Indian-Australian startup raises $1m for e-bike manufacturing hub in South Australia

TAV Systems was launched in April 2020 with an aim to convert traditional bikes into electric bikes by establishing a local manufacturing capability in Adelaide. 

An Indian-Australian start-up, TAV Systems, has raised $1m from Savaliya Group, a family-run conglomerate based in India, to establish a manufacturing hub in Adelaide, South Australia.

Nithesh Pushparaj, Velmurugan Selvaraju and Manimaran Ganesan started TAV Systems in April 2020 with an aim to convert traditional bikes into electric bikes using their uniquely designed electric powertrains (motor, battery and display unit). 

Team TAV System 9Image source: Supplied)

Pushparaj, who migrated to Australia five years ago, told The Australia Today that it was encouraging to receive $1 million funding boost.

“TAV has completed its seed round of funding for our vision to set up local e-bike tech manufacturing facility in South Australia. With this $1 million, we are now even closer to our goal. We are grateful to thank our previous investors, Team TAV, partners, and suppliers for their continued effort to make TAV what it is today.”

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Vivek Dahiya in red shirt (Image source: supplied)

Vivek Dahiya of IP Guardian Patents and Trademark Attorneys says that such events give him a boost to keep going on his mission of impacting 100 South Australian startups 2025 by using patents as a business tool.

“Today, TAV Systems is on its way to becoming a pioneer in bike manufacturing in South Australia with a small patent portfolio. Patents are the backbone of manufacturing and must be considered on Day 1 by startup founders.”

Given the spiking petrol prices, the global e-bike market is valued at more than $23 billion and e-bike market in Australia is booming with sales up a staggering 800 per cent in the last five years.

Bike imports by financial year / * FY21/22 figure to December 2021 (Source: Bike Industries Australia)

While most European countries are encouraging local manufacturing, during the pandemic Australia recorded the import of e-bikes. Figures from Bike Industry Australia (BIA) show that Australian wholesalers imported 1.1 million bikes over the year to June 2020.

Demand for e-bikes is growing in Australia and Pushparaj observes that e-bikes are the future of micro-mobility. He adds that it is time for Australia to rethink the e-Bike supply chain strategy with local manufacturing. 

“TAV Systems is working towards the local production of e-bike powertrain in South Australia to support our home grown e-bike and cargo bike brands. This will also help create local jobs.”

Selvaraju adds that their startup was looking to capitalise on the renewed demand for local manufacturing during Covid-19 and establishing a local supply chain for components is part of driving down the cost of local manufacturing.

Sanjay Savaliya, Managing Director of Savaliya Group, says that his company is ethically driven and very excited by the early growth of TAV Systems.

“Together with TAV, our aim is to make and develop innovative solutions for the electric bicycle industry, to make e-bike ownership a safer and hassle-free experience.”

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Australia’s regulations for safety in e-bikes include a maximum continuous power of 250 watts for the motor and a maximum assisted speed is 25 km p/h.

Pushparaj’s team has developed their powertrain technology at Flinders University’s New Venture Institute at Tonsley. He notes: “Traditional bikes can be easily transformed into e-bikes by installing powertrain components that provide the required high power and safety without affecting the overall performance.”

TAV Systems team (image source: Facebook)

TAV Systems has been incubated by the South Australian Government and Flinders University since its incorporation.

TAV Systems has partnered with wholesaler Rilu e-Bikes as its launch customer in Australia, while Indonesia’s Sealog Logistics is the first customer for its cargo e-bike technology.

They are also working with companies in India to develop a supply chain and commercialise its technology with the ultimate goal of establishing a local manufacturing capability in Adelaide.