Recent developments in India: Autonomous Vehicles, Connected Vehicles, Electric Vehicles,Sustainable Transportation, Startups, Partnerships, Funding etc

Last week in India we saw many developments taking place in field of advanced automotive technologies, autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, electric vehicles, new energy, sustainable transportation, strategic partnership, start ups funding etc. We are listing down some of these developments.

Tesla makes official entry in India

American electric vehicle maker, Tesla recently registered its office in Bangalore, Karnataka. The announcement officially marks the company’s much awaited entry in the country where EVs are gaining significant momentum. There were speculations going on from sometime that when the company would the make its entry in India. Earlier this month, the Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had confirmed about Tesla’s entry. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had five years back had visited Tesla Motors’ plant in San Jose and had also met met Elon Musk. Now it is to be seen whether the company would set-up its manufacturing base in Karnataka, or in some other state.

Odysse Electric Vehicles launches Scooters

Odysse Electric Vehicles, a Mumbai-based EV start-up has launched new low-speed electric scooter the E2Go and E2Go Lite. The company now offers 4 new scooter models in India with Racer, Hawk and Hawk Plus being most popular. The price of the newly launched scooters is Rs 52,999 and Rs 63,999 respectively, as stated in some news reports.  As the scooters are low speed scooters with top speed of 25kph therefore they do not require any registration or license to drive. Also the scooters comes with two alternatives 1.26 kWh lithium-ion battery or 28Ah lead-acid battery and is powered by a 250 Watt, 60V BLDC electric motor. It has a range of 60km and can be fully charged in about 3.5 to 4 hours.

Ather Energy opens its first retail showroom in India

Bangalore-based electric scooter maker Ather has opened its first retail store in Bandra,Mumbai. Ather Space, company’s flagship experience centre is a dynamic, tactile and interactive facility that will educate customers about electric vehicles (EVs). Through these centres the company aims to provide holistic experience in an interactive space to the potential customers where they can ride the Ather 450X and get an in-depth view of the product and its features.

Simple Energy raises funding from angel investors

Simple Energy, a Bangalore based start-up, raised an undisclosed amount from Angel Investors. The Startup plans to launch its flagship scooter,Mark 2, in May 2021. According to news reports, the scooter will have range of about a 240km and top speed of 100kph, and will be able accelerate 0-50kph in 3.6 seconds. The vehicle will also have futuristic design with features like a touch screen onboard navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and a 4.8 kWh removable battery.

eBikeGo to convert its complete fleet with solar-energy charged batteries

The batteries of EVs which are charged by electricity still have some carbon footprint so to have a truly sustainable transport eBikeGo, a Mumbai-based EV startup, has partnered SKS CleanTech, a solar energy solution start-up. eBikeGo will convert its complete fleet with solar-energy charged batteries with help from SKS CleanTech.  The company has installed solar panels where batteries will be charged with solar energy and vehicles will come and swap the batteries. Therefore the batteries which will be used in their EV will be 100% solar powered. On pilot basis the panels have already been installed in Mumbai and in the coming months, the company plans to install these panels in all tier 1 and tier 2 cities in a phased manner.

Mahindra is electrifying the Last-Mile

Mahindra’s integrated third-party logistics (3PL) service provider has launched EDel – high-end cargo electric vehicles (EVs) to support customers in e-commerce, FMCG and other markets.  The company believes that electric vehicles provide an ideal long-term solution for the emerging imperatives around sustainability and cost effectiveness.

The initial focus will be on 3W cargo applications, where EDel will primarily utilise Mahindra Electric’s Treo Zor EV. In collaboration with MLL’s supply partners, EDel will deploy a fleet of 1,000 EVs, designed for cargo applications in phase 1 of the roll-out. MLL will also establish a network of dedicated charging infrastructure for its EV operations under EDel with a connected telematics platform to enable customer experience, vehicle and battery utilisation and network management.

EDel will initially operate across six major cities in India – starting immediately in Bengaluru, followed by New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata. The company also envisages to roll out the service in 14 cities in the next 12 months.

Ampere Electric has sold over 75,000 vehicles

Ampere Electric reached a new sales milestone by selling over 75,000 electric two-wheelers in the country. The company has also opened its 300th showroom in India in Panvel, Maharashtra. According to the company, it has added 80 dealership outlets to its network since the lockdown was eased last year. Ampere Electric which is a wholly-owned electric mobility subsidiary of Greaves Cotton is known for its electric 2-wheelers like Magnus Pro and Reo Elite. The company has relied on financing tie-ups for attractive EMI options, strengthening its online presence, aggressive digital push, and customer-friendly schemes to push its sales.

Panasonic Life to provide Charging Infra to PMI for 1000 e-Buses

Panasonic Life Solutions India has entered into a partnership with PMI Electro Mobility. As part of agreement, Panasonic will provide EV charging infrastructure to PMI for operating more than 1000 electric buses. These electric buses will operate across 18 cities in India covering 200~220 kms on a daily basis.  The fast chargers supplied by Panasonic will be able to charge the buses within 40 mins.

Porsche Studio inaugurated in Delhi

Luxury sports car maker Porsche recently inaugurated Porsche Studio in Delhi. A first in the country and one of just 14 in the world it is located in Connaught Place, Delhi. The Studio offers a large LED wall, digital tools to configure vehicles in an exclusive and relaxing atmosphere. There is  a wide range of experiences to the customer where they can learn about the latest models. The Porsche Studios are part of Porsche’s Future Retail Strategy. The aim is to attract new target groups in city centers.

Mercedes-Benz launches the 2021 GLC

Mercedes-Benz has launched the 2021 GLC. Equipped with the latest connectivity technology and feature enrichments, 2021 GLC comes with Mmc Technology with voice integration, Intuitive Digital Instrument Cluster, Front massage seats and Remote Engine Start. Mercedes me connect has 3 new features deployed OTA to all India customers with connected cars: Alexa Integration, Google Home Integration, and Parking Solution POIs in Navigation. The company said in a Press Release that GLC remained the highest selling SUV in Mercedes-Benz India portfolio in 2020 with more than 8400 units sold till date.

Ola partners with Siemens

Ola has entered into a partnership with Siemens to build its upcoming electric vehicle manufacturing facility. This announcement comes on the heels of Ola’s MoU with the government of Tamil Nadu to invest nearly INR 2,400 Cr towards building this facility.

The factory will have an initial capacity of 2 million units a year, it will be the largest scooter manufacturing facility in the world.  It will serve as Ola’s global manufacturing hub catering to its customers in India as well as key markets across Europe, UK, Latin America and ANZ.  Ola’s factory will be built on Industry 4.0 principles and will be the most advanced manufacturing facility in the country. It will have almost 5,000 robots deployed across various functions.

Ola will also have access to Siemens’ integrated Digital Twin design and manufacturing solutions to digitalize and validate product and production ahead of actual operations.  The factory will be AI-Powered with Ola’s proprietary AI Engine and tech stack deeply integrated into every aspect of the manufacturing process, continuously self-learning and optimizing every aspect of the manufacturing process.

Hyundai Motor India collaborates with FITT

Hyundai Motor India Foundation recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), IIT Delhi. The philanthropic arm of Hyundai Motor India also donated a KONA Electric for NVH and battery technology research for students of IIT Delhi to study alternate energy powered vehicles and emerging technologies to innovate new age mobility solutions.

Hyundai Motor India will collaborate with FITT, IIT Delhi to support the research work of students of Centre for Automotive Research and Tribology (CART).  The Centre for Automotive Research and Tribology (CART) will conduct Battery profiling in KONA Electric using external sensors or other gadgets using OBD port to understand the performance of Electric Vehicle during different driving conditions for the purpose of research & training.

Phinergy’s metal-air batteries in Mahindra Treo

Mahindra Electric will use metal-air batteries in its popular three-wheeler Treo. The metal-air batteries have been developed by Phinergy, an Israeli start-up company that specializes in hybrid lithium-ion and aluminum-air/zinc-air battery systems for electric vehicles.

The metal-air batteries, according to news reports, can be refilled in 5 minutes and can perform at par with other fuels. These batteries also claim to require light-infrastructure, are weather-proof. Last year Indian Oil (IOCL), the country’s leading oil marketing company, had also entered into a  partnership with this Israel-based startup.

Hero Motors acquires stake in Hewland Engineering

Hero Motors recently acquired a strategic stake in Hewland Engineering, a U.K.-based transmission design technology firm. Hero motors is looking to create a competitive, single-source entity to make high-quality transmission products, particularly in the EV segment, for OEMs across North America, Europe and India.  The acquisition is being seen as a step in this direction. As of now the transaction amount has not been made public.

FCA partners with Wipro to establish its first Global Digital Hub in India

Wipro has been chosen as a strategic technology services partner by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to establish its first Global Digital Hub in Hyderabad, India. This digital hub, called FCA ICT India, will support FCA’s Information and Communication Technology operations to focus on delivering premium mobility services and help FCA achieve its goal to enhance customer centricity through digital transformation. As part of this engagement, Wipro will source and build a talent pool of more than 1000 skilled consultants and technologists for FCA ICT India who will help develop capabilities around futuristic technologies.

TCS launches solution suite for connected and autonomous vehicle ecosystem players

Tata Consultancy Services has launched the Autoscape solution suite. The suite aims to enable connected and autonomous vehicle ecosystem players – such as automotive OEMs, suppliers, fleet owners and start-ups – to pursue new business models, launch new services quickly and deliver differentiated experiences and value to end-customers. Autoscape aims to addresse the technology and business challenges that these programs entail, like petabyte-scale driving data collection and analysis, development, validation and deployment of algorithms which guide autonomous vehicles in the real world. The company said that the suite covers the entire end-to-end AV development value chain, and consists of AV Data Services, a Data Annotation Studio and AV validation services.

Okaya Power to set up EV Charging Stations for REIL

Okaya Power, one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of EV charging stations, lithium ion batteries and lead acid batteries in India, has got a contract from state-owned Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited (REIL). The contract is for setting up 4,244 multi-standard EV (electric vehicle) charging stations across the country. The multi-standard EV charging stations will have CCS, CHAdeMO, Type-2 and Bharat specification protocol. According to a report by PTI, the contract is funded by the Department of Heavy Industries (DHI), Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.This is the second such contract from from REIL won by Okaya Power Group.

(Based on News Reports and Press Releases)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *