The market’s evolution should not solely rely on subsidies: Manish Chugh, Co-founder & Director of Aponyx Electric Vehicles

The market’s evolution should not solely rely on subsidies: Manish Chugh, Co-founder & Director of Aponyx Electric Vehicles

Aponyx, an electric vehicle manufacturer, was founded in 2017 at IME Manesar, Gurugram, Haryana.

The founders focused on  embracing the opportunity to demonstrate innovations in the electronics and electrical sectors. As technology advanced and various electrical appliances were introduced to the market, the company manufactured and serviced various electronic equipment and appliances including all reputed brands of radios, tape recorders, televisions, CD players, mobile phones, and so on. The move into EVs is yet another bet on a mega trend that the founders believe is set to play out for decades now. We caught up with Manish Chugh, one of the Founders, to understand Aponyx better.

Q. Tell us about the idea behind starting Aponyx? What do you see as the key milestones in your journey so far?

Manish Chugh, Co-founder & Director of Aponyx Electric Vehicles

Manish Chugh, Co-founder & Director of Aponyx Electric Vehicles

Manish Chugh- The idea behind starting Aponyx stems from the critical need for sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives in the automotive industry. As technology advanced and electric devices became more prevalent, I noticed the growing environmental concerns caused by conventional petrol vehicles. Seeing the detrimental effect on the golf course, I recognized the potential of electric vehicles before they became widely known.It led me to step in and repair battery-powered golf carts, utilizing my expertise in the electrical industry.

Given the lack of e-vehicle infrastructure, I envision a future where electric vehicles can revolutionize transportation, benefiting both society and the environment. With a passion for innovation and sustainability, I founded Aponyx, which aims to advance the electric vehicle movement and provide eco-friendly solutions for various industries. Today, we pride ourselves on our commitment to clean technology and strive to lead to a greener, more sustainable future.

The key milestones in our journey so far include introducing a diverse lineup of 4-6 electric 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler models, along with bicycles. We have successfully established ourselves as a prominent player in the electric vehicle industry, providing eco-friendly mobility solutions and contributing to a sustainable future.

Q. With a presence across bikes, two wheelers and three wheelers, which category has performed best for you so far? Do share some numbers in terms of cumulative sales and revenues.

Manish Chugh – Aponyx offers a range of 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler models and E-bicycles, with a total 12-14 models. The demands of each and every product depends on the states and their location.

Aponyx e-bycycle

We can not share any data related to cumulative sales and revenues due to market compulsions for now.

Q. How have you positioned your products on cost, features and other aspects? Where are we in terms of indigenisation currently?

Manish Chugh – At Aponyx, we pride ourselves on offering competitive pricing without compromising on quality and features. Our products are thoughtfully designed to provide top-notch performance, safety, and convenience. We continuously strive to provide value for money to our customers, ensuring that our electric vehicles are accessible to a broader audience.

In terms of indigenization, we are committed to promoting local manufacturing and sourcing to the greatest extent possible. We have made significant progress in increasing the indigenous content in our products, which not only strengthens the domestic manufacturing ecosystem but also reduces dependence on imports. Our focus on indigenization aligns with the government’s vision of making India a self-reliant nation in the electric vehicle sector.

Overall, my team remains dedicated to delivering cutting-edge products, being cost-competitive, and fostering indigenization to contribute positively to the growth of the electric mobility industry in India.

Q. With the recent issues regarding FAME subsidies and the subsequent drop, how are you seeing the market evolve? Will consumer subsidies remain key?

Manish Chugh – I closely monitor the market dynamics, including recent issues with FAME subsidies. While the drop in subsidies has presented challenges, I also see it as an opportunity for the market to evolve and become more sustainable in the long run. As the industry matures, consumer subsidies may continue to play a crucial role in accelerating electric vehicle adoption and making them more accessible to a wider audience.

Aponyx Electric scooters

However, we believe that the market’s evolution should not solely rely on subsidies. Instead, it should focus on building a robust ecosystem that includes improved infrastructure, technological advancements, and greater public awareness of the environmental benefits of electric vehicles. As a responsible and forward-thinking company, we are committed to adapting to changing market conditions, offering competitive pricing, and continually enhancing our product offerings to drive the transition towards greener and more sustainable transportation solutions.

Q. The B2B segment has been seen as an easier one to target by most EV manufacturers so far. How has that worked for you? What are the changes we will need to make to target the broader B2C market?

Manish Chugh – Targeting the B2B segment has indeed been advantageous for Aponyx Electric Vehicles, allowing us to establish strong partnerships with businesses and fleets seeking sustainable mobility solutions. Through B2B collaborations, we have gained valuable insights and honed our products to meet commercial requirements effectively. To expand into the broader B2C market, we must focus on several aspects. Firstly, enhancing consumer-oriented features and designs to cater to individual preferences. Secondly, scaling up our sales and service network to ensure easy accessibility for potential buyers.

Thirdly, implementing marketing strategies that emphasize the environmental benefits and cost-effectiveness of our electric vehicles. Lastly, introducing flexible financing options and after-sales support to build consumer confidence in our products. By blending our B2B success with these customer-centric approaches, we aspire to make a positive impact in the wider B2C market, promoting sustainable and greener transportation choices for all.

Q. What is your prediction/expectation in terms of market size and share of 2W EVs by 2025, 2030? What are the big risks to growth as you see it?

Manish Chugh – If you go through the static data, In 2022, the global electric vehicle market reached a valuation of 8,151 thousand units (8.1 million), projected to grow at a remarkable CAGR of 21.7% from 2022 to 2030, reaching 39,208 thousand units. I agree with this speculation as the EV industry seems set to rise to great heights soon.

Talking about 2W electric vehicles, I anticipate that electric two-wheeler sales will witness an exceptional surge, with a predicted increase of 24 times their current volume by 2030. Not just mine, but also as per a report by Blume, the sales of electric two-wheelers are expected to reach an impressive 17.69 million units within the next eight years, significantly rising from the estimated 0.75 million units in the current year.

As with any industry, there are risks to growth that we need to address proactively. The major risks we see are policy and regulatory changes, technological obsolescence, infrastructure limitations, and competition. But in all these hindrances, we remain committed to staying ahead of these challenges to ensure the growth of the EV industry.

Q. Battery swapping is still finding its footing in India. Do you believe it is a game changer, especially in the 2-3 Wheeler segment? How are the progress being made vis a vis charging networks?

Manish Chugh – Battery swapping has the potential to be a game-changer, particularly in the 2-3 Wheeler segment. As shorter-range vehicles, 2-3 Wheelers often face charging infrastructure challenges, making battery swapping an attractive alternative. It offers the advantage of quick battery exchange, eliminating the need for lengthy charging times, and providing uninterrupted mobility to users. At Aponyx, we recognize its significance and are actively exploring partnerships to implement battery-swapping solutions, enhancing convenience for our customers.

Aponyx E-rickshaw

In terms of charging networks, progress has been encouraging, but challenges persist. Collaborative efforts between the government, private sector, and EV manufacturers are expanding charging infrastructure. However, more investment and strategic planning are required to ensure a robust and widespread charging network to support the growing electric vehicle market in India. We are committed to playing our part in this endeavour, working towards a sustainable and efficient charging ecosystem for the benefit of all-electric vehicle users.

Q. What are your future plans?

Manish Chugh – Our plans at Aponyx are centered on driving sustainable and eco-friendly solutions for our growing population and environment. We aim to be at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution, focusing on expanding our product range to cater to various needs. Alongside introducing high-speed bikes and tri-bikes for the differently-abled, we plan to develop and promote a robust network of charging points for EVs.

We recently opened a new manufacturing plant in Surat, Gujarat. The decision to open another manufacturing plant was driven by the increased demand for electric vehicles in South-West India. Additionally, we are also planning to set up charging stations at a 10 km distance on three routes – Delhi to Chandigarh, Delhi to Dehradun and Delhi to Jaipur.

Our vision includes offering EV four-wheelers as a compelling alternative to traditional vehicles, reducing the heavy reliance on traditional energy sources. Moreover, we are committed to enhancing our existing offerings like the L5 model and Chota Hathi, a heavy three-wheeler vehicle, to further meet the evolving demands of our customers.

Q. With multiple players, is the industry really capable of sustaining so many firms? What do you see as the key factor that will make your firm sustainable?

Manish Chugh – In a competitive industry, sustainability is indeed a crucial concern. However, we firmly believe that our focus on innovation, customer-centric approach, and commitment to environmental preservation will be the key factors that make our firm sustainable. By continually striving to deliver cutting-edge electric vehicle solutions, building strong relationships with our customers, and contributing positively to a greener future, we are confident in our ability to stand out and thrive amidst multiple players. Our unwavering dedication to quality and the pursuit of excellence sets us apart and ensures our long-term viability in the electric vehicle market.

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