The electric vehicle (EV) industry in India was the focus of the Second National Workshop & Exhibition on FAME India, organised by apex industry bodies, ACMA and SIAM in New Delhi today.
The EV industry in India is in a nascent stage and in an effort to give it new momentum through collective efforts, a group of OEMs, along with the industry bodies, have formed a consortium called xEV One. The members of the consortium include Mahindra & Mahindra, Mahindra Reva, Maruti Suzuki India, Ford India, Tata Motors, SIAM and ARAI. The new step is part of the central government's Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) scheme.
Through the FAME initiative, the government plans to support the xEV market development and its manufacturing eco-system to achieve self-sustenance by the year 2020. Phase 1 of the scheme is to be implemented over two years (FY2015-16 and FY2016-17) with the scheme having four focus areas – Technology Development, Demand Creation, Pilot Projects and Charging Infrastructure with allocation of Rs 795 crore over two years.
Given that the first year of Phase 1 is over, the aim of the workshop was to get a holistic understanding of the success and challenges faced by the stakeholders (government, OEMs, suppliers, consumers and infrastructure providers) in realizing the goals of FAME India.
Apart from availability of sound xEV charging infrastructure, the higher price of xEVs remains a key deterrent to make their proposition to consumers stronger. A strong push to R&D and indigenization is required to reduce the cost of xEVs to make them affordable for Indian buyers. The government says it is responding through multiple policies like NEMMP, advancement of BS VI norms, and restricting the age of vehicles plying on Indian roads. Additionally, the policy encourages new investments in xEV through the smart cities and urban renewal missions.
Speaking on the occasion, chief guest Girish Shankar, secretary (HI), Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, said, “As new technologies continue to emerge in the automotive sector, I feel that the next 10 years would probably see emergence of disruptive changes in the automobile industry. We are witnessing a move from the traditional ICE technology towards hybrids, electrics and other alternative fuels in the global market. FAME India is that effort from our side to ensure that India as a nation embarks on the journey and build sustainable automotive industry especially from the energy and environmental perspective.”
For larger acceptability of EVs, Sunjay Kapur, chairman, STDC, ACMA and chairman and MD, Sona Koyo Steering Systems, said, “I urge the automotive industry to proactively engage and imbibe global trends in developing an ecosystem for e-mobility. To make this possible, we also seek the government’s support in helping component manufacturers to access technologies from overseas that are best in class so that India fulfils its vision of achieving global xEV manufacturing leadership and contribute to National fuel security.”
Setting standards for charging infrastructure
Pravin Agarwal, director, Department of Heavy India (DHI) said that the government plans to notify the charging infrastructure standard for EVs by September 30, 2016. He said ARAI is currently developing a standard for EV charging infrastructure in India. DHI has set up 25 charging stations in Bangalore under a pilot project and there are plans to set up 200 new charging stations in various cities including Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai soon. He revealed that DHI is in talks with various stakeholders such as oil companies and state governments to provide charging infrastructure. DHI has sanctioned around 85 hybrid and electric buses under pilot projects in Mumbai and Himachal Pradesh.
The government has earmarked Rs 122 crore for the FAME scheme in 2016-17, of which Rs 45 crore has already been utilized. Pandey added that the government plans to promote EVs in the taxi and public transport segments and sees these segments as the fastest means to promote electric mobility in India.
“OEMs need to change their current approach to electric mobility to guard against disruptors as Tesla and Apple. DHI requests OEMs to speed up vehicle development to improve EV penetration in India," added Agarwal.
Speaking on ‘Identifying opportunities for the Component Industry and the Way Forward’, Kavan Mukhtyar, partner, Management Consulting, PWC India, said: “Electric mobility in India will spawn multiple new component business opportunities. The component industry needs to look at hot opportunities such as charging infrastructure.”
Component suppliers show their mettle
As part of the workshop, a number of component manufacturers showcased their capabilities in the domain of e-mobility and potential for localisation of the same in India. They included JBM Auto (scale model of a bus), Bosch (electric motor, inverter, boost recuperation motor, iBooster, ESPhev), Sona Group (e-axle kit), Greenfuel Energy Solutions (lithium battery and scalable BMS), Hella India Automotive, Schaeffler and Kingdom of the Netherlands (charger) and ARAI.
EV graphic courtesy Valeo