$1m to propel ebike project

Adelaide-based tech company TAV Systems has raised $1 million to hop on board the rise in e-bike popularity with plans to create a home-grown manufacturing base in South Australia.

Bolstered the private capital raising, the startup – which originally received seed funding from the SA Government – is working with Asian e-bike companies focusing on India and Indonesia to develop supply chain capabilities to commercialise their ‘powertrain’ technology developed in conjunction with the New Venture Institute (NVI) at Flinders University.

TAV Systems entrepreneurs Nithesh Pushparaj and Velmurugan (Vel) Selvaraju.

“Australia imports more than $1 billion worth of bikes and e-bikes every year, and it’s growing exponentially with cargo bikes, scooters and other personal mobile electric vehicles fuelling demand for electric bikes which are largely made in China and Taiwan,” says co-founder Nithesh Pushparaj, an aeronautical engineer who migrated to Australia five years ago.

“With high petrol prices and the shift to electric motor vehicles, we have the goal of producing e-bikes here for the Australian and New Zealand markets and perhaps, when we can scale up, to export to the world.”

Mr Pushparaj is using Flinders University innovation centre for product development.

TAV’s objective is to create a localised cycling industry to solve the micro-mobility problem and create more manufacturing jobs, says Velmurugan (Vel) Selvaraju, who co-founded the company at Flinders University’s NVI at Tonsley Innovation District in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Lots of European companies are moving their manufacturing from China back to Europe,” he says.

“Climate change and individual interest in sustainability and healthy solutions is also driving demand for e-bikes, cargo bikes and kick scooters.”

TAV established partnerships with South Asian countries like India, Indonesia e-Bike brands for their innovative powertrain technology designed and built at the NVI 3D innovation and incubation centre at Flinders University’s Tonsley campus.

TAV says the cost of manufacturing in South Australia could be reduced by automation, innovative manufacturing methods and establishing and promoting local supply chain for quality components.

Establishing a cycling industry in Australia was part of a presentation by Mr  Pushparaj, a keynote speaker at the 4th Annual E-bike Future Conference 2022.

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