How Bengaluru-based Welectric is encouraging last-mile delivery businesses to adopt EVs
Vikas Jain’s love for riding electric two-wheelers made him question the reason behind low uptake of electric vehicles. He realised that not only riding electric bikes was a hassle-free experience, but also helped him commute to the office at a lower cost of Rs 10 per charge.
Vikas realised that several problems including lack of dealership, maintenance infrastructure, lack of financing options, lack of resale options or absence of a used E2W market were some of the major reasons behind lower adoption rates.
In order to solve these problems and promote the adoption of electric vehicles, Vikas and Tamilselvan Subramanian foundedin 2019.
"Welectric is offering customised and comprehensive multi-brand E2W lease rental solutions to last-mile delivery companies," Vikas tells YourStory.
Welectric Team. [Image Credit: Welectric]
Encouraging adoption of electric two-wheelers
According to the co-founder, the startup is looking to position itself as a multi-brand one-stop-shop for all-electric two-wheeler requirements.
Vikas explains that currently the startup onboards businesses and helps them understand their vehicle needs, including mileage, speed, and loading capacity among others, and helps them identify the best vehicles. Welectric then purchases the vehicles and takes care of all the compliances. These vehicles are then leased by the client businesses for at least 24 months.
The startup aims to help companies to switch to electric two-wheeler delivery fleet options easily.
“We purchase the E2Ws for our customers and take care of all compliance including registration and insurance. We also take care of all after-sale services such as preventive and corrective maintenance at the customer’s doorstep. The customers have complete flexibility to buy the vehicle they are using, or upgrade to the latest model, renew or extend the lease or even just return the vehicle and take their security deposit back after the initial lease period. Clients, however, need to give us an initial lease rental commitment of around 24 months and a refundable security deposit," Vikas adds.
He says that the company partners with vehicle manufacturers for procuring the vehicles. The startup is partnering with Hero Electric,, and for procuring the vehicles.
“We have a letter of association from Hero Electric and also work with other players like Okinawa, Greaves Cotton Ampere, etc. We are strengthening our maintenance capabilities and are in discussions to build stronger partnerships with these OEMs. We will partner with them to offer doorstep maintenance services to all E2W users which will solve one of the biggest problems responsible for the slow and low E2W adoption,” he says.
Talking about the electric vehicle charging problem, Vikas says that most of the electric two-wheelers have detachable lithium batteries that can be removed and charged anywhere using the regular plug points already available in all offices and residences.
“When we suggest to our clients which electric two-wheelers would suit their requirement, we take this into consideration to ensure that the need for a top-up charge during the day is minimal and if needed can be managed without the need for any special charging or swapping infrastructure,” he adds.
Illustration: YS Design
Business and more
Welectric operates on a lease rental business model where the vehicles are leased by client organisations for a minimum of 24 months.
While the co-founder declined to share details about the pricing, he says “Our B2B E2W lease rental solutions are customised as per each client’s requirements and hence depends on the cost of the E2W that the client needs. At full scale, we will have multiple revenue streams across the lifecycle of the electric two-wheelers,” Vikas says.
Currently, the company has two clients including Licious and Ninjacart and is in discussions with other businesses with last-mile delivery operations. Vikas declined to share further details on the number of trips recorded and the number of vehicles in its fleet.
Some other notable players in the electric two-wheeler rental sector include, , Electric, and eBikeGo, among others.
The startup raised an angel investment round earlier this year led by Hemalatha Annamalai, Founder and former CEO of Ampere. Other angel investors including Ashish Patil, Ramasubramanian Balasubramanian, Rambabu Pallavalli, Sanjay Sunku, and Vinay Trivedi also participated in the round.
“We will use these funds to build our team, invest in building our software technology, and scale up our B2B business,” Vikas says.
Speaking about future plans, the co-founder says that the startup will now continue to focus on the B2B lease rental market for the next two to three quarters after which it will also expand its offering to individual two-wheeler users.