The United Nations has declared air pollution as the theme for the 2019 World Environment Day, and nowhere is the need for action greater than in India.
Fifteen Indian cities have been featured among the 20 most air-polluted cities in the world, and vehicular emission has been noted as one of the major reasons behind these alarming levels of air pollution in the country.
It’s clear that electric vehicles will help reduce vehicular emissions greatly, and the change needs to happen as quickly as possible. To aid this switch, many national and international companies have announced their foray in the electric vehicles sector.
This week Tata Motors-owned British automobile maker Jaguar Land Rover and German automobile manufacturer BMW announced a partnership to jointly develop electric vehicle technology. Indian automotive companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Sahara Group, Hero, Mahindra has also been aggressively adding to the EV push in India.
However, lack of charging infrastructure and high costs of electric vehicles are the major roadblocks in India’s emobility vision of having 30% electrified vehicles on the road by 2030.
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EV News From India
Huddle And growX Ventures Launch EV Acceleration Program
Gurugram-based incubator Huddle and early stage investing firm growX Ventures’ EV Acceleration Program is inviting applications from early-stage ventures solving for use-cases relevant to the electric vehicles sector. The program is focussed on B2B ventures catering to battery-level innovations, charging infrastructure, low-cost manufacturing, and data-driven solutions among others.
Hyundai, Hero Plan Electric Vehicle Offerings
South Korean company Hyundai has announced that its first electric car SUV Kona will be released in July. Indian two-wheeler major Hero is also planning on expanding its existing 600 EV dealerships to reach 1.5K touch points across India in the next two years.
Yulu Expands Miracle Escooters To More Bengaluru Locations
Dockless electric vehicle sharing platform Yulu has partnered with Electronics City Industrial Township Authority (ELCITA) to expand Yulu electric’s reach into the Electronic City area in Bengaluru. A fleet of 200 Yulu Miracle ebikes have been deployed in the area to encourage electric mobility and help deal with severe vehicular congestion in this part of the city.
Mahindra’s In Talks For Global Partnerships As EV Sales Grow
Indian automobile major Mahindra & Mahindra’s electric vehicle (EV) sales have grown over 2.5 times to touch 10,276 units sold in 2018-19, as compared to 4K units sale in 2017-18. The Indian automobile maker was recently reported to be in talks with global manufacturers of electric vehicles for the supply of EV parts such as electric powertrains.
India’s Union Govt Calls For Deploying 5K Electric Buses Under FAME II
India’s Department of Heavy Industries has issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) calling for proposals from state transport departments to aid the deployment process of 5K electric buses under its EV focused FAME II scheme. The EOI showed that the selected cities will be offered a subsidy of 40% on cost, or up to INR 55 Lakh per standard bus of 10-12 metres. Further, the incentive for a midi-bus of 8-10 metres is up to INR 45 Lakh, while for a mini electric bus, it is INR 35 Lakh.
Honda Delays India EV Plans, To Focus On Hybrids
Japan-based automaker Honda has reiterated its plans to go slower in terms of introducing electric vehicles in India. The carmaker has been delaying its plans due to lack of clear roadmap policy for the electric vehicle industry. According to Rajesh Goel, senior vice president and director of Honda Cars India, the company will be focusing on hybrid vehicles until the charging infrastructure is developed in the country.
EV Startup Pick of the Week: Blu Smart
Delhi NCR-based Blu Smart was founded by Anmol Jaggi and Punit K Goyal in January 2019. The company was initially started as an EV cab hailing service in Delhi NCR region. Blu Smart has partnered with Mahindra Electric to add 70 Mahindra e-Veritos to its cab fleet.
Earlier this week, the Blu Smart announced its pivot from just cab-hailing services to subscription-based car rentals, ride-sharing on both electric cars and bikes, and shared EV charging infrastructure across Delhi NCR region. Along with these expansion plans, the company has also announced a new Android application for the subscription service, which will be released later this month.
EV News From Around The World
Tesla Shareholders Lose $8 Bn In 2019 Due To Share Dip
Tesla shares recorded a 43% dip last week causing founder Elon Musk to lose $4.9 Bn from the value of his stake. Tesla’s four biggest individual shareholders — Musk, Tencent Holdings Ltd., Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Larry Ellison lost $7.8 Bn in total. According to reports, Musk now ranks 46th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, down from 29th at the start of 2019.
China To Prevent EV Players From Outsourcing Products To Prevent Crash
China is going back to its protectionist route to manage the electric vehicle industry in the country. The government is now considering ways to limit EV startups that farm out their manufacturing under new rules. According to reports, this move is aimed at preventing a crash in the electric vehicle industry, similar to the dotcom bubble from two decades ago. According to the new draft rules, only “eligible” companies will be allowed to outsource their production to other automakers.
Jakarta Steps Up Its EV Game To Become Greener City In World
Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, which has declared its intention of becoming the greenest city in the world. To achieve this goal, the Transjakarta Bus Rapid Transit System is now rolling out a trial programme of electric buses on certain routes in the city. According to Transjakarta CEO Agung Wicaksono, the trial will help in understanding the required changes to replace the city’s fleet of public vehicles with electric vehicles.
Lyft To Offer Free EV Charging In Portland
US-based ride-sharing platform Lyft is offering free charging for its electric vehicle drivers in the state of Portland. To be effective from July, Lyft drivers using plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicles will be able to use Portland General Electric charging stations for free. Currently there are currently five charging stations across the region, each capable of charging six vehicles simultaneously.