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Electric Vehicles This Week: Gurugram, Hyderabad Take to EVs, BYD to Set Up Manufacturing Plant, and More

Electric Vehicles This Week: Gurugram, Hyderabad Take to EVs, BYD to Set Up Manufacturing Plant, and More

Important Developments From The World Of Electric Vehicles [3-9 May 2018]

With the Indian government going all optimistic on electric vehicles while chasing its target to achieve an all EV status by 2030, the global companies have now started eyeing India as a market seriously. With German carmaker Mercedes looking for a favourable taxation structure and Japanese EV maker Terra Motors looking to invest $5 Mn more in the country, the EVs do not seem to be a distant dream now.

Further, this week the Indian government also approved ‘green license plates’ that will contain numbers in white color for private electric vehicles, and yellow color for taxis.

Given that, so much has been happening in the electric vehicle sector, we bring to you the 24th edition of the weekly EV roundups. Here is the dope of 11+ stories around electric vehicles which circled the global and the Indian EV ecosystem this past week.

Important Developments In The Indian EV Ecosystem This Week

Gurugram To Adopt 100 Electric Buses

The Board of Directors of Gurugram Metropolitan City Bus Limited (GMCBL) has decided to add 100 hundred electric buses to the streets of Gurugram soon.

As per the reports, despite the fact that they cost almost 3-4 times more than a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) buses, their impact on the environment has urged the government to issue a large number of incentive schemes to encourage manufacturers and local governors to make and sell buses cheaply to government authorities in India.

Thus far, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Manali, Kolkata and Bengaluru have gone the electric transport way under the government’s FAME (Faster Adoption of Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles).

Terra Motors To Launch New EVs In India Soon

Japanese electric vehicle maker Terra Motors Corporation plans to launch a fleet of two and three wheeler EVs in India over the next two years. It has already invested around $5 Mn in the country, and has further lined up  another $5 Mn for product development and capacity expansion, as per media reports..

“We started business in India in 2014-end and now we are aiming to become number one electric vehicle manufacturer in the country. We are in the process of developing e-three wheeler with litium-ion battery which we aim to launch next year and after that try to bring in an e-two wheeler by 2020,” said Terra Motors MD Akihiro Ueda. The company, has so far sold around 12,000 e-rickshaws in India since 2014-end.

Terra Motors also recently secured $10 Mn from foreign investors, including Fenox Venture capital (US), to accelerate its global expansion.

BYD Plans To Setup Electric Vehicles Manufacturing Plant In Hyderabad

China-based electric vehicle manufacturer BYD Auto Co Ltd, plans to establish its production plant in Hyderabad. The state’s chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has assured to provide all help to the firm, ET reported.

A meeting was held between the state chief minister and BYD representatives in which Rao reportedly agreed to purchase 500 electric vehicles from the first production phase. These eco-friendly vehicles can be fully charged within three hours and can ply for 300 to 400 km, BYD informed the chief minister.

The Company has already teamed-up with Hyderabad-based EV manufacturer Goldstone Infratech. These Goldstone-BYD ebuses have been plying on Indian roads since September 2017. The duo has earlier supplied 100 ebusses to Telangana, 150 to Bengaluru and 40 to Mumbai from BYD.

In another development, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has decided to hire 20 electric vehicles (EV) at a cost of Rs 21,500 per month per vehicle against the current Rs 34,000 per vehicle per month, and to set up charging points at its headquarters and zonal offices.

‘Green Licence Plates’ For EVs and Exemption From Permits On Floor Now

Transport minister Nitin Gadkari recently approved ‘green license plates’ that will contain numbers in white color for private electric vehicles, and yellow color for taxis. The move is aimed at making the identification of such vehicles easy, which in turn will get preferential treatment such as, free entry in congested zones,benefits in parking, toll etc, BS reported.

The Government plans to issue the notification soon in this regard. The Minister who has been advocating electric mobility promotion in the country further announced that the government is planning to ask taxi aggregators to have an incremental share of 1% of electric vehicles every year from 2020. He also said to exempt these vehicles from permits in days to follow.

Furthermore, the road transport and highways ministry is reportedly said to be in talks with the finance ministry to allow rate of depreciation on electric vehicles at 50% as against the rate of 15% for conventional vehicles. The proposals also include bringing down the GST on batteries to 12% at par with the GST on EVs.

JSW Energy Increases Capex Plan For Electric Vehicles To $965 Mn

Making an entry into the automobile market, especially the electric vehicle space, Mumbai-based JSW Energy recently announced to have increased its capex plan to $965 Mn (INR 6,500 Cr) from $520 Mn- $594 Mn (INR 3,500-4,000 Cr) to  launch electric buses, light pick-up trucks along with charging facilities, ET reported.

Sergio Rocha has been appointed to lead the company’s electric vehicles project as its chief operating officer (COO). He was previously working as the chairman of General Motors Korea, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

According to joint MD & CEO of the company, Prashant Jain, the increased capex amount will be spent over the next three to four years, of which $148.5 Mn (INR 1,000 Cr) will be spent this fiscal year itself. He said that the company is evaluating proposals for more technology tie-ups.

The company, a division of Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Group, in August last year announced to foray into automobile market. It expects to roll-out electric vehicles over the next two years.

Artem Energy To Develop Electric Scooter ‘Artem M9’

Homegrown electric vehicle manufacturer Artem Energy Future has announced its plans to develop an electric scooter named ‘Artem M9’ that will have on-board fast charger and can also be charged by swapping batteries.

Artem M9 will be the equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems, previously seen only in luxury cars, and will run at a maximum speed of 90 km/hour with a range of 100 kms per charge, the company said in a release.

The company is in the process of raising Series A round of investment and plans to have three such scooters in the portfolio over the next five years. The M9 will be followed by the M9-A and a mid-mass market scooter, the M6, the release said.

Vizag Container Field Station Onboards Electric Vehicles

Visakhapatnam Container Terminal Private Limited (VCTPL) recently procured eight-seater battery operated light motor vehicles (LMVs), and also installed solar charging facility, for the internal transport use.

The move is aimed to effectively utilise solar energy to create a better eco-friendly environment and improvise operations at the industry-level.

According to a report, the vehicle parking shed is itself made up of solar panels with a capacity of 4kw, which would generate the power required for charging the batteries of the two LMVs. The capacity of the vehicles is 110 km run per one-time charge.

Mercedes Aims At Favourable Tax Structure For India Launch

German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz can drive in a fully electric vehicle to India as early as next year depending on a favourable taxation structure for such vehicles in the country, a top company official said.

Globally, the company is developing a range of electric vehicles and expects that by 2022, around 20-25% of its total sales worldwide would come from electric vehicles (EVs).

Developments All Over The World

Korean Carmaker Kia Unveils New EV

The newly revealed electric version of the Niro crossover in its production form is a concept version of the compact crossover. It was unveiled at the CES technology show in Las Vegas in January.

The Niro EV will be available with a range of 380km from a 64kWh battery, along with one with a 241km range. Woong Chul Yang, the firm’s vice-chairman of research and development, said the smaller version would be a 32kWh unit.

The car is likely to draw on EV technology from within the Hyundai Motor Group and will feature the same powertrain as sister firm Hyundai’s Ioniq EV.

Volvo Cars At Sweden To Get Doorstep EV Charging Facility

In a move to become northwestern Europe’s largest operator of EV-charging infrastructure, Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall has decided to help volvo car owners recharge their electric vehicles (EV) at home, reports Reuters.

Vattenfall has partnered with Chinese firm Geely-owned Volvo Cars, in which, volvo car owners can visit the carmaker’s website and order a charging box – and Vattenfall would deliver, install and service the unit. Others vying for a share of the charging business include French utility Engie, Germany’s Innogy and ChargePoint, whose owners include BMW, Daimler  and Siemens.

On the other hand, Volvo Cars which owns 18% market share for plug-in hybrid cars in Sweden’s home market has further set a target to sell 50% electric cars by 2025.

Japan’s Nissan Moving Towards Fully Electric Vehicle Range

As Europeans fear over tax rise, bans and restrictions related to diesel cars, Japanese carmaker Nissan has decided to gradually stop selling diesel cars in Europe, reports Reuters.

Nissan Spokeswoman told media, “In Europe, where our diesel sales are concentrated, our electrification push will allow us to discontinue diesel gradually from passenger cars at the time of each vehicle renewal.”

Such move is expected to cut hundreds of jobs at its Sunderland plant, Britain’s biggest automotive factory, due to falling demand for diesel models in Europe. Also the auto industry and its suppliers are facing a global regulatory crackdown on diesel emissions and are adjusting their businesses, including investing heavily in electric vehicles, the report said.

Data earlier this month showed a sharp drop in demand for diesel cars in Britain, which is Europe’s second-largest autos market, highlighted the report.

German Carmakers Demand Lower Import Duty On Electric Vehicles

In a bid to push the import of electric vehicles in the country, German Luxury car makers have reiterated their demand for a lower import duty imposed on electric vehicles. The companies are of the view that the full adoption of EV is possible only if it is available at an affordable price, reports ET.

“Lower import duties on EVs will encourage demand and help churn out volumes necessary to make investments in India for local manufacturing,” Audi India Head Rahil Ansari said, adding that “this is where we see the opportunity as a manufacturer to contribute to the project Audi calls ‘Electrified India’”.

Americans More Likely To Buy Electric Cars, AAA Study Finds

The most recently published survey by AAA has found that 20% Americans will choose electric cars as their next choice of vehicle, from 15% as compared to 2017. According to a report, one of the primary reasons Americans are likely to consider buying an electric car is to diminish concerns about running out of electricity.

In the survey, 58% respondents said it was a concern that would prevent them from buying an electric car, marking a decline from 68% in 2017.

Another report by HybridCars suggests that the sales of pure electric vehicles totaled about 104K vehicles in 2017, up by 24%.

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