Gayam Motor Works (GMW), a pioneer in the Indian electric mobility space, has announced a $50 million investment commitment from Luxembourg-based GEM Global Yield LLC SCS (GEM) as the company plans to go public. GMW is the largest exporter of electric 3-wheelers (or e-tuktuks) from India, with a presence in UK, France, Portugal, Japan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Uganda.
In Uganda, GMW has partnered with Sokowatch, a B2B e-commerce company that is helping informal shops revamp their supply chain by unlocking efficiencies and reducing stockouts. By solving the logistical challenges for shop operators in this market, Sokowatch helps drive down the cost of basic goods for the consumers. There is a huge addressable market in this space with over 10 million informal shops in African cities. These informal shops are known as Spaza Shops in South Africa, Dukas in Tanzania, Tuck Shops in Zimbabwe, and Kiosks in Kenya. These shops sell over $180 billion worth of goods every year.
An efficient, low cost, and sustainable solution such as electric 3-wheelers can help transform this market. Sales of electric 3-wheelers and electric 2-wheelers have grown significantly over the past decade and there are now more the 260 million of these on the road globally according to the 2021 Electric Vehicle Outlook by BloombergNEF. GMW is gearing up to capitalize on this market.
GMW’s SmartAuto is the first Indian electric 3-wheeler to be European certified, and is also the first e-3-wheeler to be designed with a modular battery swapping system. GMW’s clientele includes IKEA, Amazon, Uber, Flipkart (Walmart), Sokowatch, Grofers, BigBasket, Delhivery, and several others. The company has also set up battery swapping and charging networks at these customer warehouses and distribution centers.
The pandemic has caused big shifts in the supply chain industry which will continue for many years to come. The global trend towards micro-fulfillment and distribution centers spread across cities has laid the path for smaller commercial EVs due to faster pickup/deliveries and shorter distances. GMW also has plans for the production of electric 4-wheel trucks to follow next year, which will have longer range and larger volume. The vehicle will likely be designed with the same battery interface of their SmartAuto for swift battery swapping across multiple vehicle types.
“COVID-19 has caused a steep increase in ecommerce penetration globally. E-commerce firms and fleet operators find small commercial EVs to be an affordable and smarter way of moving goods around, as last-mile delivery accounts for the largest portion (~41%) of supply chain costs. Now, we look to help drive the industry’s inevitable electrification,” said GMW’s COO Sri Harsha Bavirisetty.
“This agreement with GEM is a validation of our position as a market leader in the affordable e-mobility space. We have indigenously designed a robust powertrain with proprietary battery swapping technology. Some of the global automobile majors are exploring technology partnerships with us to co-develop affordable mobility solutions,” said GMW’s CEO Raja Gayam.
Image courtesy of GMW