Electric Vehicles This Week: EESL Plans To Float Second Tender, Incentives For Lithium-Ion Battery Makers, And More

Electric Vehicles This Week: EESL Plans To Float Second Tender, Incentives For Lithium-Ion Battery Makers, And More

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India is committed to doing whatever is required to develop electric mobility in a big way, for economic growth and ease of living. While addressing the global mobility summit MOVE on September 7, the PM said that a fresh policy would be introduced for electric vehicles (EVs), with an aim at helping automakers increase production of battery-powered and alternative fuel vehicles. Niti Aayog organised the two-day MOVE summit on September 7-8 in New Delhi.

He also invited people to invest in the manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs) and the needed infrastructure to support them. He also emphasised the need for adoption and electrification of public transportation.

The Indian government has stepped on the gas pedal to promote EV adoption in India. After launching the National Mission on Electric Mobility in 2011, it unveiled the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 in 2013.

In March, the Centre trimmed its over-ambitious target of having 100% EVs on Indian roads by 2030 to a realistic 30%. With a view to developing the EV space, an amount of $40.5 Mn (INR 260 Cr) was allotted in the Union budget.

Meanwhile, FourthLion Technologies released a survey conducted in August 2018, wherein 87% of the 2,178 respondents — comprising Indian drivers and vehicle owners — said they believe the best reason one needs to purchase an electric vehicle is to help reduce air pollution.

In another new market research report, technology research and advisory company Technavio predicted that the global electric vehicle range extender market would post a CAGR of over 11% from 2018 to 2022. It also mentioned that one of the key factors behind the development is the increasing demand for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, Mumbai-based car manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) predicted that India’s electric vehicle segment may stabilise in India over the next five years with vehicle prices coming down due to the reduction in battery cost.

That’s not all. Here’s a curated rundown of other important and related developments in the India and global EV Ecosystem [September 6- September 12]

Let’s take a look at EV developments in the 40th edition of Electric Vehicles This Week.

Important Developments In Indian Electric Vehicle Ecosystem

PMO Wants To Provide Incentives For Lithium-Ion Batteries

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is seeking to rework a proposal prepared by the department of heavy industry on an incentive fund of $759 Mn (INR  5,500 Cr) for EVs as it also wants to use the fund to encourage local manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries.

According to media sources, the proposal, which mentioned incentives for only electric vehicles, was returned by the PMO last week. The department was advised to redraft the plan in order to incorporate ways to promote local manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries to reduce their prices as well as those of battery-powered vehicles, they added.

Four days before the MOVE Summit (September 7-8), the PMO had expressed its concerns on the lack of emphasis on lithium-ion batteries in the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles (FAME) scheme. This current dilemma is expected to further delay the introduction of the scheme.

EESL Plans To Float Second Tender For EVs Soon

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), an energy service company owned by the Indian government, is working to deliver 10,000 electric cars by March 2019 from its first tender, which was floated in January 2018.

Further, the EESL also plans to float a second tender for another 10,000 electric cars soon, according to Saurabh Kumar, the Managing Director of EESL. He added that EESL had cancelled its second tender in March because the government decided to change the specifications for charging facilities.

Saurabh also informed that at present, there are about 370 charging points and nearly 153 vehicles are running inin New Delhi under the EESL. Nearly 400 more vehicles are undergoing registration. The EESL also has received a demand for 19,000 electric cars from various states such as Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Jharkhand.

With the upcoming tender, India will have 20,000 electric cars through government procurement. These electric vehicles are expected to save over 5 Cr litres of fuel every year which will, in turn, reduce over 5.6 lakh tonnes of annual CO2 emission in India.

Electric Vehicles To Have Green Number Plates

The Centre has announced that electric vehicles in India will have green number plates and the first batch of cars with such plates has already been pushed out. Privately owned electric vehicles are to have a white font for the numbers while commercial cars will have a yellow font, both against a green background.

Bengaluru-based car manufacturer Mahindra Electric is the first company to get green number plates on its electric car Mahindra eVerito.

Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari hopes that the green coloured plates may encourage more people to use electric vehicles. Further, the government has also done away with road permits for vehicles running on alternative source of fuels such as CNG, methanol, and biofuel.

Countries such as Norway, Canada, and China also use green number plater for their green vehicles, including electric and hydrogen cars. A UK government consultation has also sought views on green-coloured plates for electric and ultra-low emission cars.

Maruti Suzuki To Start Road Testing EVs In India

New-Delhi based automobile company Maruti Suzuki plans to start road testing 50 electric vehicles from October. The announcement was made by Osamu Suzuki, the chairman and chief operating officer of the parent company Suzuki Motor Corporation, headquartered in Japan, during the MOVE Global Mobility Summit in New Delhi.

The 88-year-old Suzuki chairman has also asked his company executives to achieve a target sale of about 1.5 Mn electric vehicles in India by 2030 via Maruti Suzuki.

Maruti Suzuki has also committed to launching its first fully electric car in India in 2020. It has also partnered with Toyota Motor Corporation for the sharing of its electric and hybrid vehicle technology.

Ashok Leyland Opens EV Facility at Ennore

Chennai-based automobile manufacturer Ashok Leyland inaugurated a new electric vehicle facility at the Ennore Plant this week to commemorate the company’s 70th anniversary. It said that its first integrated facility was ready to carry out designing, prototyping, testing, and solutions design.

The in-house facilities will cover testing for motors, battery modules and packs, power electronics laboratory. Further, the facility is equipped with digital tools for manufacturing and field tracking.

The EV centre, along with eMob Tech Centre, located at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) Research Park, will be aimed at generating and implementing services and solutions contracts that are related in e-mobility for Ashok Leyland.

Tata Motors to Focus on EVs, Shared Mobility

Mumbai-based automotive manufacturer Tata Motors plans to implement a strategy so as to focus on the emerging business opportunities for electric vehicles, shared mobility, fleet, and rural markets, apart from mainstream personal vehicles. The new structure being put in place will reportedly help the company to ready specific product plans for each of these segments in the next two to three years.

According to Tata Motors’ president for passenger vehicle division Mayank Pareek, the company will spread its focus beyond personal buyers in order to address the emerging growth opportunities. Further, it will strategically position its Zest and Bolt models in the fleet or shared mobility segments. It also plans to launch the EV version of Tiago and Tigor for personal buyers.

Hyundai Announces Future EV Plans For India

At the global summit MOVE held in Delhi this week, Hyundai vice-president EuiSun Chung confirmed that the company plans to launch three EVs in India in the next few years. He also added that Hyundai would launch Nexo, a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. The launch, however, is expected to get delayed due to the absence of hydrogen infrastructure currently in the country.

The company also plans to launch the Hyundai Kona electric compact SUV by 2019 in India. The other EVs to be launched in India have not been confirmed yet but the names might be made public soon.

Lexus Launches New Version Of Electric Car

Japan-based carmaker Toyota’s luxury vehicle arm Lexus launched a new version of its hybrid electric car — ES 300h — which will be available in India for $81,670K (INR 59.13 lakh). Out of six models from the company available in India, four are hybrid vehicles.

This is the seventh generation model of the ES 300h and is powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine coupled with Lexus’s fourth-generation hybrid system. The company said that apart from comfortable riding and driving dynamics, the vehicle supposedly delivers a fuel economy of 22.37 kmpl.

It also added that the product is equipped with 10 airbags and many other safety features such as vehicle stability control, hill start assist, and an anti-theft system with break-in and tilt sensors.

EV Company Ather Energy Begins Delivering Scooters

Bengaluru-based electric vehicle company Ather Energy has begun delivering its Ather 450 scooters in Bengaluru.

A few selected customers were invited to the company’s Final Assembly Unit today to take their scooters home. It had opened pre-orders in early June, 2018, and has  reportedly sold out its inventory for the rest of the year.

The startup had also announced its expansion plans beginning with Chennai and further plans to roll on to more markets in the new year.

Prior to delivering of the electric scooters, the startup  had also set up private charging stations at the residences of the customers.

Thus, along with multiple fast public chargers which were set up by the company, the owners will also have free charging available both at home and across the city.

Electric Cars Developments From Around The World

Volkswagen To Set Up Its First Electric Plant

Germany-based automaker company Volkswagen (VW) is planning a capacity of 100K (1 Lakh) electric cars per year as its first plant is all set to go electric. The company’s e-mobility board member Thomas Ulbrich also confirmed the news.

According to him, the company will start producing its I.D. electric vehicle at its Zwickau plant; it aims to hike its production capacity to 1 Lakh electric cars by 2020. He added that VW  plans to convert all its plants to EV ones over the next few years.

I.D. is a golf-sized vehicle and is expected to be the first mass-market EV for 2020.

DEC Seeks Public Comment On Draft Amendment Of EV Station Plan

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced the release of a draft amendment to the Generic Unit Management Plan for Final Campground and Day-Use Area of Electric Vehicle charging stations. The amendment has been posted on the official website of the DEC.

The department has now invited the public to share its comments on the draft amendment, which is aimed at guiding siting, construction, and management of EV charging stations on the DEC campgrounds and day-use areas. The comment period runs through September 30, 2018.

Currently, 400 public chargers are being installed by New York Power Authority at airports, train stations, and municipal parking lots. High-speed chargers have also been installed on the New York State Thruway, with more planned for the remaining 23 service areas between New York City and Buffalo.

Harley-Davidson To Set Up R&D Department For EVs

US-based motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has announced this week that it will set up a research and development (R&D) department in Silicon Valley, California which will have its focus on the development of electric vehicles, including batteries, performance electronics, and design.

The department is expected to start its services by late 2018 and will reportedly be working together with the company’s existing R&D department.

The company’s recently showcased first electric motorcycle will be put on sale from next year.

It has also disclosed its plans to expand its EV portfolio with more light, small and accessible products are expected to go on sale by 2020.

EV Exposition In Germany Next Week

A light exposition on EVs has been scheduled for next week in Trikala, Greece, as a part of the ELVITEN project and the European Mobility Week 2018. The ELVITEN project, which is being implemented in the six cities of Trikala, Berlin, Rome, Bari, Genoa, and Malaga, was co-funded by the European Commission through the HORIZON 2020 programme.

It is aimed at promoting the use of EVs such as bicycles, scooters, tricycles, and quadricycles as a comfortable means of transport in cities.

Ford Reveals Teaser Of Its Electric SUV — Mach 1

US-based automaker Ford has revealed the first teaser image for its all-electric performance SUV, code-named Mach 1. The development comes nine months after the day the company announced the vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show.

According to the teaser image, the car is, to a certain degree, designed on the lines of its famous Mustang model. According to reports, this could be Ford’s way of bringing a little nostalgia to the new product as many are still unsure about electric vehicles.

SSE Blames London Authorities For Delay In Charging Points

UK-based energy firm SSE claimed that it had hoped to install 6K charging points in London by now but has been able to install only 762 points because of delays caused by the local authorities. The company is the contractor putting up chargers for the Source London Network, which is run by French firm Bolloré.

According to a report by Guardian, slow decisionmaking and bureaucracy in councils, coupled with different approaches to charging points across the capital’s boroughs, maybe the problem behind the slow progress of the project. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is backing setting up of EV infrastructure to help improve the city’s air quality, but his rhetoric has reportedly not filtered down to the local level.

China’s Steps To Promote EV Ecosystem

According to a Bloomberg report, the global sale for electric-only cars exceeded the 1 Mn mark with China accounting for more than half of the sale. The country is also supposedly targeting sales of 7 Mn by 2025.

To push the development of its EV sector, China has put in place tougher vehicle emission rules for manufacturers and is providing a 10% tax rebate as well as subsidies on EVs. The report also predicted that given China’s size and accumulating wealth, it may well become the world’s 21st-century automotive hub.

US University Launches First On-Campus EV Station

The Class of 2018 at Christopher Newport University in Virginia in the US unveiled a two-nozzle EV charging station on campus this week. The $5,000 station is part of a gift from last year’s senior class, which was raised through funds to help the university set up the station.

During the inauguration, Katie Wiens, an assistant professor from the department of molecular biology and chemistry at the varsity, plugged in her Nissan leaf across both spots.

Cedra Brown, alumnus and president of the Class of 2018, said the gift was among many other gifts to improve sustainability, including adding recycling bins to all athletic facilities. Part of the $100K raised by the class also funded a need-based student scholarship, she said.