Podcast: Investors Putting Money Into Indian EV Market Still Placing Safe Bets, Says This Entrepreneur

While investors are gradually becoming more open to spending in the Indian EV space, they still seem to be playing safe, said Nilesh Bothra, CEO of Calamus Electric Cycles.
Podcast: Investors Putting Money Into Indian EV Market Still Placing Safe Bets, Says This Entrepreneur
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Even though investors are gradually becoming more open to spending in the Indian EV space, they still seem to be playing safe, according to Nilesh Bothra, chief executive officer and co-founder of Calamus Electric Cycles.

Calamus makes electric-assisted cycles focused on markets abroad such as the United States, Germany and Australia. Bothra said Calamus’ products would fall right in between a traditional cycle and a motorbike.

“There is no throttle but...it reduces your effort of cycling,” Bothra said.

Abroad Focus

On why the company is focused on markets outside India, Bothra said bigger players needed to come in and make a mark for adoption of electric vehicles to truly happen.

The lack of infrastructure and incentives, too, is another factor that played into them looking at foreign options.

“When you look at the west, it’s already established; people have already shifted to e-bikes as a primary mode of transport,” said Bothra.

Difference Between Indian and Western E-bikes

There are major differences in road conditions that affect the design of an e-bike made for India compared to ones made for developed countries, according to him.

“It has to be more rugged...long-lasting because people want to use it for a longer period of time,” he said.

He also stressed on how there are existing bike lanes abroad, unlike in India, and there’s also the factor of cars on the road not respecting bikers as they do in other countries.

Manufacturing At Home

“Eventual goal of course is to manufacture in India,” Bothra said when asked if there are plans to focus on the Indian audience.

In India, as the incentives become better and the infrastructure improves, Calamus would look to enter, following the footsteps of bigger companies, he said.

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