With its green energy solutions, this auto-ancillary company clocks over Rs 70 Cr turnover today
The future of the automobile industry lies in sustainable mobility. Manufacturing companies like Bosch and Continental predict that by 2030, the world would be focussed entirely on electric mobility, with research on fuel cells making considerable progress.
Gurugram-based auto-ancillary company Green Fuel Energy Solutions, founded by Akshay Kashyap, has been building sustainable kits for the automobile industry since 2006. The company started with making CNG kits for auto manufacturers such as Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. From 2010 onwards, the idea of building a great business around electric vehicles started gathering steam.
"Our company solves the problem of providing extremely reliable, zero-defect, and safe components used for sustainable mobility for gas-fueled vehicles and now electric vehicles as well," says Akshay Kashyap, Founder, Green Fuel Energy Solutions.
Green Fuel Energy’s business is primarily focussed on B2B customers for its CNG kits and supplies to the likes of Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, and Ashok Leyland. Akshay started the business in 2006 with a capital of Rs 40 lakh. Today, he has built a self-funded, zero-debt, profitable, and cash rich company with a turnover of Rs 76 crore.
Akshay, founder of Green Fuel Energy
When he first started working in the US after graduating from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2001, Akshay was working on components used in natural gas vehicles. When he returned to India, he realised that there was a huge gap in what the world was using, and what India used for natural gas vehicles. He initially started sourcing international standard components at the Indian value price.
The company has expertise in mechanical, mechatronics, and electronics fields, and hence, can handle not just mechanical parts but also focus on the software that runs these products. It also focusses on building high pressure, low pressure, and electronics components. Green Fuel Energy has a commercial engagement with Germany-based auto parts supplier WEH GmbH.
The company’s product for gas-fueled vehicles ensures gas-tight sealing under high pressures in the fuel delivery system of the vehicle. For electric vehicles, keeping in mind the safety measures and the requirement of higher battery life, it is making a battery pack engineered for Indian conditions. The pack also provides extra energy storage needed to run the vehicle.
Green Fuel Energy Solutions’ first business came from Tata Motors, which was re-designing its CNG bus fuel systems for a new type of low-floor bus for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, that was hosted by India. The tender called for bus manufacturers to provide a 12 years’ service guarantee on their buses.
This gave the company an opportunity to design the entire fuel system for the bus and introduce products that would last longer without any failure. And, Green Fuel Energy won the first order for low-floor bus parts from Tata Motors. Today, these vehicles have covered over 1.5 billion kilometres with Green Fuel Energy’s products.
"The biggest challenge in building this business is to change mindsets and preset notions that exist in the customer’s minds — CNG and electric are about the future. That was what we addressed first through a complete process of education through which a customer can make informed decisions, and now they have all agreed that the future is with sustainable fuels. The next challenge has been to build a team, that has the knowledge to keep constantly innovating, and use knowledge to provide value-based products to Indian customers," Akshay says.
With a team size of 250 employees, Green Fuel Energy is a Tier-I auto component supplier to about 20 vehicle manufacturers. It has also invested close to $1 million in R&D as well.
Speaking on the company’s future, Akshay says, "For the next 18 months, we plan to double our turnover and focus on our battery division.”
The company also plans to increase its capacities for both battery and gas fuel divisions, considering the price realisations between India and China.
The company bets on electric bikes and is building a battery pack with a heat removal system to help bikes when they go en masse electric in five to 10 years. He believes CNG kits will be part of commercial and other passenger vehicles for the next decade.
Green Fuel Energy has been focussing its research on electric vehicle batteries, and has hired experts from Sweden to work on a battery pack. Going forward, its EV division will be the main focus of the company, as India plans to go electric in a big way by 2030.
According to India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), by 2026, the number of EV units sold is expected to grow at a CAGR of 36 percent. The Indian EV battery market is also forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 30 percent, while the total MWh addition is expected to grow to 28.0 GWh by 2026.
According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), close to 750,000 EV units were sold in India in 2019.