Malayali Entrepreneurs Roll Out E-Auto That Runs on Solar Power

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Thiruvananthapuram: Two Malayali entrepreneurs, Aromal Padmajayan and Ivin Gancius are on a mission to produce electric autorickshaws after launching an EV (electric vehicle) startup.

The start-up named ‘Eternium Locomotion & Navigation Pvt Ltd (‘E.L.O.N’) is based in Thiruvananthapuram. They launched the prototype of the vehicle a week ago. They are optimistic about the sector and are thankful for the government policies and increasing fuel prices which are encouraging more and more commuters to switch to battery-operated vehicles.

 Aromal, 33, is a native of Kozhikode whose IT company recently developed a first-of-its-kind virtual match-up convention platform for Cambridge Cleantech, UK. Ivin Gancius (41) of Kollam is a serial entrepreneur who has tasted success and failures in his journey. 

The Eternium team launched its concept prototype called ‘Gekko’ on March 24 at B-hub, a co-working space at Nalanchira in Thiruvananthapuram. Sajan Pillai and Mclaren Ventures, founder and CEO, respectively, of UST Global, graced the occasion by taking the inaugural ride inside the campus. 

According to the founders, commercial production is slated to begin soon and Eternium intends to hit the market by the third quarter of this year with the production model. “The production model will include a solar panel and regenerative braking for a longer distance per charge. The design approach of Gekko has been more towards a modern take on the ‘retro’ autorickshaws. It is basically intended to inspire the sheer nostalgia of vehicles from the 1980-the 90s,” Aromal said. 

While the battery can be charged using the usual port, the solar panels on the Eternium vehicle will also recharge it. Now, government-owned Kerala Automobiles Ltd here and Hykon Ind unit in Thrissur manufacture e-autos.

This is the first time a startup is on the verge of producing e-vehicles commercially. Eternium has a well-groomed team taking care of research and development. The duo got the spark for the project in January 2020. Since then, they have been researching tirelessly. The Rs 15-lakh fund for the project was raised on their own. 

While the battery can be charged using the usual port, the solar panels on the Eternium vehicle will also recharge it. Commercial production is slated to begin soon and Eternium intends to hit the market by the third quarter of this year with the production model.

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