Lithium Urban Technologies plans expansion to Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad

S V Krishnamachari
lithium urban technologies, electric cars in india, ev, mahindra e2o, lithium urban tech investors, lithium urban tech cofounders, indian startups, start ups in india

Lithium Urban Technologies, a Bengaluru-based startup that runs transportation services with a fleet of electric cars (Mahindra E2O), plans to raise money to fuel its expansion to other cities. 

The startup, launched in July 2015 with 40 electric cars, had a fleet of about 250 vehicles at the end of last month and said cost dynamics are at work more than environmental concerns. "Companies initially come to us not because of the green factor but the cost economics that we offer," Sanjay Krishnan, a co-founder of the startup told the Economic Times.

Elaborating, he said the running cost of a Mahindra E2O (an electric hatchback) at 70 to 80 paise per km was far lower than that of an Indica (about Rs 4 per km). 

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Lithium Urban Technologies, which counts Tesco, Adobe, VMware, Unisys and Accenture as its clients in Bengaluru, wants to expand to Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad by acquiring many more electric cars, financed by a planned fund-raising exercise.

Ashwini Mahesh is the other co-founder of the company.

With an annual revenue of about $4 million currently, the company plans to raise about $6 million and eyes revenues of about $100 million in four years from now, Krishnan had told the Mint last December.

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Chetan Maini, founder of India's first electric car Reva, joined the Lithium Urban Technologies board as the director in May last year. Investors in the startup include: Robin Chase (co-founder of car-sharing company Zipcar), promoters of KPIT Technologies and Narayan Ramachandran of InKlude Labs.

Sale of EVs (electric vehicles) in India grew 37.5 per cent to 22,000 units in 2015-16 from 16,000 units in the previous year. However, electric cars constituted a tiny 2,000 units, according to Siam data.

India has a target of having 6 million EVs on its roads by 2020, according to the Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 and FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles).

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From April 1, 2017, the EV makers would have to give details of emission levels to the road transport ministry. 

Apart from  Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Private Ltd., other EV makers in India include: Electrotherm (India) Ltd., Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Hero Electric Vehicles Private Ltd., Toyata Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd., Lohia Auto Industries, Ampere Vehicles Pvt. Ltd., Avon Cycles Ltd., Chris Motors and Ajanta Manufacturing Ltd. 

Nissan is planning to launch its electric car Leaf next year.

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