Sona Comstar partners Israel’s IRP for electric two- and three-wheeler powertrain

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 15 Jul 2021


India's Sona Comstar, a premier global automotive component manufacturer, and Israel's IRP Nexus Group Ltd (IRP), a leading provider of cutting-edge electric powertrain solutions for e-mobility, have joined forces for a powertrain project.

The two companies have joined iCreate (International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology) that will invent a new powertrain, manufacture it and market it globally.

iCreate has initiated this 'iEV Powertrain Project' with the objective of Indian companies creating and owning futuristic technology, going beyond merely licensing and manufacturing. The project entails Sona Comstar and IRP collaborating to conceive, design, prototype, and manufacture high efficiency, low-cost, magnet-less powertrain (motor + controller) for electric two- and three-wheelers for the global market.

Under the agreement, IRP will license its technology to Sona Comstar for manufacturing of the system exclusively in India, expecting to start mass production in 2023.

This project involves creating an innovative motor-plus-controller combination that does not use rare earth elements like neodymium, besides offering high efficiency and low cost to manufacturers of electric two- and three-wheelers. While there are several motor manufacturers in India, they still need to import the magnets. Also, the fast-growing global EV market is looking to diversify supply chains and mitigate risk stemming from dependency on limited and unreliable sources.

"This is another step in IRP's mission to lead the automotive ecosystem with innovative and sustainable technology," said Moran Price, IRP Systems Co-founder, and CEO. "Our technology ensures not only cleaner air but also a more environment-friendly production process and responsible use of natural resources. We are excited to partner with a global, leading player such as Sona Comstar to bring the product to the mass market."

"We are excited with this partnership as it will help India reduce its dependence on imports of critical raw materials. The system developed through this partnership will be environmentally compatible and cost-effective, ensuring the security of natural resources by avoiding the use of rare earth elements," said Kiran Deshmukh, CTO, Sona Comstar.

In 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with the Prime Minister of Israel, inaugurated iCreate's world-class 40-acre campus. Supported by the government of Gujarat and the government of India, iCreate is India's leading institution for transforming tech innovation-based start-ups into successful businesses.