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Kinetic Engineering sets up new firm to make EV motors, controllers and batteries

Kinetic Engineering, which has shifted from two-wheeler manufacturing to auto components with a focus on electric vehicles, is reorganizing EV arms under Kinetic Watts & Volts to provide integrated solutions offering key components like motors, controllers and batteries.

Kinetic Watts & Volts was formed in September 2022 as a subsidiary of Kinetic Engineering to focus on anything electric to ensure a sustainable future for EVs as there is a lot of adoption.

The new firm is 92% owned by the Aurangabad-based parent firm and the rest 8% is held by the Firodia family. The company is also open to divest around 25% of the equity to a strategic/financial partner.

“We formed Kinetic Watts & Volts with a vision to provide integrated solutions offering the key three components of motors, controllers and batteries from one source to potential EV customers, be they small players or bigger ones. The objective is to ensure that our future customers need not worry about sourcing these key parts from a slew of standalone suppliers but focus on sales and marketing of their vehicles and we’ll do all the manufacturing,” Kinetic Engineering managing director Ajinkya Firodia said.

“Our existing EV business under KEL and Kinetic Communications that makes electronic components for electric two- and three-wheelers will get merged into the new company,” he added.

KEL has already been making gearbox and axles for three-wheelers and chassis for two-wheelers and three-wheelers (both traditional and EVs) and the new company can offer a more focused delivery now.

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Its first customer was sister concern Kinetic Green founded and run by his sister Sulajja Firodia Motwani, who is also planning to launch an EV version of their once famous Luna moped. The customer base since then has extended to E-blu and E-fill, among others. “We are already making the gearboxes and chassis for EVs which are being imported from China now. So, we need to just approach or somehow get these customers to approach us and start delivering because there are today 700 players of two-wheeler EV makers. That means the market is so huge,” he said.

The new company will also get into the powertrains for EVs, with the primary focus on three key things — motor, controller and battery, Firodia said, noting that the domestic EV players today do not have an integrated solution for motors, controllers and batteries.

Currently companies are buying motors, controllers, batteries from different places. “But it doesn’t work like this because the brain is the controller and the muscle is the motor and the power and storage and range is the battery and everything moves an EV. So, they need to be integrated nicely to give the best performance. So that’s what we are planning to do,” Firodia said.

“We have a sister company over here called Kinetic Communications which is an electronics manufacturing company for the last many years and it has developed controllers and motors with collaborations, and KEL is developing gearboxes and axles and is now also planning to develop a good solution for EV batteries.

“So with Kinetic Communications, we will now offer motors, controllers, chassis, gearboxes, batteries, all in one complete kit to two and three wheelers. Whoever wants it, we will get them fine-tuned to their individual requirement in a completely integrated model,” Firodia said.

He also said that KEL has got a board approval to raise Rs 54 crore by selling two pieces of land at its Aurangabad facility and the proceeds from the sale will be used to prepay Rs 18 crore of debt and modernisation as part of expansion of KEL’s auto component business, “so that we get more business from American Axle, Mahindra and others”.

Another plan to reduce debt is by promoters subscribing to new equity of about Rs 26 crore. For the past three years, the promoters have been converting debt into equity as a result KEL share price has soared 450 per cent.

“For modernisation, we have already invested Rs 3-4 crore to upgrade the plant for Mahindras and will also invest another Rs 3-4 crore for other customers,” he added.

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