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Electric Vehicles This Week: CK Birla’s Avtec to Invest $88Mn in EVs, Mahindra Electric To Partner With Ola And Uber, And More

Electric Vehicles This Week: CK Birla’s Avtec to Invest $88Mn in EVs, Mahindra Electric To Partner With Ola And Uber, And More

Important Developments From The World Of Electric Vehicles [14-20 June, 2018]

The Society of Electric Vehicles Manufacturers (SMEV) of India has urged the Centre to make policies that will help manufacturers in the short-term — starting with a period of three months to three years at the maximum. The move is aimed at providing clarity to companies that have invested in the manufacturing of EVs in India.

The EV representative group has asked the Centre to make short-term policies to enable the industry to achieve a target of 3 Mn EV sales in the next three years, starting from 2019. In the second week of September, the SMEV was said to have given its segment-wise suggestions regarding EV promotion to the different ministers of the central government and to government think-tank NITI Aayog.

NITI Aayog, on the other hand, is yet to give its approval to the power ministry’s recommendation that European electric vehicle charging infrastructure standards (which German and American automakers adhere to) be implemented in India, said officials aware of the development.

Meanwhile, a recent research report found that there were twice the number of electric vehicle chargers in 2017 than that in 2015, and the number is growing quickly. Also, a new market research report found that global electric vehicle sales are projected to grow at a CAGR of 32.57% from 1.5 Mn units in 2018 to 10.79 Mn units by 2025.

Given that so much is happening in the Indian as well as global EV ecosystem, we bring all these developments to you in the 29th edition of Electric Vehicles This Week.

Important Developments In The Indian Electric Vehicle Ecosystem

CK Birla Group’s Avtec To Invest $88Mn In Electric Vehicles

Avtec, the engine and transmission manufacturing arm of the CK Birla Group, has plans to infuse $88 Mn (INR 600 Cr) in producing electric vehicles and its components in the next three years. With the investment, the company expects a two-and-half fold increase in its revenue.

“We are working on new technologies in order to catch up the game. We plan to grow organically by investing in new product technologies and expanding our existing facilities,” Avtec managing director Prabhakar Kadapa said.

Currently, Avtec supplies gearboxes to Daimler India Commercial Vehicles and to Ashok Leyland. It is also planning to add new customers in the 1-9 tonne segment of light commercial vehicles. Further, the company is working on manufacturing gearboxes for EVs.

Mercedes-Benz Plans To Manufacture EVs In Pune

Germany-based, Daimler AG-owned Mercedes Benz plans to manufacture electric vehicles in India at its factory at Chakan in Pune. The company has announced to start global sales of its new electric vehicle sub-brand ‘EQ’ from next year; this will see the launch of a strong line-up of new clean-energy vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz India VP (sales and marketing) Michael Jopp was cited as saying, “As the Indian market moves towards electrics, we will be investigating local manufacturing here. When it happens, we would certainly manufacture them at our plant in Chakan, alongside the combustion engine vehicles.”

Jopp further emphasised on creating an ecosystem that would include having a robust charging infrastructure to power electric vehicles. He also said that the government should have a lenient import duty for clean cars to encourage investment in EV manufacturing, TOI reported.

Delta Electronics Sets Up DC Fast-Charger Station For EVs In Mumbai

Power and energy management company Delta Electronics India recently launched its DC fast-charger station for all kind of e-buses, e-cars, and commercial electric vehicles. This EV charging station at the Mantralaya in Maharashtra has been built according to the Bharat EV specifications standards. Once fully charged, EVs can run for up to 100-120 km.

“With our new range of electric vehicle charging solutions, we intend to support the government of India’s mission to drive electric mobility,” Delta Electronics India Business Head (EV charging solutions) Akshaye Barbuddhe said.

EV Transformation In India To See New Players Give Stiff Competition

India is expected to see a transformational shift in the deployment of electric vehicles, significantly impacting existing automobile parts suppliers who will face severe competition from new entrants like technology firms and battery makers, according to the latest report by consultancy firm EY.

The report, entitled ‘Electrifying India: Building blocks for a sustainable EV ecosystem’ also pointed out the urgent need for investments in domestic R&D and manufacturing capabilities to address the issue of the absence of an EV supply chain in the country.

The EY report further said that OEMs are likely to lose some control over the EV value chain. It added, “EVs are less complex to manufacture as compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles with far fewer moving components and the battery constituting around 50% of the value of the vehicle.”

Mahindra Electric To Partner With Cab Operators For EV Push

Automobiles manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra, through its subsidiary Mahindra Electric Mobility Ltd, plans to merge synergies with fleet operators and cab aggregators such as Zoomcar, Ola and Uber to increase sales of its electric passenger vehicles.

According to Mahindra Electric CEO Mahesh Babu, the company aims to double the sales of its electric vehicles, including passenger cars which run on batteries, in the current year. In the previous year, Mahindra Electric sold 4K electric vehicles of which 1,300 were passenger cars.

Zoomcar Adds 50 Mahindra EVs To Its Fleet In Kolkata

Rental self-drive platform Zoomcar has onboarded 50 Mahindra e2oPlus electric vehicles, which are available for hiring or for subscription, in Kolkata. It plans to offer car rentals at Rs 40-50 an hour and at a subscription at Rs 9,999 per month, respectively.

“The rider need not pay the road tax, insurance, or anything else. He just needs to charge the car on a 15-ampere socket. A fully charged car will run 100km with three people on board and air-conditioning,” Zoomcar CEO and co-founder Greg Moran told The Telegraph.

Zoomcar aims for 50% of its total fleet to be EVs by 2020. “By next year, 25% of our cars will be EVs,” said Moran. With the 50 e2oPlus vehicles added to its fleet on Wednesday, Zoomcar’s total number of vehicles in Kolkata stands at 200.

Developments Around The World

Renault To Invest Over $1 Bn To Accelerate EV Production In France

French automobile manufacturer Renault has plans to invest over $1.2 Bn (1 Bn euros) to increase electric vehicle production capacity in France and to add new models. The new plan includes several initiatives such as creating a second Renault electric vehicle production site and introducing a new-generation electric motor from 2021, among others.

Renault chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said, “The acceleration of our investments in France for electric vehicles will increase the competitiveness and attractiveness of our French industrial sites… Groupe Renault is giving itself the means to maintain its leadership in the electric vehicle market and to continue to develop new sustainable mobility solutions for all.”

Singapore Power To Roll Out 500 EV Charging points In Singapore by 2020

Utility provider Singapore Power (SP) plans to instal 500 EV charging points across the island by 2020, with the first batch of 30 set to be operational by the end of this year. The points will be installed across shopping malls, residential areas, business parks, and industrial sites within the island.

There are currently 40 EV charging points owned by the SP Group islandwide. Of the 500 charging points, more than 100 will be 50kW-DC charging points that can fully charge EV in less than 30 minutes. There are currently five DC chargers on the island.

The SP Group is also developing a mobile application to allow EV users to make payments through the app. The app will also send users real-time information about the availability and locations of the charging points.

Magna, BJEV Partner To Build Electric Vehicles In China

Canada-based car manufacturer Magna International has announced a joint venture with the Beijing Electric Vehicle Company (BJEV), a subsidiary of the BAIC Group, for manufacturing as well as engineering of electric vehicles for the Chinese market.

The engineering and manufacturing joint ventures are expected to take over an existing BAIC manufacturing facility in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, where the first production of vehicles is planned for 2020. The plant has the capacity to build up to 180,000 vehicles per year.

“For the first time, we will be providing our customers with cars engineered and built outside our complete vehicle manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria… and we are excited to bring it to a market like China,” MagnaInternational CEO Don Walker said.

China To Take Action Against ‘Blind’ EV Growth

China vowed action against “blind” EV growth after experts warned overcapacity risks being faced by the sector. China had as many as 102 firms producing 355 different kinds of electric, hybrid, and fuel-cell vehicles by the end of March, according to industry ministry data.

Meng Wei, spokeswoman with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told reporters that China would adjust industry entry thresholds, strengthen corporate responsibility, and improve government supervision to help bring order to the sector.

The Chinese government has also raised concerns about the rapid proliferation of different vehicle designs, which may hinder the efforts of manufacturers to gain a foothold in overseas markets. The concerned ministry has already removed tax breaks for nearly 2K electric car designs in an attempt to streamline the sector and curb irrational investment, Reuters reported.

General Motors, Honda Sign Accord For Adoption Of EVs In The US

General Motors and Honda have joined utilities, environmental advocates and other companies in signing the Transportation Electrification Accord (TEA), which aims to aggressively pave the way towards greater adoption of EVs and charging infrastructure throughout the US.

The accord calls for “critical” regulatory support at the state and local government levels, whether through incentives or through direct investments and wants utility companies to participate in the deployment of EV supply equipment. It has also urged the government to develop standards for the industry and commonly understood best practices, according to the release.

Uber To Give Raise To EV Drivers

Cab aggregator Uber has started a year-long pilot project to give a raise to its EV drivers. The cab aggregator is also partnering with nonprofits and UC-Davis researchers to discover new ways in which Uber and local governments can encourage EV adoption.

Uber has also partnered with l’Association des Véhicules Electrique du Québec (AVEC) and Electric Mobility Canada (EMC) to offer ridesharing to customers from 100 driver-partners who drive electric vehicles.

Uber users in Montreal will now get an in-app notification to inform them of being paired with an electric vehicle. Inside the EV, riders will see an AVEQ factsheet and, after the ride is over, customers will get an email with more details about EVs and the benefits of electric transportation.

Stay tuned for the next week’s edition of Electric Vehicles This Week.