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Electric Vehicles This Week: Hyundai Unveils Two Electric Cars; Essel Infraprojects Commits $651 Mn Towards EVs

Electric Vehicles This Week: Hyundai Unveils Two Electric Cars; Essel Infraprojects Commits $651 Mn Towards EVs

Important Developments From The World Of Electric Vehicles [22-28 February]

The excitement around electric vehicles doesn’t seem to have died down, even after the conclusion of Auto Expo 2018 last month. At the recently-held India Korea business summit in New Delhi, South Korean auto giant Hyundai showcased two electric vehicles – Nexo and Ioniq.

Another major development this week was Essel Infraprojects’s announcement to commit $651.6 Mn (INR 4,250 Cr) towards electric vehicles.

The country’s first EV manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra, on the other hand, entered into a partnership with Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem to develop advanced lithium-ion power storage technology. The company is aiming to double its EV portfolio over the next three years.

Luxury car maker Porsche is gearing up to launch an electric vehicle in India by 2020. In other news, various ministries of the central government are set to procure electric cars over the next few weeks.

The Central Electricity Authority is mulling introducing a special pricing for charging of EVs, as a way of promoting their adoption in the country.

Given that so much has been happening in the country’s electric vehicle sector, we bring to you the 14th edition of the weekly EV roundups.

Hyundai Unveils Two Electric Vehicles As India Korea Business Summit

South Korean auto giant Hyundai showcased two electric vehicles – Nexo and Ioniq – at the recently-held second edition of the India Korea business summit in New Delhi. While Nexo is a next-gen fuel cell-powered EV, Ioniq is a battery-driven vehicle.

Speaking at the summit, Hyundai Motor R&D Centre Vice President S. H. Kim said, “Since the past 20 years, Hyundai has a long-term commitment towards Make-in-India and today we are proud to showcase sports utility vehicle Nexo along with a global EV Ioniq at the India Korea Summit 2018.”

Calling it a significant step forward for Hyundai, Kim added, “Hyundai is continuously innovating in clean and connected mobility solutions to make a long-term positive transformation for our future generations.”

Essel Infraprojects To Foray Into EV Market With $651 Mn Investment

Essel Infraprojects, a subsidiary of Essel Group, is set to enter the Indian electric vehicles segment with $651.6 Mn (INR 4,250 Cr) investment. The capital will be utilised for installation of charging stations and to manufacture electric buses and e-rickshaws.

As per reports, the company has announced plans to make a $460 Mn (INR 3,000 Cr) investment to introduce 1,000 electric buses from intrastate Uttar Pradesh to the NCR region. To that end, Essel Infraprojects has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UP government.

Apart from the above, the company will also be investing $76.6 Mn (INR 500 Cr) to develop e-rickshaws as well as battery charging and swapping stations across the region. An additional $115 Mn (INR 750 Cr) will be spent on setting up bus terminals in the state.

Commenting on the development, Subhash Chandra, Chairman of Essel Group said,  “Compared to any other state, Uttar Pradesh has a huge potential to attract investments with its natural resources and human resources and under the able leadership of CM Adityanath, we can already see the signs of transformation.”

Mahindra Partners With LG Chem To Develop Power Storage Tech

Mumbai-headquartered automotive giant Mahindra and Mahindra has announced a partnership with Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem to develop advanced lithium-ion power storage technology.

As part of the partnership, LG Chem will build a fuel cell specifically for Indian application and will also supply NMC-based Li-ion batteries with high energy density.

The technology, as per reports, will be deployed by Mahindra and subsidiary, SsangYong. Additionally, LG Chem will also design Li-ion battery modules for Mahindra Electric.

Commenting on the development, Mahindra Power and Spares’ President and Chief Purchase Officer Hemant Sikka said, “This association with LG Chem will give Mahindra the requisite access to advanced battery technology and will also enable us to deliver globally competitive products.”

JSW Energy To Launch EV In Three To Four Years: CEO Prashant Jain

JSW Energy is gearing up to launch its first electric vehicle in India within the next three to four years. During a recent media interaction, JSW Energy Joint MD and CEO Prashant Jain said, “JSW Energy decided to enter into electrical vehicle space because we saw that this is a unique opportunity, given free cash flows status that we have.”

“We want to venture into the new generation businesses and thereby decided to enter into electric vehicle as well as the energy storage business. At this point of time, we are conducting the final feasibility studies as well as conducting discussions with various technology suppliers and engineering service providers to finalise and carve out product strategy,” he added.

The company had earlier committed $623.68 Mn (INR 3,500 Cr-INR 4,000 Cr) to its electric vehicles business for the next three years.

Porsche To Bring Electric Vehicles To India By 2020

The luxury car brand of Volkswagen Group, Porsche, has announced plans to launch an electric vehicle in India by 2020. Confirming the development, Porsche India Director Pavan Shetty said, “We will launch a fully electric car in India in the beginning of 2020. This is a part of the Mission-E of the company.”

Prior to that, Porsche will be launching the EV models globally in the last quarter of 2019, Shetty added. According to him, the models are based on the prototypes showcased by the company during the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015.

“We are expecting a stable growth in the country as it is difficult to judge the external conditions like exchange rate fluctuations,” he added.

Mahindra To Double EV Portfolio By 2020

The country’s first electric vehicle manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra is reportedly aiming to double its EV portfolio over the next three years. As part of this goal, the company is planning to introduce at least four new models on Indian roads by then.

To that end, Mahindra is planning to invest $122.7 Mn (INR 800 Cr) towards the product development and capacity enhancement in the EV segment. Driven by incentives under the government’s FAME scheme, Mahindra expects a substantial growth in its electric vehicle sales in the coming years.

Speaking on the matter, Mahindra Electric CEO Mahesh Babu suggested that the government should extend the current support under FAME and special tax structure for EVs for another two years. This, according to Babu, would help bolster the still nascent EV market in India.

Various Govt. Ministries To Get Electric Cars In The Coming Weeks

To promote the adoption of electric vehicles, the Indian government is gearing up to add up to 10,000 electric cars to its fleet. “While our ministry will be getting 500 new electric vehicles (EV) in the next few weeks, various ministries have been asked to replenish their stock of vehicles with electric vehicles,” said Union Power Minister R.K. Singh.

Singh further stated a battery recharger will be installed in the ministry to power these electric vehicles. During a recent media interaction, the minister also announced plans to set up 500 charging stations for electric cars, in partnership with power discoms in select corridors.

“We have not finalised the corridors. We will select the corridors where the battery recharging facilities for electric vehicles would be set up in collaboration with discoms. My ministry was finalising power tariff policy for electric vehicles. We would be coming be out with a power tariff policy within the fortnight,” he added.

AP CM Officially Rolls Out Two Electric Vehicles In Vizag

With the government working to expedite the transition to all electric cars in India, Vizag seems to have emerged as one of the frontrunners in the EV race. The city of Andhra Pradesh has reportedly rolled out two electric vehicles soon.

At the third CII Partnership Summit last week, AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu officially unveiled two electric cars — Tata Tigor and Mahindra e-Verito.

As part of a joint venture between Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) and New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of AP Limited (NREDCAP), the EESL will also be supplying 10,000 cars to the state in the coming months. The total cost of procurement is estimated at $168.7 Mn (INR 1,100 Cr).

NREDCAP Managing Director M Kamalakara Babu said, “The governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka too have approached the EESL for these cars, but the AP government has taken the lead by rolling out the cars for use by government departments.”

Central Electricity Authority Mulls Special Pricing For EV Charging

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) is mulling introducing a special pricing for EV charging, as a way of promoting their adoption. CEA Principal Chief Engineer Sandesh Sharma said, “If you want to promote something you will have to give some benefits. We are deliberating on special pricing for power for charging electric vehicles.”

As stated by Sharma, a draft paper on the matter will be ready soon. He further stated that CEA would be looking at different aspects of peak and non-peak tariff to come up with a pricing that can help promote electric cars.

It will also evaluate the feasibility of using renewables like solar power to charge EVs. A draft policy will be floated for the standardisation of storage batteries, added Sharma.

BMW Pursues JV In China For Production Of Electric MINI Cars

Germany-headquartered auto giant BMW is reportedly looking at a joint venture in China for the local production of battery-powered electric vehicles under its MINI brand. The JV, the company hopes, will boost the sales of MINI cars.

According to sources close to the development, BMW Group has already signed a “letter of intent: with Chinese company, Great Wall Motor. As part of the JV, the duo will start manufacturing the first battery electric MINI by 2019.

With various ministries of the union government procuring electric cars, the Indian government is doubling down to meet its target of switching to 100% electric vehicles by 2030. To be able to attain this feat, however, there has to be a robust network of EV charging stations across the country. Keeping that in mind, the CEA is considering introducing special pricing for charging of electric vehicles.

As an added push, the Indian government is looking to offer incentives and subsidies to domestic battery manufacturers, in order to increase the production and lower the costs of lithium-ion batteries in the country. If successful, the shift to electric vehicles could potentially help India save up to $300 Bn (INR 20 Lakh Cr) in oil imports and nearly 1 gigatonne of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, as per a recent report by FICCI and Rocky Mountain Institute.

Stay tuned for the next edition of our weekly series of Electric Vehicles Roundup!