The mood was electric on day two of Autocar Professional’s 2-Wheeler Week and with good reason. The theme of the virtual conclave was ‘The Race to Go Electric’ and making his presence felt was Sudarshan Venu, Joint MD, TVS Motor Co. The dynamic young leader, who is the driving force behind TVS' EV market entry, said that the company will adopt an aggressive role in optimising opportunities emerging in electrification for the two-wheeler industry.
“We are committed to electrification. We will invest and launch a range of products to really show our commitment and also seek to play a leading role. In two-wheelers (premium segment, scooters) and also three-wheelers (passenger, cargo), we will have the range. Around 500 members of our talented team of engineers are working on this,” Sudarshan Venu confirmed.
Earlier this month, TVS Motor Co tied up with India's leading energy utility company Tata Power and is keen to expand the EV charging infrastructure network. As part of the MoU, the two companies are to drive a comprehensive implementation of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (EVCI) across India and deploy solar power technologies at TVS Motor locations.
TVS Motor Co is a strong player in the IC engine-powered two-wheeler industry and Sudarshan Venu pointed out that while the ICE industry will remain, the big focus for TVS is really electrification for the future. Clearly, this is another company in India that is seeing tomorrow today and aims to be future-ready.
“Preferences can keep changing but TVS Motor is concentrating on offering an array of product options. EV battery life is getting better. New chemistries are being found, costs are coming down and new technologies are coming out. We need to invest in providing better technology going forward,” he added.
He also pointed out that it is vital for India to start producing world-class EVs. According to him, this will enable better EV adoption and also help Indian companies in the two-wheeler industry to maintain a degree of dominance in the global marketplace.
“Also, the industry is managing to overcome range anxiety and cost issues over the year. The subsidies cannot continue forever but people should look at the long-term vision. Battery costs are coming down and EVs becoming relatively affordable will help the push towards EV adoption,” the Joint MD mentioned.
“We should go for an EV with excitement. There will be opportunity for ICE, both in India and other markets,” he added.
Localisation a challenge
The localisation of battery cells and other electric drivetrain parts are a concern for the whole industry according to him, “You do not see suppliers wanting to set up facilities for this in India.” This is one such area which industry should overcome.
“With some countries dominating the supply chain, this is an opportunity not to be dependent. We need to plan the electric transition the way it is to our advantage. We need to work and make it happen. Localised supply and renewable power are the key to ensure the benefit of EV is there for the whole ecosystem,” Sudarshan Venu said.
Scrappage as a pollution-reducing measure
At present, around 80-90 percent of the emissions are from BS III and BS IV vehicles in India. "This comprises the bulk of (vehicular) emissions", according to Sudharshan Venu. Scrapping is an option to reduce these pollution and add more BS VI vehicles on the road. “But, the big focus is on EVs. I see electric as the most prominent alternative mobility option for both the two-wheeler and small three-wheelers," he emphasised.