SUN Mobility to spend Rs 16.7 bn on charging infra for electric vehicles

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Chetan Maini promoted SUN Mobility is planning to invest Rs 16.7 billion to create charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in Andhra Pradesh. The company is promoted by Maini, founder of India’s first electric car Reva, along with Uday Khemka, vice-chairman of SUN Group, to develop electric mobility solutions.

Maini confirmed the development and said it is a long-term investment that will be made in multiple phases spread over 3–5 years.

SUN Mobility plans to do a pilot at Visakhapatnam, this year and then gradually take it to several other cities in the state. This is the first time such infrastructure is being built in Andhra, the company claims.

“We are also in discussions with multiple partners who want to invest and work on this,” he said, while refusing to share any further details.

The investment will primarily be focused on setting up charging/swapping infrastructure with a focus on electric vehicles in public transport, such as buses, three-wheelers, four-wheelers, and intra-city cargo vehicles. Maini said there will be several manufacturers involved in this initiative.

He added that the infrastructure will be an open architecture model, which would allow all vehicles to charge.

In 2017, the Bengaluru-based company entered a strategic alliance with commercial major Ashok Leyland to develop electric buses with swap-and-charge battery technology.

The partners have unveiled Circuit S, India’s first electric bus equipped with swappable batteries. The fully-charged batteries, which can power the bus for 50-60 km, take less than four minutes for swapping.

A 10-month old start-up, Sun Mobility is a 50:50 joint venture between Virya Mobility 5.0 and SUN New Energy Systems, which specialises in electric mobility. The organisation will work with state transport undertakings, fleet operators, shared-mobility providers, and automotive manufacturers across all platforms, including two- and three-wheelers, cars and buses.