The Bengaluru-based company will not sell its electric cars directly but instead lease it to fleet operators
Electric cars are all the rage and the latest to jump on the bandwagon is Bengaluru-headquartered Pravaig with the ominously named Extinction. And their business model centres not around selling directly to customers but leasing the cars to fleet operators. In fact Pravaig is not going to sell their cars at all. They will lease it, along with a trained chauffeur to do the driving. And Pravaig claims they will include the cost of charging up the cars in the monthly cost of the car itself.
Pravaig is head quartered in Bangalore and perhaps the most interesting bit of the story is their claim that the electric cars will be contract manufactured by a major OEM says Ram Divedi, mentor and CXO at Pravaig.
The Extinction — perhaps not the smartest name for the prototype considering the pandemic we are going through! — is claimed to have been designed in house by a team of 60. The design and manufacture of key components that would usually require a lot of research and development have been outsourced to keep the costs down like the HVAC, cabin air filters and electrical systems. The powertrain is being developed as part of a collaboration between two major OEMs in this field and the battery is assembled in-house from cells sourced from global majors in this field.
Pravaig takes great pride in the design of the 96 kWh battery pack. The electric motor puts out 150kW of power (201bhp) and whopping 1200Nm of torque. In terms of performance, the prototype cars can accelerate from 0-100kmph in under five seconds, but the final cars will be detuned to deliver 0-100kmph in 5.9 seconds, in the interest of range. Claimed top speed is 196kmph which seems rather optimistic considering even Mercedes-Benz have capped the top speed of the EQC electric SUV (soon to be launched in India) to 180kmph in the interests of range.
Speaking about range, Pravaig aims to eke out 500 kilometres of range on a single charge. The company claims that it will be able to get more than 300km of range with 30 minutes of charging when connected to a fast charger. The car has a 40kW on-board charger that allows for a full charge in 4 hours. One has to admit, the specifications are very ambitious and so is the claim of autonomous driving with the ability to keep within lanes and switch lanes automatically. There will also be adaptive cruise control that works at low speeds — in a traffic jam for example. And finally there is Park and Go capability to save time and effort in urban parking. It all speaks volumes for the optimism of the project, though it has to be taken with a pinch of salt considering the realities of the Indian urban environment and all the associated chaos. And in any case why would fleet vehicles with a driver need this feature?
Pravaig has an interesting business model in that the car will not be sold to private individuals. Instead the company will lease the cars — along with a driver — to fleet operators. The thinking behind it is that to recover the initial purchase price of EVs the cars need to be run continuously and thus take advantage of low running costs. The 500km range is intended to see the car tackle multiple runs to the airport, in a city like Bengaluru for instance, and only needing to be charged overnight. Pravaig will also be installing chargers at the offices of the companies who have leased the car and their leasing costs with cover the cost of electricity consumed by the car.
Keeping in mind the car will be chauffeur driven, considerable focus has been placed on optimising passenger comfort, including individual rear seats that can recline up to 55-degrees. Space will be generous. The car is 4820mm in length and has a wheelbase of 3038mm. At 1934mm it is also wide. Access issues might be there because the prototype has only one door on the driver’s side. The images show the single door on the left side clearly indicating this car was designed for left-hand-drive markets. For India the left hand side will have two doors.
Pravaig also claims a state-of-the-art air filtration system that will deliver ‘Himalaya-like’ air quality. There are also four USB Type-C ports, wireless charging and ambient lighting.
With the specifications and technology packed into the Pravaig Extinction, the up front cost will be exorbitant. The car is even specified with independent suspension, not the more affordable torsion beam on the rear axle. And that’s what the cars will only be offered on lease at a rate that would compare favourably with current leasing options when you consider all the running costs are included including that of a driver. Though, that said, one wonders how the business model has been structured without the cash inflow from selling cars outright.
The project is nothing if not ambitious but Pravaig has already sparked interest and investment. Eren Groupe, a French organisation specialising in renewable energy has invested in Pravaig and the executive director of Eren, Siddhartha Bagri, is the co-founder along with Dhawal Vinayak. In fact this story goes back 9 years when the co-founders started making buggies.
Pravaig claims 6 prototypes have already been built and one is being tested in Bengaluru. The ninth and final prototype destined for production in mid 2021.
Note: All the information contained in the story has been supplied by Pravaig and over conversations with Ram Divedi. evo India cannot vouch for the authenticity of the claims.
Edit at 1:15pm, July 21, 2020 : Names of global OEMs involved in the project have been retracted on request of Pravaig