When Simple Energy first began developing its electric scooter in 2019, the aim was to launch a two-wheeler that outperformed the existing competition in terms of range, speed, charging time and affordability. The Indian startup was founded by Suhas Rajkumar, who was unable to find a scooter that met his requirements when looking to buy one for his family. After researching battery and charger technology and electric vehicles (EVs), he identified a gap in the market. Rajkumar would create a high-performance e-scooter that delivered comparable performance to conventional gasoline-powered scooters, and could be quickly and easily charged.
“Our vision is to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles that can travel longer distances,” said Suhas Rajkumar, founder and CEO of Simple Energy. “Until now, there has been a gap between what consumers want and what they receive in terms of electric scooter performance. No electric two-wheeler on the Indian market has met their requirements for long range, fast charging and value for money. So that’s where we’ve focused our research and development efforts.”
Simple Energy’s first prototype achieved a range of 233km, unmatched by any other e-scooter on the local market. The Simple One scooter, launched in August 2021, delivers even greater performance.
With four riding modes – Economy, Ride, Dash and Sonic – the Simple One goes from 0-40 kilometers per hour in just 2.95 seconds, traveling 236 kilometers within a single charge. Simple Energy has developed its own battery management system to achieve optimal efficiency from the removable lithium-ion battery pack, which has normal and fast charging modes. Home charging takes 2.75 hours while the portable battery can be charged in 75 minutes.
To achieve its market-leading metrics and keep costs under control, Simple Energy has designed and developed the Simple One completely in-house, including the electric motor and battery pack.
“There were a lot of existing components available in the market, including the motor, that didn’t meet our requirements,” explained Kiran Poojary, CTO at Simple Energy. “We wanted a very compact system that still delivered high performance and we realized that we needed to take control and build our own to get the best results. We’ve manufactured many components locally to ensure that we’re not too expensive for our target market and can retain our competitive edge.”
As the EV market continues to boom, Simple Energy has moved fast to bring its innovative scooter to market as quickly as possible. To do that, it required a technology platform that could support all of its design and development processes. The company was already part of the Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS for Entrepreneurs program, using SOLIDWORKS applications to design its first prototype electric scooter. For the Simple One, it used the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform on cloud to further streamline product development and benefit from the platform’s rich capabilities.
“By 2030, almost all vehicles in India will be electric and the government is pushing for this to happen,” Rajkumar said. “We wanted to get ahead of the competition and realized we needed to accelerate our product development. That’s where the 3DEXPERIENCE platform has come in. We know that leading companies across the automotive industry depend on the platform, so we’re in good company. We felt confident it would support us now and in the future. The entire design of the Simple One has been handled on the platform, including all metal and plastic parts.”
Using the platform, we’ve achieved a lot in a short amount of time. Within a year, we had developed the vehicle from the ground up.
Before using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on cloud, Simple Energy experienced issues from working with multiple standalone software applications.
“The communication between the teams was difficult,” Poojary said. “The 3DEXPERIENCE platform has brought everyone together in one place. Now, we can easily share information across all departments.”
Simple Energy began using the platform to handle a few component designs, but quickly expanded its use as the benefits of a cloud-based platform approach became more apparent.
“It’s very flexible and it makes our job easy,” Poojary said. “Now, when we share data, we know that everything updates in real time and is completely connected. The platform makes my job easier too, as I can see the 3D model from wherever I am. The cloud helps to keep our data safe and accessible without the worry of maintaining our own server systems.”
Simple Energy’s engineers enjoy using the platform too. “There are lots of positives,” Poojary said. “They appreciate that they can now access the information they need right away and work far more efficiently. They no longer have to wait to hear about what’s happening on a specific part. They can work on their own projects and still have a good idea of the status of the rest of the vehicle.”
Having a single source of truth has been crucial as the company went from design and engineering to manufacturing the Simple One scooter.
“The platform allowed us to answer any questions and handle any manufacturing issues with ease,” Poojary said. “Having access to all the information we need in the cloud has made the manufacturing phase much simpler, both internally and with our suppliers, such as the local bodywork manufacturers, as they are also using the same software. It has really helped us to speed up time to market.”
As weight is directly proportional to the scooter’s range, every gram matters.
“Compared to a conventional scooter, we have to redesign everything, including our suspension setup, chassis, plastic and surface designs,” Rajkumar said. “Everything about our scooter is completely different as it has to be very lightweight and efficient. We use a lot of data to optimize our designs.”
Simple Energy used CATIA on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to design all the Simple One’s plastic parts and trims, delivering the high precision and quality required by the mold manufacturers.
“We use CATIA for all bodywork and surface design,” Poojary said. “It is very flexible and gives us a high level of control. CATIA is easy and user friendly and allows us to handle much larger files. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform also resolved any issues we had sharing files with manufacturers. Before, there were a few mismatches, but now we’re seeing far fewer issues in terms of tolerance.”
Through better data quality, Simple Energy’s prototyping and tooling costs have reduced significantly too.
“We’ve seen a 90% reduction in terms of prototyping issues and we’ve managed to reduce the number of prototypes we need to make by a third thanks to the close integration between the components and bodyworks on the platform,” Poojary added.
We’ve seen a 90% reduction in terms of prototyping issues and we’ve managed to reduce the number of prototypes we need to make by a third.
Simple Energy worked with Dassault Systèmes partner EDS Technologies to implement the platform.
“They helped us choose the best-in-class CAD solution for the body design with emphasis on getting the highest quality results,” Poojary said. “The EDS team got us up and running on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform quickly, supporting us to understand how to use the platform for our design and engineering activities and take our capabilities to the next level. It’s a great partnership.”
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform on cloud has had a significant impact on Simple Energy’s product development, allowing it to streamline cross-disciplinary collaboration and speed up the launch of its scooter.
“Using the platform, we’ve achieved a lot in a short amount of time,” Rajkumar said. “It took us about half the time to develop the vehicle compared to the industry standard and reduced our timeline by at least six to seven months. Within a year, we had developed the vehicle from the ground up. The cloud means everything is completely connected and it has given us a lot of leverage on times. I think for any startup or someone who wants to venture into this space, this is the right software for them. It saves so much time and, today, time is money.”
As a pioneer in the Indian electric scooter market, Simple Energy supports the Indian government’s sustainability efforts in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is pursuing Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy; Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth; and Goal 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.
“With the goal of affordable and clean energy, our company plans to have products purely running on clean energy with zero emissions,” Rajkumar said. “We’ll also keep hiring and supporting young talent, harnessing their innovative thinking to come up with the right products. And in line with goal 8, we’ve brought to market an affordable, long-range scooter developed using cutting-edge technology such as the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, all within our manufacturing facility which runs on Industry 4.0 principles.”
Simple Energy is also taking control of the charging infrastructure required to keep its scooters running and make ownership of its vehicles as convenient as possible.
As it looks ahead, Simple Energy is committed to building on its expertise and widening its scope to develop a wider range of EVs and infrastructure.
“By opting for the right technology, we can hire the best, most relevant expertise and continue to lead the way,” Rajkumar said. “We are looking into running other engineering activities on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and expanding into developing other vehicles beyond electric scooters. Because we’ve developed so much in-house, we’ve been able to innovate across all aspects when it comes to our technology, our offering, our pricing and our target market. It’s a really exciting time to be in this industry, and we’re just getting started.”
Based in Bengaluru, India, Simple Energy is a young team of EV enthusiasts, designers, engineers, and problem-solvers coming together to make smart, supercharging and affordable scooters. The company is committed to changing the EV space as we know it.
For more information: www.simpleenergy.in
EDS Technologies is one of the largest engineering and visual simulation solutions providers in India. With over two decades of experience in various industries, the company enables businesses in the aerospace, automotive and supply chain, industrial machinery, high-tech and electronics, railways and infrastructure to achieve their business goals. Headquartered in Bengaluru, EDS Technologies has a direct presence in 9 cities across India, serving more than 1,500 customers with PLM, visual simulation, e-learning and 3D printing solutions.