It is true that people from the mountains understand climate change and global warming in a way that folks from the city just don’t.
Growing up in the mountains and eventually seeing less and less snow as you grow up to become an adult can change something in you and make you want to contribute towards bettering the situation.
This is exactly what happened with Sudhir Nayak, the founder of SunFuel Electric.
Fuelled with a desire to do his part in reversing climate change, Sudhir Nayak teamed up with Gul Panag, Mathew Koshy and Rishabh S Mehta in 2020 and founded Sunfuel Electric, a Gurgaon-based startup.
The startup offers high-speed charging infrastructure and services to luxury vehicles of the likes of Mercedes (EQC and EQS), BMW (iX and i3), Audi E-Tron, Jaguar i-Pace, and Porsche Taycan.
There is a specific pain point that SunFuel Electric is trying to solve – the dearth of proper charging options for luxury electric vehicles in India.
The charging that SunFuel Electric provides is advertisement-backed. This means that the startup provides advertising space for brands to put up their campaigns.
The startup’s charging infrastructure is high-speed and also adheres to all requirements.
To cater to the customers of the luxury EV segment, SunFuel Electric sets up charging spots in luxury premises and premium hospitality players like Radisson Hotels, Country Inn Hotels, IHG Hotels, and even popular golf clubs.
The advertisement aspect of SunFuel Electric
The startup offers charging services that are advertisement-backed. What the company is doing is providing brands key spots in luxury premises to advertise themselves and, in the process, also be associated with sustainability.
Here, the founder claims, location is extremely important, and in more ways than one, SunFuel Electric has thrown open a lot of doors for fresh locations that brands can utilize easily.
The functioning: in detail
While currently, SunFuel Electric is focusing on destination charging alone, it has set up a city charging infrastructure.
This is based on the principle of Programmatic Digital Out Of Home. Simply put, it makes every charger an asset that repeatedly generates revenue.
SunFuel Electric charging locations can be found on Google maps or through the startup’s mobile application.
The charging experience offered by the startup uses an OCPP platform. Through this platform, its proprietary OTC (One Tap Charging) card is activated.
SunFuel Electric uses a level 2 AC charger called Monolith that is widely used for destination charging. The company has installed the same in the luxury locations it currently serves.
The price range for the charging services varies between ranges between Rupees 10 to Rupees 15 per kWh for AC charging. It is Rupees 17 to Rupees 21 per kWh for DC Charging.
The startup currently has 80 charge stations. It has also completed 4,500 charging sessions.
Co-founder and Bollywood actor Gul Panag manage a different part of the business model. It is called E-Trails.
E-Trails is a community-driven programme. The hotel partners of SunFuel Electric that are EV-enabled offer room nights in the plan.
Later, these free room nights are presented to people who are early to hop on the EV bandwagon. This is done through cashback and group travel plans.
The founders are confident about creating and ruling the category of destination EV charging in India. While there are companies like Statiq and Zeon in the field, they don’t offer high-end luxury EV charging like SunFuel Electric.
In 2023, SunFuel Electric is aiming to install more than 350 chargers. By 2024, the plan is to increase the number and install up to 1000 chargers.