'Synerject’s next-gen EMS will be the right solution for India.'

Torsten Bellon, CEO, Synerject, a Continental and Orbital Corp JV, speaks to Jaishankar Jayaramiah on new tech solutions for greener two-wheelers.

By Jaishankar Jayaramiah calendar 30 Jul 2014 Views icon6072 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
'Synerject’s next-gen EMS will be the right solution for India.'

Torsten Bellon, CEO, Synerject, a Continental and Orbital Corp JV, speaks to Jaishankar Jayaramiah on new tech solutions for greener two-wheelers.

India is the largest market for two-wheelers worldwide. What is your business outlook for the country?
We have great expectations for future growth in India’s two-wheeler market. But we can’t ignore that today India’s two-wheeler industry is still on carburettor technology. Comparing with other markets, the true driver of the introduction of EMS technology is the implementation of stricter emission requirements. Otherwise growth will be limited.

What are the products you are offering to Indian OEMs?
Our products offer a good starting point for the Indian market, while volume is low. We all know that the Indian market has specific requirements and so we need to develop and produce products that match these. Synerject’s next-generation EMS will be the right solution. The key is to come up with dedicated products for this kind of two-wheeler applications; a pure carryover of automotive products will not work.

India lags behind many markets when it comes to electronic content and emission control, among other issues. What is the roadblock?
The major roadblock is cost, the higher cost that comes along with the introduction of EFI technology. Such a change in technology will be a challenge not only for the OEM, but also for the entire supply chain including the interface to the market, which means the dealers. These are the two main hurdles that need to be overcome.

When do you expect India to mature in terms of technology adoption and tighter emission norms for two-wheelers?
Compared to OEMs in other countries, Indian OEMs are very mature in terms of EFI. Again, the true and only driver to introduce EFI technology will be the implementation of stricter emission requirements. This will define the speed and ramp up of transformation to the new technology.

What is your growth strategy for India? Any near-term investments?
We have started the development of our next-generation EMS. To match the market requirements, we are in close interaction with Indian OEMs. We have a small dedicated team on ground locally with a clear strategy to increase our local presence, including local manufacturing, as we are progressing within the projects. As I said before, the implementation of stricter emission requirements will be the true driver for the introduction of these kinds of technology. The timing of this is defining our investment plan.

When do you expect Indian OEMs to replace carburettor-run systems? What would be the driving factor?
The implementation of Bharat Stage IV will not force the introduction of EFI technology, as long as NOx and HC emissions will not be separated. Unless this will change, (latest) the implementation of Bharat Stage V in 2020 will be the next slot to force this technology change.
Even if it would be possible to have EFI technology product cost neutral to carburettor solutions, this would not force a change.

What would be your role by then?
We expect that Synerject is well positioned in the market by then, having a strong local presence in India and the capability to come up with the next-generation products faster than the competition.

What are Synerject’s plans for evolving two-wheeler powertrain systems?
Synerject is already, since five years, the market leader for EFI systems in Taiwan which is, along with Japan, the only EFI market in Asia for two-wheelers with an engine displacement of less than 250cc. As a result, dedicated two-wheeler products are available. At present, we are working on the next-generation EMS, which includes the electrification of the powertrain.

Is gasoline direct injection the future for two-wheelers?
No, not within the next few years. Today we still have several opportunities left to optimise PI engines for two-wheelers. We also believe that the full advantage of DI technology in combination with four-stroke engines has to come along with a charged engine instead of natural aspirated. Therefore, we are working on DI technology for Powersports’ applications, mainly two-stroke DI engines.

What is the future of electronics in two-wheelers for markets like India?
Electronics will provide solutions to comply with upcoming emission requirements. The benefit for the consumer will be improved startability and drivability. Overall it will ease the use of two-wheelers. This, of course, will help protect the environment and will also open the path for future connectivity on such kind of applications. This will require a slightly different approach to what is known from automotive.

Tell us more about the potential of hybrid/electric mobility in two-wheelers.
The potential is great. Stop and go is existing technology and already well established. The introduction of this kind of hybridisation is even easier than in automotive. We are at the early beginning for the Asian mass markets and it will take some more years till this will be state-of-the-art technology for the smaller-sized two-wheelers.
The situation for full electric two-wheelers is similar when looking on a global perspective, but totally different when looking on the various countries. China is the only well established market for electric two-wheelers, with sales exceeding 25 million units per year — today China has over 200 million electric two-wheelers on the streets already.

What are Synerject’s plans for India? What are your key areas of growth in India?
As already said, we have started the development of our next-generation EMS. To match market requirements, we are in close interaction with the Indian OEMs. We have a small dedicated team on ground locally, with the clear strategy to increase local presence, including local manufacturing, as we are progressing within the projects. Nevertheless, the implementation of stricter emission requirements will be the true driver for the introduction of these kinds of technology. Synerject’s role within Continental is to focus on pwertrain solutions to support India.

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