Japan’s Mitsui invests $14 million in Indian EV startup SmartE

  • Japan’s Mitsui Group has invested $14 million in SmartE, an electric vehicle startup based out of Delhi.
  • SmartE, the three wheeler electric mobility startup, already has a partnership with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
  • The Indian government has been pushing for EV growth in the country and had announced subsidies for EV buyers during the budget.
Indian Electric Vehicle startup SmartE has raised $14 million from one of Japan’s largest conglomerates Mitsui Group.

SmartE, the three wheeler electric mobility startup, already has a partnership with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. Under the partnership, SmartE offers connectivity to commuters within 5 kms radius of metro stations in the national capital.

"Growing urbanization in Delhi-NCR is driving demand for transportation, including first and last mile services, placing a greater burden on the environment. We are proud to partner with SmartE who shares our commitment for sustainable business development and alleviating pain points to improve living standards for communities,” said Shinichiro Omachi, Managing Director of Mitsui & Co India.

With the investment, the Japanese conglomerate will also help the startup to grow its fleet to 50,000 electric three-wheelers over the next four years. The company will also help SmartE expand to different cities of India.

SmartE also built charging infrastructure in India with a capacity to charge 800 vehicles at the same time.

The Indian government has been pushing forward the growth of EVs in India. In the Union Budget 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced tax subsidy for people who buy EVs.

“To make electric vehicles affordable to consumers, our government will provide additional income tax deduction of ₹1.5 lakh on the interest paid on loans taken to purchase electric vehicles. This amounts to a benefit of around ₹2.5 lakh over the loan period to the taxpayers who take loans to purchase electric vehicles,” said Sitharaman during her Budget speech.

The government had also reduced the goods and services tax (GST) on EVs to 5% from the previous 12%.
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