Chennai-based company Raptee Energy to launch e-bikes this year
Raptee Energy, a start-up that develops electric motorcycles, based in the city, will launch its first set of vehicles on the market by July and is also in the process of raising its next funding round. “We have been testing our prototype on the road for over a year now. Public testing will begin later this month. This vehicle will compete with 250cc and 500cc vehicles,” said Dinesh Arjun, CEO and co-founder of Raptee Energy. The company is working on another vehicle, which should be marketed in 2024, in competition with 150cc motorcycles.
Raptee Energy was the first start-up to be incubated at Atal Incubation Center – Anna University in 2020. Until July 2020, the start-up was fully seeded. The team (Keerthivasan Ravi, co-founder and CTO, Phunith Kumar, COO, and Karthikeyan A., the head of electronics) then raised a pre-seed amount of $700,000 (about ₹5.5 crore ) from individual angels and companies. They are now looking to raise $11 million (over ₹81 crore) and are in talks with various people. The funds will be used for road and lab testing and for the first batch of motorcycles. Currently, the company has its research and development operations in Ekkattuthangal and has a small manufacturing unit in Thirumazhisai SIDCO Industrial Zone, which has the capacity to manufacture more than 1,200 units. “It will be a makeshift factory until our second factory comes online,” Arjun said. Raptee Energy recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Tamil Nadu and is in talks with Guidance, the nodal agency providing investment to the state, to acquire a 36-acre plot of land to set up its second factory.
When asked how this vehicle is different from others, he replied: “We use a 240V system (patented). Others operate between 48-96V systems. This requires a significantly different architecture and requires superior control systems to operate. The reason the market is flooded with 48V systems is due to the Chinese influence whose vehicles are very different (180-350Watts) from our commuter vehicles. This allows our vehicles to go faster, longer and never need to replace the battery during its lifetime. He added: “It also means that we will be the first electric vehicle manufacturer to be able to take advantage of the public charging infrastructure already in place for electric cars.”