Charged-up for progress

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | BANSARI TRIVEDI J
Published Nov 30, 2018, 12:03 am IST
Updated Nov 30, 2018, 12:03 am IST
Development of India’s first Lithium ion powered electric 3-wheeler has won Rahul Gayam a place at the Mercedes Benz EQ global fellowship.
Rahul Gayam on Limitless E-Bike
 Rahul Gayam on Limitless E-Bike

Rahul Gayam, city-based CTO of Gayam Motor Works (GMW) who figures in the 2018 edition of Forbes 30 Under 30  was also recently selected among 10 others for the Summit Mercedes-Benz EQ Global Fellowship.

The achievement which got him a place on the Forbes list was the development of India’s first Li-ion battery powered electric 3-wheeler with a battery swapping system by him and his team.

 

The GMW Smart Auto which is available in both passenger and cargo variants is as powerful as a diesel auto-rickshaw and has a running cost of a mere 50 paise per kilometre. They have also developed a smart electric bicycle christened the Limitless E-Bike. This can be fully charged within a couple of hours, can run for 65 kilometre per charge and can achieve 0 to 25 kilometre per hour in 5 seconds, Gayam says.

Li-ion battery powered electric 3-wheelerLi-ion battery powered electric 3-wheeler

Believing that India lacks the charging infrastructure required for greater penetration of electric vehicles in the retail market, GMW has started off by selling their Smart Autos in the business-to-business and business-to-government markets.

“While companies such as Bigbasket, IKEA, Gati, Delhivery and Flipkart are using our e-autos for first and last mile deliveries, the Governments of A.P and Telangana are using them for waste pickup and disposal applications,” he shares.

Rahul’s greatest strength lies in customer centricity. Narrating an incident, he says, “When we first launched our vehicle, our drivers found it difficult to wait for hours in the middle of the day charging the vehicle. We took this feedback, upgraded our vehicle design with modular batteries and enabled the battery swapping system. Our drivers can now simply swap the depleted battery in the vehicle with a fully charged battery in less than a minute.”  

Coming from an integrated masters background in Physics from the University of Hyderabad, the motor works enterprise was set up by Rahul and his brother. It was founded by his elder brother Raja after he converted his father’s bus body building unit into an auto-rickshaw manufacturing unit.

Speaking on the milestones, Rahul shares, “Our first major accomplishment was when we converted a Tata Nano into a plug-in electric car. After 4½ years of R&D, we launched India’s first electric three-wheeler powered by Li-Ion battery technology in recent years.”

Schooling had always been his inspiration. “Both my brother Raja who is CEO of GMW and I took part in various National Children’s Science Congress events and did well up to the national level. The themes for the projects were always about finding solutions to various environmental problems,” he beams. 

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