Electric Vehicle

GUJARAT IS ON THE ROAD TO BECOMING INDIA’S FIRST ELECTRIC VEHICLE HUB

Gujarat looks set to become India’s first electric vehicle (EVs) hub with a number of automakers looking to set up shop in the state to manufacture products and components, reports Livemint.

After the government said it wanted only electric vehicles to ply on Indian roads by 2030, the likes of Maruti Suzuki, JSW Group and MG Motors have announced plans to enter the electric vehicles market, with Gujarat being their preferred destination.

Earlier this month, Suzuki Motor Corporation — the parent company of Maruti Suzuki — Denso along with Toshiba said they would jointly invest USD 180 million (Rs 1,135 crore) for setting up a battery pack manufacturing plant in Gujarat that will start production in 2020.

Batteries for EVs are expensive and are mainly imported, so setting up local plants is key to India going electric.

JSW Group has signed an agreement with the Gujarat government, following up on its plan to invest up to Rs 40 billion (USD623 million) to build electric cars, batteries and charging infrastructure, as part of the power company’s diversification plans to drive future growth.

Two officials close to the development told Livemint that JSW wants to build two lakh vehicles annually. The firm has finalised a location of around 500 acres —near Suzuki’s manufacturing facility in Hansalpur, they added.

JSW had earlier announced that it plans to roll out its first electric car by 2020, which will make it the first non-automotive company in India to enter the electric car business.

“The car will have high power, fast pick up will have ultra-fast charging due to which the time for battery recharge will be similar to filling petrol/diesel in regular cars. The running cost of the electric car will be less than Re.1/kilometre,” a state government official familiar with the company’s plans told the newspaper.

JSW has, however, yet, to confirm these details.

Apart from JSW, China’s SAIC Motor Corp had also signed a MoU with the Gujarat government to set up a passenger car manufacturing facility at Halol in Panchmahals district of Gujarat with an investment of Rs 2,000 crore.

The company expects to invest over Rs 2,000 crore in the next five years and begin production from 2019, a government release said.

“Apart from SUVs and sedans, our product portfolio includes electric vehicles, hybrid, fuel cell among others. All this could be considered for Indian markets where we aim to roll out environment-friendly vehicles,” P Balendran, executive director at MG Motor India — a subsidiary of SAIC — was quoted as saying.

Other players are also looking to get a piece of the action.

Last week, a Tata Motors official had hinted at an important announcement in a few weeks on its electric vehicle programme.

Speaking to Moneycontrol on the sidelines of the launch of the compact sports utility vehicle Nexon, Guenter Butschek, Managing Director, Tata Motors said, “We will have something important to announce about electric vehicles in the next few weeks”.

Earlier, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Ford Motor Company, who inked a pact to explore a strategic alliance, also stated that under the joint venture the companies will be covering areas like product development, electric vehicles and distribution in India and abroad. Ford Motor Company has a manufacturing unit at Sanand in Gujarat.

Gujarat also plans to host the production of electric bikes following the agreement signed by the state government with a Chinese manufacturer for setting up a factory for the same.

“The proposed factory will come up near Rajkot and will have a capacity to roll out 50,000 electric bikes annually,” an official was quoted as saying.

 

Credits: Moneycontrol

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