Gulf Oil to localise Indra car chargers range
The company is aiming to half the rate for the product in India
Gulf Oil Lubricants, a division of the Hinduja Group, is working on reducing the cost of its Indra brand of electric four-wheeler chargers through localisation and assembly to make it affordable for the Indian market.
The average cost of such a charger which is available in the UK would come to around Rs 60,000- 70,000 in rupee terms. However, the company aims to lower this to around Rs 30,000-40,000, says Ravi Chawla, MD & CEO in an interaction with Autocar Professional. He highlighted the fact that localization will remain key even as it has already undergone and passed all technical tests and is being tested by some OEMs.
In 2021, Gulf Oil acquired a 7.85 percent equity in Indra Renewable Technologies, a British startup that develops energy storage and EV charging solutions. The transaction, which cost GBP 1.5 million (approximately Rs 15 crore), marked its first move into the e-mobility segment. The 2013-formed company Indra designs and produces a range of products, such as the "Smart Pro" EV Smart Charger and a bi-directional "Vehicle to Grid" charger for residences and light commercial use. Nissan and OVO Energy, who announced in December 2018 the installation of the first domestic V2G charger in a customer's house, in Malvern, are two of Indra's most significant clients to date in Britian.
As Chawla puts it, existing chargers come with high specification and one ways to lower costs is to reduce the fetaures on offer. "It's a tad pricey right now" he admitted on the sidelines of the announcement of an exclusive agreement with Piaggio Vehicles and Switch Mobility for its EV fluid range. Through this alliance, Gulf Oil's whole range of EV fluids will be accessible to Piaggio Vehicles and Switch Mobility. These EV fluids will be used by the EV passenger and cargo models from Piaggio and the EV models from Switch Mobility, such as the Switch EiV 12 and Switch EiV 22, respectively.
Further, Gulf Oil Lubricants is also looking to double, if not treble its revenues from its two-wheeler battery business over the next 2-3 years on the back of a localisation strategy. He said revenues from the two-wheeler battery business currently stands at around Rs 60-70 crore annually. "We hope to start the localization process earliest by October-November,” he added pointing out that the localisation move will not only help in reducing the product costs but also protects it from external headwinds, like the ones faced by the auto industry in the past couple of years due to pandemic and geopolitical issues.
Gulf Oil’s journey with batteries began in 2013, with the launch of Gulf Pride batteries. The range has been designed using advanced VRLA technology and comes with a gas recombinant with valve-regulated design that does not let the electrolyte escape from the cells. This, the company says, ensures that there is no need to top it up with distilled water, and this makes it maintenance-free.
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