• sachin malhotra

What Powers Energy @ OYE! Rickshaw?

By Shuvajyoti Ghosh, VP — Energy Services

OYE! Rickshaw is building a technology ecosystem for e3W, enabling convenient and affordable micro-mobility and hyperlocal logistics. Energy-as-a-service is one of the offerings. In this article, we take a closer look at some of the technologies powering the energy marketplace.

Why Battery Swap?

This section is our customary homage to the eternal debate on swap vs plug-in. In this avatar, the OYE! Rickshaw energy marketplace is a network of Battery Swapping points (Live in NCR since 4Q ‘20). This axiomatic decision is primarily driven by the affordability needs of this segment.

If we consider “low-downtime” as a hard constraint, Swapping has clear advantages over Rapid Charging (5–15 min) over the foreseeable future. Rapid Charging Infrastructure needs higher input AC power, limiting ubiquity, and requires adherence to much higher safety protection standards. Rapid charging technology for small packs (e2W/e3W) is still evolving and costly. Notwithstanding the float inefficiency (# of batteries: # of vehicles) that swap entails, we estimate that at today’s market price points, swapping results in ~47% higher XIRR (higher hardware cost in rapid charging). This enables rapid infra expansion and opens up pricing lever for rapid adoption. However, both benefit from faster charging rates. We are actively engaged in studying high-C high-life batteries, and high wattage chargers with the global majors.

Energy Distribution Network

One of the cardinal problems of a battery infrastructure is where to place the nodal points of the network. Too many points lead to higher costs and lower utilization, and too few lead to range anxiety, lower adoption, and churn. Oye! Platform has onboarded 5000+ vehicles and tons of user insights based on platform activity. For planning the energy network, we leveraged our in-house AI-based Trip Forecasting Engine. We were able to locate hosting locations to create an optimized network that resulted in lower range-anxiety and dead-run for the driver-partners and lower hosting costs for Oye!

Leveraging AI-based Forecasting Engines to plan optimum swap network

The Energy Product

The Energy marketplace product at Oye! leverages the best of Battery, Charging, IoT, and Digital technologies to deliver seamless experience to end consumers and all operating stakeholders.

By design, 100% of hardware at Oye! is Connected — starting with BT (to connect via proximate user’s phone) to GPS/GSM IoT for stand-alone assets. Our proprietary integration stack combines all of the hardware and software modules and provides a harmonized experience. The focus has been to modularize as much as possible — right from big stacks to internal construction to aid in hardware interchangeability and serviceability.

Batteries are custom built to suit our use case with no compromise. From the choice of cell chemistry that allows us to extract high cycle life in high temperature regions (affordable pricing per KWH), to internal construction choices that help withstand the Indian arterial roads on leaf-spring suspension vehicles, to carrying convenience, every detail is custom engineered. The BMS CAN through the IoT beams live battery parameters to the cloud for real-time applications and advanced analytics.

Swapping Stations combine the best of smart electronics & power electronics with cloud and software to provide 100% automated self-serve battery collection and dispensing points, allowing for 24/7 and manpower-light operations, and remote management.

Oye! Smart Swap Station

Digital technologies form the key pillars for enablement, efficiency gains, and opportunity unlocking for the entire solution stack. The Driver mobile App enables the end consumer to plan hassle-free and efficient trips by providing RT SoC information, Station discovery & automatic/cashless battery swapping.

The IoT sensor layer, cloud platform, and deep analytics layers driven by AI algorithms are encapsulated in the “Eagle” Command Center. This enables a host of use cases — such as Product optimization, Asset tracking, and security, Demand-supply matching, Adaptive pricing, Product health monitoring, and management.

Battery Data and Intelligence

At Oye! we are ushering in the future of transportation. So far, our young & growing Energy network has powered over 500,000 Kms, enabled drivers in the NCR to run 250 KM+ at a stretch, and has increased the top box driver-partner income by 79%.

And we are looking for harbingers to build this further.

If you want to build the Energy Operating System (a term I picked up from a revered mentor) for micro-mobility and logistics, please gimme a buzz

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