[Exclusive Interview] How India’s First Fully Electric Smart Microcar Is Boosting Electric Mobility Adoption
Recently, we spoke with Mr. Kalpit Patel, Founder, of PMV Electric, and asked him about the company’s vision regarding electric mobility, and how they are attempting to inspire consumers to opt for electric cars.
Here are the highlights from the interview:
1. Take us through PMV ELECTRIC and the idea behind its inception.
The idea of PMV came from the personal experiences of the founder Kalpit Patel. He used to travel alone for about 10 kms of distance taking about 45-60 mins everyday in a 5 seater car. And the traffic & parking issue was frustrating to say the least. And a general observation on the road, will quickly tell that that’s the case for about 80% of the personal cars on road.
On further reading more about the texture of traffic it’s easy to find that single/double occupancy cars were a major reason for traffic congestion & parking issues in metro cities not only in India but globally. According to a study 19% of total trips were in private vehicles & taxis and yet they occupy 82% of the road space. This is not sustainable & cannot continue especially the number of vehicles on roads is increasing everyday year due to higher disposable income, however the roads cannot keep up at the same pace. So the situation of traffic congestion & parking is only going to get worse. Also keep in mind that over the last few years the sales of bigger & heavier SUV’s has increased substantially which will add fuel to the fire.
So the idea was to come up with a sustainable way to travel for everyday requirements. Like we have the concept of SUV, sedan & hatchback, we must have a new category of vehicles called PMV or personal mobility vehicle, a purpose built smart 2 seater microcar, which is particularly built for the everyday travel requirements, viz: office & back, grocery shopping & dropping kids to school. And that’s how the concept of PMV (personal mobility vehicle) was born.
2. How does PMV stand out from the rest, pls share the USP?
Traditionally Indian consumers try to buy for all of their possible requirements in a single car, we are proposing a separate microcar for the everyday requirements which is about 80% of the use case of a personal car, and do the balance 20% of the requirements of a personal car through their original 5-7 seater car. So we are different in that we are proposing you to buy a second car in the household as it can help make a sustainable choice in terms of pollution & climate change, but also help you save time in parking & traffic issues. Besides this the PMV will help you save on your monthly petrol fuel bills too as it almost runs for free.
We have some top of the line benefits too, which will probably be available in a vehicle priced twice or more in the Indian market. For example the PMV will be an automatic drive, so you won’t be hassled by the constant change of gear & use of clutch brake & accelerator pedals. The PMV will offer cruise control which is typically found in premium expensive vehicles. We are offering a feature that will really come in handy in parking the PMV in tightest of parking spots, with remote park assist, so you can control the vehicle from outside using a mobile application, when backing up from a tight parking spot. Besides this the usual remote connectivity & diagnostics benefits that help you have PMV vitals at the touch of a button. To add to this since the vehicle is all electric, software updates to the vehicle will keep it up to date with latest software to keep it as good as new.
3. Tell us more about the personal mobility segment and the microcar
EaS-E has created a new category, like sedan, hatchback, SUV, in the automobile industry called the PMV, Personal Mobility Vehicle. It is designed for 1-2 people for short mobility within the city. Due to its small size, it carbon foot print is very minimal & even lesser compared to other electric vehicles. Another factor is huge traffic due to big cars driven by 1-2 people, EaS-E is a perfect solution for these applications.
EaS-E, the first product by PMV Electric, is a Fully Electric 2 Seater Smart Microcar. EaS-E is a step towards sustainable mobility and aims to provide a solution to the global climate change issue.
4. How has the Indian made consumer and tech products perceived in the country? What will lead to more acceptance of Indian made products?
Indian consumers have evolved greatly in the last few years, we have seen this in telecom sector which has played a significant role in the digitization of the country. And a similar thing is going to play out in the EV segment too. The same is reflected in the way the EV startups have been supported by the consumers all across India, off course there have been teething issues, but as the industry matures the same will be ironed out. And heightened level of safety checks both from the OEM’s & the govt will surely go a long way in building a robust industry, made in India & made for the world.
5. In line with the make in India initiative, pls describe your company’s contribution to the industry and how do you see the industry evolve in the next five years?
We can certainly say that we are on our way to change the classification of the passenger car segment not only in India, but globally too with a new category creation of PMV. And we are reasonably sure that with the right kind of communication, PMV will surely add a lot of value to consumer’s life, making it more sustainable & help us leave a better future for our children. As more and more traction comes in from the large auto OEM’s the EV industry is going to evolve as a tech oriented industry & EV will be probably the smartest product owned by the consumer.