German-based electric vehicle manufacturer Volektra is a company driven by a very singular vision – to introduce the widespread use of electric vehicles in emerging markets and democratise the automotive industry in the process. While this may not be a revolutionary idea on its own, the way the company intends to achieve this may well be.
Instead of producing electric vehicles (EVs) from scratch, the firm has developed ground-breaking electric drivetrain technology that can be used to adapt existing traditionally powered vehicles into cost-effective, environmentally friendly incarnations. A vision with global environmental concerns very much at its heart, it’s also a vision with a lucrative global market in its sights too.
Indian auto parts manufacturer Autolek, a company with 50 years of heritage, certainly thinks so. Autolek has recently partnered with Volektra, with a plan to invest over US$12 million to produce parts using Volektra’s EV propulsion technology starting with two and three-wheelers.
Although three-wheeled vehicles like rickshaws may not fill western streets yet, in Asia, they’re a vital part of the transportation system. With the market for two and three-wheeled EVs in Asia set to grow from US$46.5 billion to more than US$150 billion by 2030, Volektra is aligning itself perfectly to capitalise on this growth.
While the Teslas of the world may capture the public’s imagination, the price of even the most affordable electric cars currently makes them little more than a footnote in the campaign to electrify the global transportation market.
Volektra’s easy-to-install electric conversion kit, however, can transform a traditional vehicle into a powerful EV in less than half a day, not only bringing the economic and environmental benefits of electric transportation to the mass market – but bringing it to where the market needs it most.
“When I worked on an EV project at a global OEM back in the day, I realised that most electric-powered vehicles get propulsion systems from China that are hard to adapt to different types of vehicles, let alone two and three-wheeled ones,” Volektra Founder Manish Seth says. “Moreover, most of the advanced EVs are only aimed at the European and American markets.
“However, pollution is highest in emerging markets. Since two and three-wheeled vehicles are not strictly regulated, most people there use mopeds and rickshaws in particular. These cause more air pollution than a European car. So, I asked myself, how can we help where it matters most?”
With this question very much in mind, Seth launched Volektra to promote sustainable EVs in emerging markets such as South America, Africa and India. However, to do so, he needed high-end technology that he could offer at a low-end price. With the cost of converting a traditional rickshaw only half of the price of buying a new e-rickshaw, it seems as if he may have managed to achieve this.
When it comes to EV technology, it’s not simply the three-wheeled market that Volektra aims to revolutionise – the company has its sights on mopeds, cars and bicycles as well. With its Volektra Smart and Connected kits able to convert regular bicycles into high-performance e-bikes in less than 15 minutes – and at a fraction of the cost of a new e-bike – the road to clean, affordable transportation may well be paved with Volektra logos.
Certainly, the company’s approach to e-transportation hits a sizeable number of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. As well as supporting the spread of clean, affordable energy, innovation and responsible consumption, the company is combating inequality and poverty in emerging markets by offering small businesses access to affordable e-technology in a bid to reduce their long-term costs.
With the Volektra team having over 150 years of combined experience in the mobility industry and having worked with some of the world’s most established OEMs (Volkswagen, General Motors and TATA, to name but a few), the team – and its new partnership with Autolek – are well positioned to make a real difference to electric transportation in the coming years.
If you’d like to know more about Volektra and how its products can help you make a real difference too, visit them at volektra.com.