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The nationwide lockdown has brought up many environmental changes that occurred as the positive effects of people and their pollutant vehicles being away. The improving air quality had been one good thing amid this pandemic. Especially in metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai, it had been really good for air quality. While the government started focusing on more and more electric vehicles on the roads that don’t emit harmful pollutants, two brothers from Bhopal came up with highly affordable e-scooters that are cheaper than other fuel-based options.
It’s been quite a while since the government of India and e-vehicle manufacturing companies nationwide are bringing in new ideas to make it easier for users to switch. The manufacturers are being offered various incentives and subsidies like reduced GST for EVs. There is now an eco-friendly and wide range of options for two, three, and four-wheelers. Bhopal-based Enigma Automobiles Private Limited has taken one of the major initiatives in this respect.
About Enigma Automobiles Private Limited
Enigma Automobiles Private Limited was started by two brothers from Bhopal: Anmol Bohre (30 yrs) and Alankrit Bohre (27 yrs) in the year 2015. The story behind this startup plan is quite interesting. It was never a dream project but a genuine initiative towards introducing more eco-friendly alternatives for transportation. A visit to Delhi created the impulse of availing similar or better options in Bhopal in the minds of Anmol and Alankrit.
While Alankrit was an engineering student, Anmol was running his real estate consultancy firm in Bengaluru. On a visit to Delhi, the electric rikshaws with open doors grabbed their attention and called for their innovative selves.
While sharing an experience, Anmol said, “We were intrigued and fascinated by that electric rikshaws making no noise and worked without diesel or petrol. And the next thing we did was to research e-vehicles in the Indian market. Since green vehicles can bring about great ecological changes, it became a trigger to design and create something similar.”
The brothers decided to start from scrap, invested Rs. 2.5 lakhs and came up with the first model of e-rikshaw according to the slightly hilly terrains of Bhopal. They planned to shuttle work and studies and take off.
Explaining more about their experiences, Alankrit said, “We came across several setbacks regarding suspensions, welding, short circuits, and wiring while the final product was still in the making. We tested the ready model on our family farm and several hilly roads of Bhopal. It received a lot of attention and applauds, the locals liked it and asked us to manufacture it for them. It was when Enigma actually became an idea.”
They took a loan of Rs.12 Lakhs from their father and started the company, renting a manufacturing facility in Mandideep, Bhopal’s industrial area. While they were clueless about the approvals and licenses, they completed all the legalities now and attained a certificate for operating in compliance with the Central Motor Vehicles Rules defined by the International Centre for Automotive Technology in Gurugram.
Swooping Into Two-Wheeler Manufacturing
In 2017, Enigma earned a total revenue of 1.2 crores. While this was a milestone, the founders decided to expand their reach and come up with something new. This was when they started working towards manufacturing electric two-wheelers. Enigma was a B2B company selling -rikshaws till now and making electric two-wheelers was a different ballgame at this point. It took them a lot of effort, time, and money to properly research and execute their plan. It was a difficult time for them as their father passed away meanwhile.
Features Of The E-Scooter
- Enigma offers three scooter variants- GT450, Ambier, and Crink which are priced between Rs. 49,000 - 78,000. Also, there are two battery options: lithium-ion and lead-acid. Lithium-ion battery life is five times more than the other.
- The dust-proof battery is powered by a 250 Watt BLDC Motor, and take up to four hours to charge completely. The scooters use a battery swapping technology which means the users can replace depleted batteries with the charged ones. It can be done within minutes.
- Batteries let the scooters run up to 140 kilometers in a single charge. The cooters come with tubeless tyres, the rear drum brake, front disk brake, front hydraulic suspension, rear hydraulic shocker, three electronic gear systems, digital LED speedometer, LED head and tail light, etc.
Features Of E-Rikshaw
- Enigma emerged as a pioneering company with gear systems installed in two of its rikshaw models: Marut LDX and Marut. While one is a passenger vehicle, the other one’s a loader.
- The e-rikshaw is equipped with a detachable lithium-ion battery that charges completely for 2.5 hours or a lead-acid battery that takes eight hours to charge. It comes at a price of 1.10 lakhs.
- The most important benefit of the battery is that it can be charged anywhere using a conventional household power socket. It can run up to 100 kilometers on a single charge.
- The battery life equals that of 400 cycles which means it will work well for 15 months and later you can get it changed from the local manufacturer. The vehicle uses a keyless remote system. You can start or stop the vehicle using a remote. It has a mobile charging option, LED headlight, and tubeless tires.
- You also get a buyback policy with Enigma where the owner can compensate their vehicle for cash or a new vehicle.
Challenges And Future Prospects
Forming a reliable, trusted network of suppliers for batteries and other important materials was one of the greatest challenges that the brothers faced. There was a time when they were taken for granted for compromising on quality or charged exorbitant rates. Making up a strong team took time and experience.
Another important consideration was to educate customers about their product. Convincing the consumers about the benefits and specifications of e-vehicles was a daunting task. The duo then decided on showcasing open batteries at their showroom in Bhopal. They are now up with some new models of e-scooters and venturing into e-bikes as well.
Despite the challenges and hardships, Enigma has made a major place for itself in the electric vehicle industry. Their latest aim is to attain 30 percent of the market share by 2025. While the country is quickly moving towards sustainability, companies like Enigma have an important role to play.