Shriram Pistons & Rings readies solutions for CNG, LNG powertrains, eyes growth in EV business

A dominant player in the conventional-powertrain domain, Shriram Pistons & Rings has cemented its commitment to service the IC enginemarket while it gears up for the electrified future. 

By Ketan Thakkar calendar 26 Jan 2023 Views icon3508 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Shriram Pistons & Rings (SPRL), a leading Indian component player in the conventional-powertrain domain, has reaffirmed its commitment to the internal-combustion engine (ICE), even as it simultaneously gears up to cater to the future industry requirements of clean mobility technologies.

The company has developed a range of solutions to cater to alternative fuel systems within the ICE space, and states that while the transition towards zero-tailpipe-emission powertrains is underway, it is also consistently evolving its strategies.

“We want to ensure that we are there to serve both the internal-combustion engine (ICE) as well as emerging technologies. We are very strong when it comes to R&D and have solutions for hydrogen, CNG, LNG engines, as well as solutions for electric powertrains,” Krishnakumar Srinivasan, MD and CEO, SPRL, told Autocar Professional.

Acquires e-motor manufacturer

In order to tap into the future opportunities, the company has set up an independent subsidiary – SPR Engenious Limited (SEL) – to specifically focus and invest into new-mobility technologies such as those for vehicle electrification. In December 2022, SEL acquired a majority stake in an electric motor design and manufacturing firm – EMF-Innovations (EMFI).

“We will be catering to the entire mobility spectrum, right from two-, and three-wheeler applications, to commercial vehicles, as well as passenger cars. Everything will be covered by this company (EMFI),” Srinivasan added. EMFI offers hub, mid-drive, PMSM and switched-reluctance EV motors which are up to 85% localised in their composition.

While it has invested Rs 78 crore in SEL towards picking a 51% stake in EMFI, SPRL says the investments in this subsidiary will vary depending upon the technology it aims to bring to the market. The company anticipates an EV penetration of up to 30% by 2030, but also expects it to vary based on vehicle category. “The dedicated management at SEL will be deeply focused on eyeing growth from EV business in the coming years,” Srinivasan said.

Amidst this transition, SPRL, however, aims to be there for its longstanding customers to cater to their needs for ICE solutions as the conventional powertrains switch to become more efficient in the future. The company aims to continue investing in this domain. 

"Despite the increasing penetration of EVs in this decade, we expect the vehicle industry to register a nominal CAGR of 4-5 percent, which, when combined with the immense motorisation potential of the Indian market, will offset the 30 percent growth anticipated in the EV category," Srinivasan mentioned.

Leveraging synergies

As regards new-age technologies, SPRL is trying to bring synergies in the two business verticals – conventional and future-oriented – by leveraging its existing relationships with OEM customers to drive business from future technologies as well.

“We are very excited with the transformation in the mobility landscape, and are confident about being able to service both ICE and EVs,” Srinivasan added.

However, he cautioned that the EV offtake is also staring at some headwinds . . . like the market's need to evolve in terms of achieving cost competitiveness with respect to internal-combustion-engine vehicles. "The strengthening of the infrastructure and power availability will significantly benefit the rate of EV adoption in the country."

Srinivasan pointed out that it is unviable to make this industry grow on the back of subsidies and once the withdrawal happens, it will give a huge impetus to localisation. 

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In Conversation with Shriram Pistons' Krishnakumar Srinivasan

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