Scooter use is surging as people grow more interested in electro-mobility and micro-mobility. Coming along with electric micro-mobility is an increasing appreciation of the flexibility and ease of driving a scooter. For those still weighing the pros and cons between a charge-at-home scooter and a battery-swapping bike, Indian startup Brisk EV is bringing a combined battery solution to the market.
Brisk EV's vehicles all have a stationary battery inside, and some models have an empty slot for a swappable battery. Vivek Reddy, co-founder of Brisk EV, said using both a stationary and swappable battery allows longer range when needed.
The Origin Pro can reach 333km in range on a single charge with two batteries. The addition of a swappable battery can reduce commuter anxiety by providing a simple solution if charge levels fall short.
The swappable battery will be up for lease only, Reddy said. While the stationary battery ought to be enough for an ordinary commute, customers can lease a swappable battery for an extended period of time needed for their trip.
"What if you have a wedding this month and you have to travel more on your bike? What if an unexpected life event happens and you have to go more often to the hospital?" posed Reddy. Brisk EV's combined battery solution is designed for situations like this.
In many parts of Asia, scooters and motorcycles are essential. Ride-hailing services with two-wheelers are also popular, perfect for short-distance trips across a big city.
However, it is a challenge for riders to commit to an electric bike due to concerns over range and charging times. And it is often the case that developing countries lack the infrastructure for electric vehicle (EV) to park, charge, or swap a battery.
"We are thinking about five to ten years ahead when most of us will convert to EVs," Reddy said. "In India, there is not enough charging infrastructure in residential areas where people live in tall buildings and have to charge in the parking lot. There is simply not enough sockets for everyone." Furthermore, the power grid will not be able to take on peak-hour charging. People might have to wait a couple days for their turn to charge.
A homegrown, fully made-in-India OEM
Reddy started Brisk at the end of 2021 after leaving from his career in the cloud computing industry in the US to take care of his family in India. The idea of building a completely made-in-India two-wheeler fascinated him so much that he chose the path less traveled and decided against becoming a CKD OEM.
At the Hyderabad E-Motor Show in February, Brisk EV showcased its in-house battery technology and the combined battery solution. Following the show, the company received many job applications from engineers and talents who are native to Hyderabad but working in other states like Karnataka, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu.
"They wanted to make a genuine product with us and be close to their family," Reddy said. "We did months of research and set up five teams. We have developed our own battery management system (BMS) and vehicle control unit (VCU)."
Hyderabad is already a large manufacturing hub of two- and three-wheelers in India, according to information provided by the state government.
The Telangana state government is also highly supportive of Brisk EV's in-house technology development. Being part of Hyderabad's largest startup incubator, THub, Brisk was able to push through at a high pace. Reddy noted that the government genuinely welcomes any industry to start production in Telangana and it has been encouraging and supportive.
Hyderabad-based Brisk EV is now looking to start production later this year, potentially at Maheshwaram, an industrial park near Hyderabad's international airport. It has started the latest fundraising round this month with a goal of raising US$15 million.
Brisk EV's in-house transmission system and co-founder Vivek Reddy Credit: DIGITIMES Asia