Team Nexus Mobility

IIT Madras

The electric scooters and bikes market has started witnessing growth in India, but the same cannot be said about electric cars. The low market penetration of four-wheeler Electric Vehicles (EVs) is what got Team Nexus Mobility from IIT Madras thinking about developing an economical and scalable battery swapping technology.

“A convenient and easy-to-use battery swapping system could be a solution to this problem. Currently, we do not have such a solution in our country, and the ones used in the West are not suitable to the Indian scenario,” said Atish Gaykar, one of the Entrepreneur Leads of the team, while presenting his team’s learnings at the FINALE of I-NCUBATE Cohort 17.

“Thus, by identifying the bottlenecks in the existing models, we developed a low-cost, convenient, and affordable battery-swapping network. We were planning to partner with automotive manufacturers and target cab drivers and other such heavy users,” said Atish. “We assumed that cab driver, who were feeling the pinch due to rising fuel costs, would instantly switch to EVs equipped with our technology.”

During Customer Discovery, the team spoke to individual cab drivers, conducted ground research to understand the current solutions available in the market, and met industry veterans. Interviews suggested that while cab drivers were concerned by the rising fuel costs, they were not looking at EVs as an option. The team then switched its focus to corporate fleet companies.

“After interviewing stakeholders in this ecosystem, we realized that the demand here is aggregated. Corporates had a social responsibility target to be sustainable in their operations, and switching to EVs would further that goal,” said Atish. After finishing the I-NCUBATE program, the team is continuing to study this customer segment to better understand their early adopters.