Bangalore: As the world debates climate change, a Bangalore-based maker of electric vehicles, Eko Vehicles Pvt. Ltd, is in talks with investors to raise $8-10 million (Rs37-47 crore) by the end of January.
Eko, which launched its first hybrid scooter on Wednesday, aims to ramp up its production capacity to 150,000-200,000 units a year by 2015 as the market for environment-friendly vehicles expands. It now makes 6,000 electric scooters a year at its factory in Whitefield, on the outskirts of Bangalore.
“We are in talks with a number of angel investors and venture capitalists,” said Anil Ananthakrishnan, founder chairman and chief executive of Eko Vehicles, after launching the ET-120 hybrid scooter, which can run both on battery and a 70cc petrol engine. Eko also launched a low-speed electric scooter, Strike.
Green ride: Eko’s ET-120 hybrid scooter. The company aims to raise its annual production capacity to 150,000-200,000 units by 2015.
The zero-debt company had a turnover of Rs12 crore in 2008-09 and has sold 18,000 electric scooters in five years.
Eko has now set its eyes on the US market. “We aim to sell 8,000-10,000 vehicles a year in the US,” said Ananthakrishnan, an engineer who started out by fitting electric motors to bicycles back in the 1970s in Bangalore. “We will set up the assembly line and finalize the distributors in three-four months.”
The firm also expects to earn $4 million worth of carbon credits by December 2010. This has been ratified by the environment ministry and awaits a final approval from the validating body, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “As we produce more vehicles, we will earn more credits,” said Ananthakrishnan. “Polluting power corporations in the US are ready to forward trade with us.” This money, he said, will be reinvested in the firm.
The electric two-wheeler market is still nascent in India with around 300,000 vehicles running. “It could boom going by countries like China, where 10 million electric two-wheelers sell every year,” said R. Chandramouli, president (sales and marketing), at Bangalore-based electric car maker, Reva Electric Car Co.