The country's largest electric vehicle fleet operator SmartE plans to raise around USD 20 million to expand its operations to around 20 major cities across the country over the next four years, a top company official said.
The Gurugram-based firm, which currently operates a fleet of around 1,000 electric three-wheelers primarily in Delhi/NCR region, aims to have a fleet of around 1 lakh electric vehicles by 2022-end to cater to expected demand across the country.
"We are looking at expanding operations to around 20 cities in the country over the next three-four years. We will prefer to go to places where metro infrastructure is there or is in the process of being developed," SmartE Co-Founder and CEO Goldie Srivastava told PTI.
At one lakh vehicles by the end of 2022, SmartE would help reduce close to a million tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent of planting 17 million trees per year, he added.
When asked about how the company aims to fund the planned expansion, he added, "In the short term we plan to raise USD 15-20 million. In the next phase, it would not be required as we believe it is a sustainable business".
The company, which started operations more than three years ago, has already raised about USD 5 million from various investors.
The company, which last week tied up with electric vehicle solutions firm SUN Mobility enabling it to utilise latter's charging infrastructure across Delhi/NCR, has also chalked out a plan to expand its operations in the region.
SmartE already has an ongoing partnership with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for last mile connectivity. It currently offers around 80,000 rides to commuters daily operating from 12 stations.
"In the next 24 months, we aim to extend our services to over 100 metro stations. To cater to this, we aim to have a fleet of around 12,000 e-three wheelers," Srivastava said.
As per the tie-up with SUN Mobility, SmartE's fleet of electric three-wheelers will utilise SUN Mobility's charging infrastructure, including battery swapping system, across Delhi/NCR.
In the first phase, around 500 electric three-wheelers will use SUN Mobility's battery swapping infrastructure.
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