Mantra and Exponent’s Innovation in 15-Minute Charging for Electric Three-Wheelers
Electric three-wheelers (E3Ws) are one of the most promising segments for electric mobility in India, as they offer a clean, affordable, and convenient mode of transportation for both passengers and goods. However, one of the major challenges faced by E3W drivers and operators is the long charging time and limited range of the batteries, which affect their productivity and profitability.
To address this challenge, Montra Electric, the EV brand of Murugappa Group, and Exponent Energy, an energy-tech startup, have announced a partnership to develop rapid-charging electric vehicles in the three-wheeler segment. Mantra Electric will launch a rapid charging 3W variant that will be equipped with Exponent’s 8.8 kWh e^pack and will achieve a 0 to 100% charge in 15 minutes at Exponent’s e^pump charging network, while also having the ability to be slow charged at home.
Exponent’s 15-minute charging solution solves two key challenges associated with rapid charging: Lithium plating and extreme heat. Lithium plating is a phenomenon where metallic lithium deposits on the anode of the battery during fast charging, reducing its capacity and lifespan. Extreme heat is generated during rapid charging, which can damage the battery cells and cause safety hazards. Through the application of their specialized Battery Management System (BMS) and charging algorithms, Exponent ensures minimal Lithium plating, leading to an extended lifespan for the e^pack. Additionally, the company has introduced a “water-based” offboard thermal management system, incorporating an advanced HVAC system in the e^pump to manage extreme heat effectively.
Exponent’s e^pack is backed by a 3000-cycle life warranty even with 100% rapid charging, a technology that has been independently validated by TUV India (TUV Nord Group, Germany). The report indicated only 13% degradation after 3000 cycles of rapid charging. This means that the e^pack can last for more than eight years with daily usage, significantly reducing the total cost of ownership for E3W drivers and operators.
The partnership between Montra Electric and Exponent Energy is expected to create a paradigm shift in the E3W market, as it will offer zero-compromise EVs that can match or exceed the performance, convenience, and economics of conventional ICE vehicles. The rapid charging E3Ws will also enable higher utilization and faster return on investment for fleet owners and aggregators. Moreover, the rapid charging network will create new employment opportunities for local entrepreneurs and service providers.
Montra Electric and Exponent Energy are confident that their collaboration will accelerate the adoption of electric mobility in India and contribute to the government’s vision of making India a global leader in EV manufacturing and innovation. The companies plan to launch their rapid charging E3Ws by early 2024, catering to both individual and institutional customers.