Indian EV startup receives funding from Japanese trader Mitsui

Goldie Srivastava, co-founder and CEO, SmartE (file photo).

By Atul Ranjan

NEW DELHI, NNA - Indian electric vehicle startup SmartE has raised 1 billion rupees ($14.5 million) from Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. to fund its expansion amid the government’s green mobility push, Goldie Srivastava, co-founder and chief executive officer, told NNA on Sunday.

The four-year-old firm operated by Treasure Vase Venture Pvt. Ltd., which also counts Singapore-based EcoTransit Investments Pte. Ltd. as one of its investors, runs a fleet of about 1,000 e-rickshaws offering last-mile connectivity around metro stations, mainly in New Delhi.

SmartE plans to expand its fleet to 100,000 electric vehicles, including e-rickshaws, by 2022.

Launched in October 2015, the startup initially raised $5 million from EcoTransit Investments.

SmartE has said it has also set up India’s “largest” EV charging infrastructure with the capacity to charge more than 800 vehicles concurrently.

The government is inviting proposals for the deployment of 1,000 new EV charging stations. It will also set up ethanol fuel stations across the country.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd., which launched the world’s first fully electric sport utility vehicle in India last week, said it is working with the government-owned oil marketing firm Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOCL) to deploy fast chargers at its fuel stations.

Indian technology company Vakrangee said last week that it would provide an EV charging facility through its network of Kendra retail outlets that will increase to 75,000 across the country in the next three years.

Electric scooters being charged in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru (file photo).

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