This startup has developed connected and portable power banks for fast EV charging at your doorstep
The global electric vehicle (EV) industry continues to expand rapidly. However, India is lagging behind in electric vehicle adoption and is seeing slower growth. A key factor behind this is the unavailability of chargers and fast charging infrastructure.
To solve this challenge, BITS Pilani alumnus Arjun Singh along with IIT Delhi alumnus Saurabh Rohilla launchedin 2019. The startup offers an on-demand EV charging service at your doorstep with a portfolio of technology IP granted both in India and the USA.
According to the Gurugram-headquartered startup, it has a unique Made-in-India, rapid charging technology that enables modular and mobile charging infrastructure that augments local grid, minimises expensive grid upgrades, and saves productive time for EV owners.
In an interaction with YourStory, Arjun says, “We aim to solve major challenges in e-mobility transition by providing convenient EV charging solutions at the doorstep. Hopcharge is working to help more people switch to electric mobility, and hence contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions that has an impact on our health, and has a bigger negative impact on the country’s GDP.”
What does it offer?
Hopcharge has created a proprietary energy pod that has a lithium ion-based energy storage and a rapid charger, which can charge EVs at the same speed as a public fast charger. This charging system includes connected and portable power banks with high power charging capabilities specifically designed for electric cars.
The startup’s core offering is that it provides rapid charging service at users’ doorstep. According to the startup, residential home chargers are slow AC chargers that take hours to charge the vehicle. Also, not everyone has an independent house to install those chargers. Even if a person can install a home charger, one has to go through the process of load sanction, site inspection, installation, and regular load/demand charges. Hopcharge aims to eliminate all these problems.
The public charger is a fast DC charger, which is similar to the one provided by Hopcharge, but Hopcharge does charging during idle time and hence saves productive time for EV owners.
Hopcharge's proprietary energy pod which can charge EVs at the same speed as a public fast charger
Hopcharge is built and managed by a 30-member team that comes with a background in energy, automotive, and e-mobility.
Arjun has over 15 years of experience in the energy industry and has also led the energy policy team of Govt. of Delhi in 2015. Saurabh Rohilla (CXO) comes with over 18 years of experience in the automotive industry. He was formerly the Director in Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers (SIAM) with e-mobility and strategy expertise.
How does it work?
Hopcharge has an app that is supported by both Android and iOS. Any individual can download the application, sign up, and request a charge from the convenience of their homes. They need to select the type of EV, choose their location, the battery status, as well as a time of their convenience to schedule the charge.
Any session can be easily scheduled up to 48 hours in advance, making it a convenient EV charging experience workflow for customers.
Business model and revenue
According to the company's internal research, the global market opportunity for the EV segment in 2021 was $19 billion.
The startup provides a subscription service to help users, which removes the dependency on fixed charging stations along with the high-cost setup of a fast-charging station at home. Hopcharge claims the user only needs to shell out as low as Rs 3.5 per km.
As of now, the startup is running successful operations for its industry leading “EV charging subscription plan – HopchargeX” in Gurugram and in parts of Delhi NCR for its ad hoc users.
In the month of April 2022, Hopcharge completed around 255 doorstep charging sessions.
“Thousands of users enrolled in our early access program and a few hundreds of them are already availing our charging services in Gurugram/NCR. Having established the model within three to four months of launch and effectively serving subscription customers in Gurugram and NCR, we now aim to expand the service areas deep inside NCR in the coming quarters followed by other metropolitan cities in India,” says Arjun.
Till 2021, the startup was focussed on research and development and product development for building one-of-a-kind technology. It was in early 2022 that Hopcharge launched usage-based subscription model that is popularly selling in OEM dealerships.
Funding and way ahead
The bootstrapped startup raised its first funding from angel investors in 2021.
Speaking of competition, Arjun says, “Companies are trying to solve the EV charging problem across the world, and one solution is to mimic gasoline refueling time as its behavioural change for EV adopters. Hopcharge has addressed this challenge by providing on-demand plug-and-play energy, and rather a better refuelling experience for EV owners. Hopcharge is a one-of-its-kind product that has created the world's first on-demand doorstep fast electric vehicle charging service. We are the first ones to come up with this kind of idea.”
Hopcharge is now planning to expand its reach to cities like Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Hyderabad in the next one year. In addition to that, it has also seen many countries facing similar bottlenecks and is working to build solutions for the world.
Keeping an eye on the global market, Hopcharge has also set up strategic entities in the USA and Japan.