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Torus Robotics: A Chennai-based startup revolutionizing the EV powertrain market

Torus Robotics, a deep tech startup founded in Chennai in 2019, has raised a seed investment of $470,000 from the Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Fund Management Corporation (TNIFMC) and other investors. The startup specializes in indigenous powertrain technology for the electric vehicle (EV) automotive market, defence, aviation, and consumer markets. The funding will be used to scale up its research and development operations, and to introduce new products that can meet the changing needs of customers in the EV automotive space.

What is powertrain technology and why is it important?

Powertrain technology refers to the components that generate power and deliver it to the wheels of a vehicle. It includes the engine, transmission, battery, motor, and controller. Powertrain technology is one of the most critical aspects of an EV, as it determines the performance, efficiency, range, and cost of the vehicle.

According to a report by Research and Markets, the global EV powertrain market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5% from 2020 to 2027, reaching $62.9 billion by 2027. The growth is driven by the increasing demand for clean and sustainable mobility, the supportive government policies and incentives, and the technological advancements in the EV industry.

Torus Robotics: A Chennai-based startup revolutionizing the EV powertrain market

However, the EV powertrain market also faces some challenges, such as the high cost of components, the lack of standardization, and the dependence on imports. According to a study by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), India imports about 85% of its EV components, mainly from China, Taiwan, and South Korea. This makes the EVs more expensive and vulnerable to supply chain disruptions.

How is Torus Robotics addressing these challenges?

Torus Robotics aims to address these challenges by developing and manufacturing compact, lightweight, and highly efficient powertrain solutions for EVs, using its proprietary axial flux technology. Axial flux technology is a type of electric motor design that uses a disc-shaped rotor and stator, instead of a cylindrical one. This allows for a higher power density, lower weight, and lower cost compared to conventional alternatives.

The startup claims that its products are at least 50% lighter and more compact, up to 15% more efficient, and cost-effective compared to conventional alternatives. The startup also offers customized solutions for different applications and segments, such as two-wheelers, three-wheelers, four-wheelers, industrial vehicles, drones, and aerospace.

The startup has successfully validated its technology under the Facility for Low Carbon Technology Deployment (FLCTD) programme facilitated by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The startup has also secured funds for applications within the EV, industrial, and energy sectors under the FLCTD programme. The startup’s technology has also undergone validation processes conducted by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).

Who are the investors and partners of Torus Robotics?

The seed investment of $470,000 was led by the TNIFMC, under its Tamil Nadu Emerging Sector Seed Fund (TNESSF). The TNESSF is a fund of funds that invests in early-stage startups in emerging sectors, such as EV, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence. The fund is managed by the TNIFMC, a public-private partnership between the Government of Tamil Nadu and the National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF).

The funding round also saw participation from Forge Innovation & Ventures, Coimbatore, and SINE (Society for Innovation & Entrepreneurship) IIT Bombay. Forge is a startup incubator and accelerator that supports deep tech startups in sectors such as EV, robotics, IoT, and healthcare. SINE is a technology business incubator that supports innovation and entrepreneurship at IIT Bombay and beyond.

The startup has also received support from Startup TN and the Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation Institute – Tamil Nadu (EDII-TN), which are government initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the state.

What are the future plans of Torus Robotics?

The startup plans to use the funding to scale up its R&D operations, and to introduce new products that can meet the changing needs of customers in the EV automotive space. The startup also aims to expand its market presence, and to collaborate with OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, and other stakeholders in the EV ecosystem.

The startup’s vision is to become a global leader in powertrain technology for EVs, and to contribute to the transition towards a sustainable, clean-energy future.


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