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There’s a brand new entrant in India’s e-mobility sector, one that has the potential to create ripples in the mobility scene as we know it. We’re talking about Bengaluru-based start-up, Pravaig Dynamics, whose new electric car, the Extinction, is much more than a treat for the eyes.

As Pravaig lifted the covers off the Extinction on December 4th, the company revealed that it will be focusing on corporate fleets with monthly subscription services.

We caught up with Chief Executive Officer, Siddhartha Bagri, to discover more about the company’s plans.

“What we are essentially building is the best way to move in a city,” explains Bagri. You
see, this company could very easily stop at building and selling its own electric cars. But
that’s not what it’s aiming at.

The team at Pravaig Dynamics identified very early on that the problem with the current mobility landscape is car ownership. Bring into the equation a country like India, with the population density that it has, the problem is magnified ten-fold and is clearly visible for all to see on the roads of any of the country’s many metropolitans.

“The average commute time for people in cities like Delhi and Bangalore is one and a half
hours. So, we end up spending almost 2 hours on the road with very poor air quality around us in very poor vehicles to be travelling in. What we are building is an incredible way to move which really tries to gain back the time and health that you lose otherwise.

“In 2011, we started to make a good enough electric car. Back then, no one in the world was focusing on electric mobility. But by 2014, we realised that ownership is not really the way forward. Even if we replace all the cars with electric cars, the grid will still collapse; there will still be challenges for the cities. We are still spending trillions of dollars on real estate just lying around as parking lots.”

“Our cars are barely used more than 3-4% of their lifetime. It is a very inefficient industry overall. While the world can sit, wait and watch what happens, I think outside a handful of 5-10 countries, not a lot of countries can afford to do so such a thing,” he adds.

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Cutting out the Middlemen

According to Bagri, the problem is threefold. While the first problem, that being of resource
management is quite obvious, he thinks that the next biggest problem is that of being able to move within cities. A robust public transport system is the backbone of a thriving city.

While he uses examples of New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Mumbai, London and Paris, the one great example that he shares is closer to home – New Delhi. Before Delhi Metro was
introduced, Delhi was just politics and industries, but now it’s competing with Mumbai on
culture and Bangalore for start-ups. The credit for a lot of this, according to Bagri, goes to
the ability of people to be able to move freely within the city.

“The third thing is more of looking into the future about how technologies are changing the
socio-economic strata of cities. For example, today Ola and Uber charge a 40% commission
for every ride you take. Before the pandemic, they were charging 26%, but entire cities are
at their mercy. Our entire mobility infrastructure is captured by generic centralised services. It could be Uber and Ola today, tomorrow it could be another company with an AI or autonomous vehicles.

“What we are doing is already starting to decentralise and build stuff without middlemen. That will generate more wealth for the drivers and taxi providers, as well as better cost for the consumers. If there is a better cost for the consumer, they will adopt electric faster.”

And that’s where the disruption comes in folks. Pravaig Dynamics isn’t just building an
electric car, it’s bringing a luxurious ride-hailing and car rental experience to the roads of
India. But why manufacture a car, when what you have in mind could already have been
achieved by partnering up with other players?

“When you take a taxi, there is a margin of the automotive company who has spent 50% of
that money on the advertisements. First you pay that, then you pay the margins of the
distributor, the taxi company, the margin of Ola and Uber and then you use a taxi. What we
are doing is being completely forward integrated. I don’t believe that ownership is the way in the future, especially in India, when we have 300 million people coming out of poverty in the next 5-10 years.

“Even if 10% of them end up buying cars, we are talking about 30 million more cars on the roads. Where will they go? We’ll have to build infrastructure; we’ll have to ramp up all the ancillary systems for things which are barely used in the car’ lifetime. It is extremely inefficient in terms of cost, resources, in terms of the experience for the customer as well.

“We decided to be completely forward integrated and ensure we have a tight control over the customer experience, so that we can provide an experience similar to the Maybach, for the cost of something like an Accord or an Audi or less. We can provide customers with way better stuff at a much lower cost than the market standards.”

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If it adds value and if delivered at the right cost, for sure you will see adoption.

While Pravaig Dynamics has designed and engineered The Extinction, creating the batteries
and a lot of other systems responsible for the intelligence of the vehicle, it has outsourced the manufacturing.

When asked about what segment would the vehicle fall under, Bagri was quick to answer that the concept of segmentation doesn’t apply anymore. What the company believes in instead is application-driven segmenting, which offers the best of customer experience at the lowest possible cost.

For those interested, here are some of The Extinction’s impressive metrics:
● 504 Km range in one charge
● Top speed of 196 Km/H
● Charges to 80% in 30 minutes
● Power output of 150 Kw
● 0-100 Km/H in 5.4 seconds
● Wheels of 2,400 Nm

“Primarily it’s for people who want to go electric fast, who want to see their cities change in
terms of the shape, utilisation of roads, public infrastructure, etc. I think there is already a
huge population ready and willing to move to electric even at a certain premium. It is really
for people who can afford a Rolex but buy an Apple watch instead for its functionality.

“Customers in India are some of the best in the world. They are super adaptive, logical and
critically thinking. The problem is with the companies. You need deliver to their requirements and create that value for it to make sense for the customers. That’s the job a technology company – build something which never existed to fulfil demands that seem difficult to fulfil. If it adds value and if delivered at the right cost, for sure you will see adoption.”

Which path Pravaig Dynamics takes first – the B2C route offering ride-hailing and rental
services, or the B2B route, where it caters to corporates and other players in the hospitality
space – remains to be seen. 

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