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March 2020: Monthly Electric Vehicle News Roundup

1. Hyundai India Rival to launch Nexon EV; 200-300 km range

Seon Seob Kim, the MD, and CEO of Hyundai Motor India have disclosed to Autocar on the side-lines of the Creta launch event that the company is considering an affordable electric vehicle for India. The Hyundai Kona is the South Korean carmaker’s first electric vehicle in India. The car maker says its attention is on the driving range in the real world. The new Hyundai EV will offer about 200 km – 300 km. Commenting on its pricing will be relatively early. It will, however, be placed against the Tata Nexon EV priced from Rs 13.99 lakh to Rs 15.99 lakh (ex-showroom).

2.Avis India confirmed that it has developed a partnership with quikk India to provide services for corporate electric mobility, beginning with the Delhi-NCR area

Avis India announced on 17 February 2019 that it has established a partnership with quikk India to provide corporate electric mobility services that will include an EV fleet and comprehensive charging network access. Having clocked 100 million km, with more than 500 Mahindra EVs operating more than 1 lakh km, this collaboration is expected to transform India’s employee transport solutions and accelerate the country’s adoption of electric mobility. Mahindra Electric, part of the USD 20.7 billion Mahindra Group and Lithium Urban Technologies, India’s largest zero-emission company for employee transportation, declared in January that their collaboration has crossed the important milestone of 1,000 Mahindra electric vehicles in the Lithium fleet.

3. HP oil Stations to get electric car chargers beginning in April

Magenta Power, a company backed by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, has revealed its intention to launch the ‘ ChargeGrid Flare ‘ street lamp built-in EV charger by April 2020. The manufacturer has said that the ChargeGrid Flare has been specially developed to deliver energy-efficient street light combined with an EV charging point in collaboration with HPCL. The ChargeGrid Flare will be deployed in its first phase at HPCL retail outlets in major cities across India. Magenta further states that this EV charger would also act as a perfect solution for deployment in new and existing parking spaces, street / corporate parking and retail outlets.

4. Tata power to supply EV charging facilities in India for Jaguar Land Rover

CFO & President Ramesh Subramanyam, New Company, Tata Power, said, “As India’s leading integrated player in the EV charging space, we will provide fast, ubiquitous, and seamless charging experience for Jaguar Land Rover India’s EV customers at their homes, offices, and public spaces. Tata Motors Limited (TML) and Tata Power had joined forces earlier to set up about 300 charging stations for electric vehicles by the end of FY 2020. Talking on the partnership, Jaguar Land Rover India, President and Managing Director Rohit Suri said that the alliance with Tata Power will be a huge added benefit for Jaguar Land Rover customers as it provides a one-stop solution to their charging needs and also provides convenient access to the large network of Tata Power’s public charging infrastructure across India.

5. Toyota introduces hybrid electric vehicles in India-the Vellfire

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has introduced the glorious Toyota Vellfire, India’s latest luxury auto-charging electric hybrid vehicle. Vikram Kirloskar- Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Vice President, said, “India’s automotive industry is experiencing a significant technology-driven transformation with innovation and imagination that determines the overall customer experience. In line with this, our newest launch of the New Toyota Vellfire also signifies our commitment to delivering ‘ Ever-Better Cars with Ever-Better Engineering for an Ever-Better Climate.

6. Hero Electric is launching three new Bengaluru dealerships

This expansion is part of the company’s plans to increase its total number of Indian customer touch points to 1,000 by the end of 2020. The self-discharge rate for lithium-ion cells is usually about 5 percent in the first 4 hours after charging, which is much lower than that of other rechargeable cells making it fast and easy. The brand has joined up with leading financial institutions to give consumers attractive financing options and flexible payment terms for a smooth Hero Electric vehicle ownership experience.

7. India is expected to need 2,400 Gigawatt-hour of energy storage by 2032

According to India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF), a public-private partnership under the aegis of the power ministry, India is expected to need Energy Storage Systems (ESS) of about 2,400 Giga Watt Hour (Gwh) capacity to meet the demands of all major sectors of the economy. The government aims to make up 40% of the overall power production potential by 2030 for projects focused on non-fossil coal. India has focused on a renewable energy capacity plan of 450 GW by 2030. According to ISGF, India’s power storage market saw a consumption of 23 GWh in2018 with 56 percent of the battery demand coming from the inverter power backup segment. In 2018 the electric vehicle industries used more than 5 GWh of batteries in India. This is expected to rise to 36 GWh by 2025.

8. Tesla’s electric vehicle production hits 1 million

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Tuesday that one million cars have been manufactured by the company so far. This figure’s report came when shares of Tesla took a 13 percent dive on Monday. This statement comes at a time when a number of major automakers such as BMW have agreed to join the market of electric vehicles. Musk also said he was searching for places to establish a new factory for the company’s electric pickup truck in the central United States. Tesla announced it had started production of the Model Y, its compact electric sports utility vehicle, at its factory in Fremont, California, in late January and expected to produce the first vehicles by the end of March.

9. Covid-19 may hamper growth of car companies

The coronavirus outbreak is growing into a threat for the crisis-hit automotive industry, which in the April-February period of FY20 has seen the sharpest decline in the last five years at 12.7 percent year-on-year. Throughout the coming months, the domestic manufacturing industry is likely to face disruptions in the supply chain with a raw material shortage in terms of both rising costs and unavailability of these components. The impact is expected to be higher for electric vehicle parts since India depends heavily on imported electronics and cells as pointed out by Care Ratings in a survey. Meanwhile, businesses are bracing for low demand for a tough time as most BS-VI vehicle prices have risen sharply, which has an effect on price-sensitive consumer buying decisions.

10. Indian Rickshaw Battery Market growth to reach $722.3 million by 2024

The electric rickshaws provided by organized and proven manufacturers have an average life span of 3.5 years, resulting in the increasing battery requirement. A key trend in the Indian electric rickshaw battery market is the adoption of electric loader rickshaws. The Indian electric rickshaw battery market reached $385.0 million in 2019 and is projected to reach $722.3 million in 2024, rising to CAGR 13.2 percent over the forecast period (2020–2024). Based on battery size, batteries with a size of over 101 Ah are expected to experience faster growth in the Indian electric rickshaw battery market during the forecast period.

11.Lithium Urban Technologies linked to Fourth Energy Partner to set up solar powered EV charging network

Initially, the facility will be used to charge Lithium’s fleet at Gurugram to Wipro and American Express. The JV commissioned another charging a facility in Pune, Maharashtra, as well. Through this JV, Fourth Partner Energy will have a combination of on-site & offsite solar solutions and RE trading options to fuel the fleet of Lithium, while the latter will be the anchor customer supplying base hubs demand. Also, in Pune, the Joint Venture established its second charging centre. Vikash Mishra, Head of External Relations, Lithium Urban Technologies said that the solar powered EV charging system will not only close the loop on the supply of renewable energy to electric vehicle but will also result in increased cost-effectiveness.

12. Coronavirus to seriously affect BS VI-compliant automobile production

Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19, the present lockdown in China could critically hit the production of Bharat Stage VI-compliant vehicles in the coming months. The shutdown is also likely to affect electric vehicle production in India, said Rajan Wadhera, chairman, Indian Automobile Manufacturers ‘ Association (SIAM). As of 1 April 2020, automakers in India will have to move to BS-VI-compliant vehicles. According to Wadhera, many car manufacturers in India are expected to import about 10 percent of their raw materials from China and disruption in the supply of these parts is expected to hamper demand across all segments and have a significant effect on electric vehicles.

13. Tamil Nadu to get an e-vehicle park of 4.000 acres

Five months after carrying out its electric-vehicle strategy, the Tamil Nadu government said Friday that it would set up an exclusive industrial park for e-vehicle manufacturing and assembly. Although state officials are tightly lipped about the park’s location, parcels of land have been found in Manalur district of Tiruvallur, some 50 km north of Chennai. The state obtained investments from French carmaker PSA. We are also going to set up an e-vehicle park of 4,000 acres. Government officials said the state-run SIPCOT has already hired a contractor to prepare a comprehensive project report for the park. The park will have traditional prototyping, testing, and training facilities available to auto parts suppliers.

14. BHEL receives an order for electric bus service to Uttar Pradesh

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), the country’s largest manufacturer of power equipment, today declared that it’s won an order for the availability of electrical busses alongside charging facilities in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. Urban Transport Directorate (UTD) put the order on BHEL in Lucknow. BHEL said the project is in line with the company’s growing transformation strategy into new markets and enterprises. Additionally, BHEL is consolidating and reinvigorating the initiatives taken within the fields of defence and aerospace, water, e-mobility, batteries, renewables, and transport.

15. Coronavirus: Ford requests 1,000 Indian workers to work from home 

In the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, US automotive major Ford asked 1,000 Indian employees to operate from home, excluding those in business-critical positions, a step that Swedish luxury carmaker Volvo also took.

The organization continues to act in real-time to keep “people safe and help reduce the spread of the virus in the communities we live and work in. In addition, the action will help to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread while maximizing the health of our business. All the requisite safety measures were implemented at Ford sites as well as at our dealerships to ensure customers minimal inconvenience.

16. Ather all prepared to electrify with India’s fastest E scooter charging

Sachin Bansal & HeroCorp supported Ather Energy, is all set to release their next generation of electric  scooters in Pune. After a strong launch in Bengaluru and Chennai, they will launch their new model: Ather 450X in Pune, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Coimbatore, Kolkata, and Hyderabad. According to reports coming in, Pune dealers are getting a positive response and soon, Ather 450X will be seen zipping through Pune roads. The customer demands have been phenomenal.

17. IIT Kharagpur e-vehicle project ‘Deshla’ receives funding for the development of lighter frames

The Electric Vehicle project ‘ Deshla ‘ of the IIT Kharagpur has received funding from a leading trustee firm to develop aerodynamic body panel design of a three-wheeler electric next-generation. The project will include a significant number of students from different departments and interns from other colleges working on electric vehicle sub-systems the project for an electric vehicle in Deshla is based on indigenous technology, he said. Last year, to encourage industry-academic collaboration in research and academia, The Center extended the reach of CSR funding to IITs and other institutes. The spectrum is enormous and IIT Kharagpur reaches out to a range of PSUs, MNCs and private companies to fund end-to-end research.

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