As a near-global consensus to achieve net-zero CO2 by 2050 becomes mainstream, there will be an urgent need to drive rapid decarbonisation in all sectors. Transport emissions account for 24% of direct CO2 emissions from fuel combustion. India is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and has made national policy announcements and investments to secure its energy future. Its transport sector is responsible for 13.5% of the country’s energy-related CO2 emissions, with road transport accounting for 90% of the sector’s final energy consumption. This is further concentrated in freight and public transport use-cases which make up roughly 70% of the demand.
Cost per unit electricity from renewables continues to plummet and lithium ion batteries have improved in price and energy density. The argument to support electrification of commercial vehicles is now a truism from an operating expense and maintenance cost standpoint. However, the biggest adoption bottleneck in markets like India is the availability and speed of charging — sparse charger networks and long charging times nullify any potential upside from EV adoption. Commercial vehicle owners earn by the hour, and it makes no sense to expect them to wait for 5–7 hours to fully charge their vehicles. These entrepreneurs also need flexible schedules and typically fuel up once a day to manage cash flows. Combine this with the cost of the pack and price sensitivity of emerging markets, and we’re heading towards an impasse. This barrier must be overcome in order to achieve meaningful electrification.
There are a few choices ahead of us:
Enter Exponent, a solution that lines up perfectly with this need. Exponent’s programmable energy stack combines battery technology with a seamless charging experience that promises to let you “recharge like you refuel”. The design solution is cell agnostic, can support any capacity, and also comes with a 3000+ cycle battery pack warranty. The Exponent Energy Pump pairs with this module and onboard circuitry to charge batteries in under 15 minutes, creating a magical experience without disrupting TCO requirements.
Arun, Sanjay and the entire founding team at Exponent were early employees and built their expertise through multiple product cycles at Ather. While they are deeply technical, they value rolling up their sleeves and building outstanding products above all else. When we first met them, we were deeply impressed by their understanding of the needs, the friction in the status quo, and their clear articulation of the future. Their plan was measured in months, not quarters or years and the pace of execution made this a compelling opportunity to change the narrative of mainstream mobility and transportation.
As India’s first VC PRI signatory, 3one4 continues to nurture its commitment to ESG-aligned tech businesses. Climate tech has become an increasingly larger part of our investment focus, and we are grateful to be able to play a role in the growth of tomorrow’s changemakers.
We’re thrilled to join Arun and Sanjay on their journey to build an Exponent enabled future.