were a lot more smaller players with quite a good number of SKUs in the market. However, the penetration of e-2Ws in the overall Indian 2W market was less than 1%. We wanted to understand why the switch wasn’t happening. This is what made us start Raptee. In India, 2W sales is 7X 4W sales. If one has to bring electrification to the masses, 2Wheelers need to lead the way. Everyone is definitely thinking of the switch but there just isn’t a convincing product for people to switch to electric. At least not one that makes sense, not yet.

What differentiates your offerings from your competitors?

All the electric 2 wheelers in the Indian market operate on a low voltage architecture that is borrowed from the southeast Asian e2W industry where the customer’s requirements are significantly different from that of ours. These vehicles were never meant for high speed commute (>35kmph) nor were they expected to last more than a couple of years. On this side of the world, even your 100cc motorcycles can reach speeds upwards of 100kmph and, more importantly, these vehicles have an average lifespan of 12 years! The low voltage drivetrain’s inherent flaws make it unsuitable for India’s EV story. Electric cars went through a similar journey. The electric cars from the 2000’s ran a Low Voltage architecture. This made them famously slow and impractical. About 5 years ago, cars switched to high voltage (Generally >300VDC) and today all mass market e4Ws run an HV powertrain. We’re bringing the same shift to e2Ws. We’re building a proprietary 240VDC powertrain for electric motorcycles. How does this matter to the customer you may ask. Firstly, Our motorcycles can accelerate and go as fast if not faster than their gas powered counterparts. Second, our subsystems are able to last much longer owing to the better thermals of a High Voltage system. We’re looking at a battery that can last the lifetime of the vehicle. Finally, Charging infrastructure. All the e2Ws today use proprietary chargers which may not be available everywhere. However, there’s already a charging standard that has become a de facto standard in India, CCS. There are thousands of CCS chargers in operation today across India. The prerequisite to using CCS is that the vehicle should be over 200VDC which makes Raptee the only motorcycle brand that can use the existing charging infrastructure that’s already in place for electric cars.

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How has the company performed this year? Any key developments?

2022 has been the year of testing for Raptee. We froze design early in the year and have been putting our efforts into making the product not only the best electric motorcycle but the best motorcycle for the Indian market. This means in addition to months of late nights testing the powertrain and vehicle dynamics, we’ve put considerable effort into making the motorcycle easy to manufacture at scale at reasonable costs without compromising what we stand for. There’s a lot of new tech on our motorcycles that’s never been done on a 2W before. Right from dedicated on board neural engines to collision warning systems, there’s a lot of proprietary hardware that adds costs to the vehicle and all this will not make sense if the vehicle is not available at an acceptable cost. That’s what we’ve been working on. Bringing state of art to the masses.

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What is your growth plan for 2023?

2023 will be the year of rollout for Raptee and we are truly excited to show the world what we have been working on for nearly 4 years. Our emphasis will be on quality over quantity and will have our focus on ensuring our early adopters a smooth transition to electric. We plan on starting with limited geographies starting with Chennai and Bangalore in the first quarter of launch and Cochin and Coimbatore in the later part of the year. We already have bookings from customers from South India who have been extremely patient with us and they will be given priority in the initial months.

Where do you see Raptee energy positioned in India’s EV journey in the next 5 years?

Though we are the first to bring High Voltage powertrains for 2Ws in India, we believe the future of the e2W industry in India will be exclusively on HV powertrains. We aim to keep innovating HV tech to make it more robust and pioneer the transition to electric in the world’s largest two wheeler market and lead the electric revolution in India.

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