Mohanraj Ramasamy, a native of Tamil Nadu, India came to the US looking towards a better life. After working with a few renowned multinational American technology companies, he enrolled in an MBA program, says his dream has always been to be an entrepreneur and to deliver a product which could be used around the world as a whole, including his homeland.
In an interview with indica, the hardcore computer architect and a passionate automobile technologist shared his vision of launching his own company in the US.
Ramasamy said he came to the US on an H-1B visa in 2000 and had worked at Hewlett Packard (HP), Tesla Motors and Lam Research, earned his MBA degree from the University of San Francisco before creating “Srivaru Motors” an upcoming e-motorcycle manufacturing company in India.
Ramasamy, the founder and CEO of Srivaru Motors, said the company was officially established last March(2018) and has set up an R&D for a state-of-the-art facility to design and produce eco-friendly motorcycles in Coimbatore that run on lithium-ion batteries.
When asked if India is ready for an electric vehicle even if it’s a bike, his voice sounded confident, “India is a country for two-wheelers, specifically for motorcycles. Many recent national surveys revealed that people are ready to use the EV solution if the product has the quality and range”
“The range we expect is at least 100 km (62 miles), even though the true number would be bigger,” continued Ramasamy with confidence, “It’s a unique bike”. While most providers are still working on low-end scooters, SVM is working on an affordable motorcycle. It includes lithium battery technology which resolves many user concerns and requests about needing a longer battery life, longer range, quality, and having easy serviceability.
The bike market in India is flooded and the majority of bikes run on petrol. Petrol bikes have less than 40 percent energy efficiency, While SVM is manufacturing eco-friendly vehicles which runs with over 90 percent efficiency at 10 percent running costs.
Lithium-ion battery technology is stabilized enough to provide 2000 recharge cycle. Calculating on the range a battery pack can offer over 3 lakh KM ride. The SVM vehicle solution entails that the bike can be charged using a regular Indian plug and also a DC fast charging. A 100 percent charging on a normal household outlet would take 4 hours while DC fast charging station can charge 80 percent of the battery in less than 45 minutes.
A lithium-ion battery is a much cleaner and safer technological solution for the environment.
SVM bikes will have zero-emission engines which do not cause any pollution along with a sleek design, which goes along with the present prime minister Modi’s initiative to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The timing is right for this type of vehicle, and the Indian government is pushing for it as well.
What could be better than offering a renewable energy-based vehicle to
a country dealing with high pollution?
Ramasamy claims SVM offers the best in safety performance and comfort and is customer-centric. The company has a plan to launch the e-motorcycle in June and has a plan to manufacture around 40 to 50 thousand motorcycles each year.
He though did not reveal the price and investment costs but did state that over 300 people in India are working at present and around the Globe to bring the product to market.
When asked how SVM bikes are different than all the other e-bikes in India he said, “The SVM bikes provide a comfortable ride while virtually eliminating the battery range and service related issues. There are more details specifications which will be revealed during product launch”
“People say India is a cheap economy if that is the case Nano car should be most sold car. Whereas that is not the case. I say India is a comparative psychological economy. An aspirational economy,” he said. “So, that’s why SVM is focusing on the quality of the product rather than the cost of the vehicle.”
“Srivaru Motors’ goal is to create cleaner transportation for mass adoption,” said Ramasamy. “All people want to do is get from one place to another place, and it really doesn’t matter to them whether they get into a scooty or a bike or etc. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what they can afford”.
“When we started the company, my vision is to make mass market clean energy vehicle. The ultimate goal is to create pollution-free commute, and it can only be done when adopted by many, not just by a few elites,” said Ramasamy.
Ramasamy calls Srivaru Motors his dream project of 20 years. SVM has three patents to protect critical components and design to avoid any duplication of products.
Explaining further he said that the bikes are assembled in Coimbatore and a lot of the technology doesn’t exist in India even today, so the technology comes from Europe, Taiwan, and China, as well as India.
He said, “We do as much as possible locally, but there are technologies that we partner to produce from outside. But they are designed by SVM, and serviced and sold by SVM.”
The vehicle has western safety performance and stability and has been designed and tested by Indian engineers.
The design part comes from Ramasamy, who calls SVM a unique bike that adds what the Indian market was lacking in design, style, and details.
Ramasamy lives with his family in California and often visits India for his work. One can manage teams around the world using technology these days. “I see the entire world as a global village”, he said.
When asked what he gets here that India doesn’t offer, he said after a pause, “You get access to the modern technologies, excellent leadership, and mentors. I won’t be able to do what I am doing if I am sitting in India.”