Anthill Ventures has made an undisclosed investment in Uniti, a Swedish urban mobility electric car startup looking to drive its electric cars on the Indian roads. The aim is to let users experience a modern 100% electric car that is safe, agile and suitable for Indian roads.
Uniti is an L7e vehicle with five seat option in India with an estimated starting cost of approximately $11.2K (INR 7.5 Lakhs). Anthill Ventures will be providing Uniti a platform to explore market opportunities in India and South East Asia. It was in February 2018, wherein the company first revealed its plans to bring an affordable electric car in India by 2020.
“As part of our focus on Future Cities we are excited to partner with Uniti, help them enter and scale in India and South East Asia. Mobility in future cities will see significant change, we believe that Uniti can be a significant part of this change,” said Prasad Vanga, Founder and CEO of Anthill Ventures.
Commenting on the tie-up, Uniti founder and CEO Lewis Horne said “It is clear that India can be a really strong market for us, and we want to contribute a better driving and living experience in Indian cities with our products. Of course, this requires strong partners in the region and Anthill is definitely doing things the right way and for the right reasons.”
Uniti has announced its foray into the Indian market at times when the Indian companies are aggressively building the electric vehicle infrastructure as well as pushing in for manufacturing EVs. For instance, recently Ola announced its Mission: Electric to place 10K e-rickshaws and electric auto-rickshaws in its service in the next 12 months.
Further, the local conglomerates like Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra are also leading a step ahead, showcasing their electric vehicles at Auto Expos worldwide. Earlier in January this year, Mahindra and Mahindra announced to invest $899.7 Mn (INR 6000 Cr) in EVs with an aim to manufacture 3000 electric vehicles a month. In December 2017, two-wheeler maker TVS announced that it has bought a 14.78% stake in Bengaluru-based electric vehicle startup Ultraviolette Automotive Pvt. Ltd.
Also, earlier this month, the Indian government announced its plans to enhance demand for EVs by around 500K units. The electric cars will be available for leasing as well as purchasing to different government departments, PSUs, and other agencies for a period of six years. The cars will be procured at a cost of $18,088.6 (INR 11.8 Lakh) per vehicle inclusive of taxes.
State-run Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) is also likely to sign memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat this month to supply 1,000 and 8,000 electric vehicles, respectively.
According to a report by the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles, there has been a 37.5% rise in the sale of EVs in India in recent years. Also, other foreign companies like Tesla are eyeing to explore this lucrative opportunity in the year ahead. How Uniti addresses such huge market and scope of scalability, depends a lot on the company’s understanding of the Indian market.