Sona Comstar to make electric powertrains for cars, buses and CVs in India, key South Asian markets

UK’s Equipmake licenses patented spoke motor and inverter technology in 100kW to 440 kW power range to Sona Comstar to manufacture and sell EV powertrains, sub-systems, and components for electric cars, buses, commercial vehicles and off-road vehicles.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 16 May 2023 Views icon5459 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Sona Comstar to make electric powertrains for cars, buses and CVs in India, key South Asian markets

India's Sona Comstar has signed a technology licensing agreement with Equipmake, the UK-based technology company that has developed high-performance electric powertrains. Equipmake's patented technology offers high power density and efficiency with high performance, and as per the company, is "ideal for electric cars, buses, and commercial vehicles".

Under the agreement, Equipmake will license certain patented spoke motor and inverter technology in the power range of 100kW to 440 kW to Sona Comstar to manufacture and sell EV powertrains, sub-systems, and components for electric cars, buses, commercial vehicles and off-road vehicles.

Sona Comstar will lead the business development and customer sales in India, Thailand and select South Asian countries, while Equipmake will lead the sales in the rest of the world. Sona Comstar will exclusively manufacture EV powertrains, sub-systems, and components, based on Equipmake's patented technology, for the target applications exclusively in India and other select markets and aso for equipmake and its global customers in other overseas markets. The companies expect the serial production of these systems to commence in 2025.

Equipmake, which has over 20 years of experience developing and integrating industry-leading electrification products for the provision of electric vehicle drivetrains to meet the needs of the automotive, aerospace and other sectors in support of the transition from fossil-fuelled to zero emission vehicles, specialises in ultra-high performance electric motors, complete EV drivetrains and ultra-fast power electronic systems.

Sona Comstar currently manufactures a range of traction motors and controllers for India's electric two- and three-wheeler segments. The company is one of the largest manufacturers of EV traction motors in India and has sold more than 180,000 EV traction motors since starting production of these indigenous traction motors at its Chennai plant in November 2020. The company's strategic objective is to develop traction motors and inverters for all mobility segments and offer the right motor, made using the right technology, to each vehicle application. With this partnership with Equipmake, Sona Comstar will expand its offerings to include high-voltage motors and inverters for passenger cars, electric buses, commercial vehicles and off-road vehicles.

Commenting on the partnership, Sat Mohan Gupta, CEO of Motor Business at Sona Comstar, said: "We are delighted to partner with Equipmake to bring their cutting-edge motors and inverters technologies to India. With Equipmake's advanced technology and Sona Comstar's manufacturing and sales capabilities, we aim to offer our customers high-performance, efficient, cost-effective electrified drivetrain solutions. This is yet another step towards our commitment to offering innovative solutions to drive faster adoption of electric mobility in India and globally."

Ian Foley, CEO, Equipmake, commented: " We are excited to partner with Sona Comstar to deliver our technology to these significant markets including India. Our spoke motors and inverters have already been widely recognized for their impressive power and torque density, and we are confident that they will play a significant role in driving the growth of the electric vehicle market in India."

Ratings agency CRISIL expects the demand for electric passenger vehicles in India to increase to 25% in FY2032, up from less than 1% in FY2022, led by the commercial segment (fleet) due to favourable economics. In absolute numbers, it estimates the electric car market in India to grow from 30,000 units in FY2022 to 1.6 million in FY2032. CRISIL has projected the penetration of electric buses in India to increase to 11% in FY2027 and 21% in FY2032, up from 5% in FY2022, driven by improving unit economics, government push at state transport undertakings (STU) and ESG concerns. STU will initially drive electric bus penetration, followed by school and staff bus segments. In absolute numbers, CRISIL estimates the electric buses market in India to grow from around 1,600 units in FY2022 to over 27,000 units in FY2032.

Lead image: Equipmake products

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