Automakers seem to be have realised that the Indian EV sector will be the next big profit hub

India to be ‘world battery leader by 2030’, transport minister, planning body in ‘turf war’?

‘India will be EV battery leader’

A Niti Aayog study says India will be one of the world’s leading battery makers – with a $300 billion domestic market – if it sticks to its plan of shifting to 100% EVs by 2030. India’s EV shift will bring global battery prices down by 16% by 2030, an estimate that many current forecasts don’t take into account, the study said.

Electric mobility framework

The government think tank Niti Aayog is chalking out a framework to adopt EVs, and it has sought comments from ministries of heavy industry, environment, road, transport and highways and power for the purpose.

The panel recommends setting up of charging stations, manufacturing of lithium ion batteries in India and subsidising the cost of EVs. However, Transport minister Nitin Gadkari and Niti Aayog are not on the same page, and the minister has said it’s not Niti Aayog’s job to implement the EV mission and rejected its idea of swappable batteries – which are batteries which can be used by any electric vehicle and are available at petrol pumps or charging stations on rent.

Norms for charging stations

The government has approved a panel’s suggestion to have a uniform charging infrastructure that will enable EVs by different manufacturers to be charged at any station. Meanwhile, state-owned Indian Oil launched its first charging station in Nagpur – which is the transport minister’s constituency. Nagpur now has 20 charging stations, 200 electric taxis , and 1,000 more will be added by December. The minister is set to hold discussions with the Delhi CM to launch 1,000 e-buses.

Ride-hailing firm Uber and carmaker Mahindra and Mahindra will pilot EVs in Delhi and Hyderabad by March 2018. Mahindra & Mahindra is also planning to sell EVs in the US- possibly under the Italian design house label Pininfarina and/or the Korean utility vehicle label Ssangyong Motor Co. — following the opening of its office near Detroit. Maruti will release its first electric car in India in 2 years. Maruti’s parent Suzuki has also signed an EV-India pact with Toyota.

Musk wins battery bet

Tesla owner Elon Musk has won a US$50 million bet by beating a 100-day deadline for building the world’s largest battery to help South Australia avoid energy blackouts. Battery operation will commence on Dec. 1st.

Tesla’s Semi truck ‘threatens Bharat Forge profits’

Elon Musk’s electric truck Semi threatens to shake up the auto components industry, and may hit India’s Bharat Forge Ltd, which is a manufacturer of crankshafts. Electric trucks don’t require such parts, which means that over 20 % of Bharat Forge’s revenues could be at risk, Morgan Stanley said.

Tesla’s Semi, expected in 2019, could be the biggest challenge yet for the global road freight industry. It will have an estimated driving range of more than 800 kilometres. The truck can be charged within 30 minutes using a mega charger.

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