August , 2023
Unlocking energy storage
17:11 pm

Saptarshi Deb

Sheru, an energy storage start-up based in New Delhi, India, offers cloud storage solutions by aggregating idle battery capacity to create a virtual energy storage platform. Notably, Sheru is the world’s first company to integrate V2G technology with battery swapping, synergizing two complementary systems. In an interview with BE’s Saptarshi Deb, Ankit Mittal, the Co-Founder and CEO of Sheru, sheds light on the company’s journey and its business model.

Q  What’s the story behind the name “Sheru”?

A. From the outset, we aimed to work with Li-ion batteries, and “Sher” means lion in Hindi, symbolizing power. The “U” shape of batteries inspired the fusion of “Sher” and “U,” resulting in “Sheru.”
Q. Could you elaborate on your business model?

A. Our company specializes in software solutions for the e-mobility and energy sectors, comprising three software suites:
1. ScaleBat: This suite empowers battery manufacturers, EV fleet operators, financers, and stakeholders in the EV domain to monitor and optimize battery performance, extending asset life and maximizing returns.
2. SellBat: By facilitating retailers to enter the battery swapping business, we create an additional revenue stream for retail stores. This solution serves as a convenient point for commercial electric vehicles to swap batteries and simplifies entry into this space for retailers.
3. NetBat: A groundbreaking technology that aggregates idle battery capacity from swapping stations and electric vehicles, creating a virtual energy storage network. This solution meets the needs of power utilities seeking affordable, easy, and
on-demand energy storage.
Q. How do you view the start-up landscape in India?

A. The start-up space in India is brimming with exciting developments, witnessing innovations to address the unique challenges faced by India and similar developing nations.
Q. How do you evaluate the Indian renewable energy sector, both presently and in the next decade?

A. The Indian renewable energy sector is experiencing rapid growth. Factors such as declining solar costs, capital market interest in funding the energy transition, and companies adopting greener supply chains have all contributed to this progress. In 2022, 92% of the new energy capacity added in India came from renewables.
This trend is expected to accelerate further over the next decade. We anticipate that, at some point soon, all new energy capacity will be met by renewables, potentially displacing fossil fuels, mirroring developments in other countries worldwide.
 The challenge lies in the intermittent nature of renewable power, requiring substantial storage to balance supply and demand.

Q. What government policies can enhance the growth of the renewable sector in India?

A. In our view, storage plays a crucial role in scaling up renewable energy in India. To accelerate the growth of renewables, incentivizing storage becomes necessary.

Q. Storage remains a critical issue in the renewable energy sector. What innovations do you offer to address this challenge?

A. Indeed, storage has been a key challenge due to its cost and the need for short-duration storage. Standalone storage projects can take years to break even and might even prove unviable.
Sheru’s innovative solution, NetBat, is a virtual energy storage platform that aggregates idle battery capacities from EVs and battery swapping stations. Power utilities can utilize this stored energy when production is high and receive it when demand rises. As renewables’ share in the power network continues to increase, affordable and easily accessible storage solutions become imperative, and we are committed to providing such solutions to the industry.
Q. How do you assess the growth of the EV market in India?
A. India’s transport sector has predominantly been dominated by 2-wheelers and 3-wheelers, and this trend has been mirrored in the EV market as well. In 2022, more than 90% of EVs sold were 2-wheelers or 3-wheelers, and this trend is expected to persist throughout the decade. While electrification of bus networks will gather pace, 4-wheelers may experience slower growth compared to other segments.
Q. What are your expansion plans, and what is your current market size?

A. Our focus lies in expanding NetBat and increasing the storage capacity we offer to utilities. Presently, our capacity stands at 20 MWh, and we intend to substantially expand it in the next 18-24 months. 

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