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Using electric planes and UAVs, this startup wants to redefine urban mobility in India

Increasing population, encroachments, traffic problems, and infrastructure problems are major concerns for Indian roadways. In a bid to solve issues related to inadequate road infrastructure, Chennai-based The ePlane Company is looking to take the aerial route.

Ubifly Technologies Private Limited, better known as The ePlane Company (TEC), was founded in 2016 by Pranjal Mehta and Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy to provide aerial delivery services. The startup ideated out from the National Centre for Combustion Research & Development Lab (NCCRD).

He adds that the products developed by the startup are unique in nature because they are a hybrid mix of drone and electric aeroplane technology.

Satyanarayanan has been teaching Aerospace Engineering at IIT Madras since 1998. He is also the head of the National Centre for Combustion Research & Development Lab (NCCRD) and the Centre of Propulsion Technology at IIT Madras.

His study on propulsion was one of the reasons that led to the launch of TEC. On the other hand, Pranjal, an alumnus of IIT Madras, was previously involved in building short distance daily flying vehicles.

“Electric cars are now more expensive than traditional combustive vehicles and the major reason for this is the cost of the battery. Users expect similar mileage from both the vehicles and thus, EV cars need to pack up batteries to match the mileage of an ICE car, thereby increasing the cost of the vehicles. However, that will not be the case for aeroplanes as it is not possible to pack up batteries on planes because it will not be able to take a flight. This brings down the cost of electric aeroplanes to that of a conventional aircraft,” says Satyanarayan.