The OEMs, who all participated in ongoing Auto Expo 2018, with the offerings gave a very clear message that if the Indian market demand a diverse range of electric mobility offerings they are ready with their EV models
The Auto Expo 2018, which is being held from 9-14 February 2018 at India Expo Mart in Greater Noida, saw the highest number of electric vehicle (EV) showcases by OEMs across vehicle segments, including two and three-wheelers apart from passenger and commercial vehicles.
The OEMs, who all participated in ongoing Auto Expo 2018, with the offerings gave a very clear message that if the Indian market demand a diverse range of electric mobility offerings they are ready with their EV models.
Frost & Sullivan estimates sales of approximately 2-2.5 million EVs in India by 2030, accounting for about 30-35 per cent of the new vehicles market.
This is worth mentioning here that the above estimates are higher than what the firm suggested before the Expo. Frost & Sullivan earlier had projected sales of approximately 1.4 million EVs in India by 2030, accounting for about 18 per cent of the new vehicles market.
The 2018 edition of the Auto Expo has marked the beginning of electric mobility as a mainstream offering.
Maruti Suzuki India kick-started the Expo with its e-SURVIVOR Concept – EV design concept and working model of next generation Suzuki Hybrid Systems (HEV). Honda Cars India exhibited its much awaited Honda Sports EV Concept, Honda NeuV, Clarity Fuel Cell (Honda’s most advanced zero emission vehicle).
Renault showcased its all-electric grand tourer concept car TREZOR, and ZOE e-Sport Concept. Even Hyundai’s global EV Ioniq was also unveiled. Mercedes-Benz’s futuristic Concept of EQ was also at the Expo.
Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors displayed a wide range of electric mobility offerings aimed not only at the private customer, but also fleet operators in the last-mile connectivity business.
Not only the established mainstream OEMs but also smaller bespoke manufacturers focusing solely on electric three-wheeler offerings such as Lohia and Vikram including Chinese OEMs such as Shigan were also at the Expo.
Lohia had a solar powered three-wheeler rickshaw on display. Component manufacturer Greaves Cotton displayed a three-vehicle electric prototype its pavilion. Greaves Cotton not only developed the vehicle, but have also invested in the development of electric motor, battery management system and peripherals including battery and tires for the model.
Among two-wheelers, TVS Motor Company had its Creon on display. Powered by three Lithium-ion batteries, the Creon can be charged to 80 per cent in 60 minutes. The model also offers a range of 80 km on full charge with a 0-60 kmph acceleration of over 5 seconds, claims the company. Twenty Two Motors also showcased its AI enabled, cloud connected electric two-wheeler capable of a range of 160 km which can be charged to 70 per cent within an hour.
According to Frost & Sullivan, two-wheeler segment will constitute nearly 60 per cent of the EV market with a healthy growth of nearly 38 per cent by 2020.
The commercial vehicle segment also saw a host of EV unveilings. Ashok Leyland unveiled Circuit-S, an electric bus powered by a swappable smart battery. JBM Solaris Electric Vehicles launched its 100 percent Electric Bus Series ECO-LIFE, powered by lithium batteries and can run 150-200 kms in 10-15 hours of city bus operations.
Frost & Sullivan has suggested that these offerings should augment last mile and short haul connectivity in urban and Tier 1 cities where metro connectivity and local trains already manage long distance commute. Of particular importance is the role of electric people carriers in the development of public charging infrastructure apart from driving the need for new business models such as battery-swapping in urban applications.
“The low speed of technology adoption can be attributed to limited cooperation between OEMs and suppliers. Increased cooperation in the future should improve economies of scale and accelerate the use of technology,” said Aswin Kumar, Program Manager, Mobility (Automotive & Transportation) Practice, Frost & Sullivan.
For long-term growth of electric and hybrid vehicles in India, players should: focus on affordable electric / hybrid technologies, keep a close watch on government plans, reduce the price gap between conventional vehicles and full hybrids, create better awareness of hybrid/electric technologies to alleviate fears relating to safety and cost of ownership, and integrate technologies with the help of suppliers by jointly investing in research and development for industry consolidation and economies of scale.