Germany: During his visit to Leipzig, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal visited and interacted Fraunhofer Institute and BMW’s Electric Vehicle manufacturing facility, a statement on Press on Information bureau. In Leipzig, Goyal studied Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure which included public fast chargers, normal chargers at homes as well as multi-functional street pole chargers with CCTV and Wi-Fi infrastructure. The city utility in Leipzig provides free electricity to EV owners in order to incentivise consumption.
This is a model being used by Tesla motors too and can also be explored in power surplus India. Innovative business models in EVs have resulted in a cultural shift so that in big cities, youngsters consider owning a car a taboo and prefer using an app based service to unlock and use the nearest EV which are available across large cities.
“The Minister also explored areas like potential availability of good technical assets in stressed solar companies in Germany, long term funding, grid balancing, electric vehicles development, off grid systems, green energy corridors and long term funding.” the statement said.
A number of their innovations in areas like Electric Mobility (storage and retrofitting buses), Industrial Data Space etc. are prospective areas that can be explored for further collaboration. Goyal invited senior management of Fraunhofer Institute invited them to setup a centre for EV research in collaboration with IIT BHU, Mumbai or Chennai and help in mass production of charging stations.
The minister also visited the BMW’s Electric Vehicle manufacturing facility near Leipzig which produces their i3 and i8 series of EVs. With a capacity of 30,000 EVs per year, the simple construction of EVs whose life (body shell) and drive (battery and motor) are literally glued together. With the setup of supporting infrastructure and advances in better technology, many Indian OEMs can explore EV manufacturing.