Flavour of the season is electric: Carmakers showcase EV power at Auto Expo
With the world's leading carmakers showcasing their latest electric vehicles (EVs) at the Auto Expo 2020, industry leaders have stressed on their own contribution towards building the EV ecosystem in the country as well as expanding their 'Make in India' strategy.
Saying that it has already set up 100 charging stations, Tata Motors has predicted that the charging infrastructure will come of age in the next couple of years.
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Committing an investment of approximately ₹7,000 crore in India in a phased manner, China's largest SUV manufacturer Great Wall Motors has said that it will expand its research and development centre in Bengaluru. The company is also looking forward to setting up its manufacturing unit in the country.
"The government has already taken a lot of measures to boost the EV ecosystem in India. Before asking the government for something more, ecosystem players like us should start acting," Shailesh Chandra, President, Electric Mobility Business & Corporate Strategy, Tata Motors, told IANS.
"The government has subsidised EVs by up to 20 per cent. They have also allocated ₹1,000 crore for charging infra, brought down the GST rate to 5 per cent, while a number of state governments have also come up with different schemes," he added.
At the country's largest auto exhibition show, Tata Motors showcased the newly-launched Nexon EV -- an electric SUV -- as well as the Altroz EV -- a modern city car. In the commercial vehicles space, the company displayed the Tata 4/12m Low Floor Entry Electric Bus -- the first full-electric drivetrain.
Also on display was the Tata Ultra T.7 Electric, an intermediate commercial electric truck.
"I don't expect more from the government. Now it's upon players like us to work on this section and avail the benefits. We believe that electric is the future," Chandra said.
"After 2-3 years, I can see good infra for EVs and witness more EVs in the market. The buzz of the market is EVs and more players are coming up with such vehicles," he added.
GWM on Wednesday globally premiered its Haval Concept H and announced the India debut of its concept vehicle -- Vision 2025 Pure Electric SUV. GWM had on display, among other models, Haval: H9, F7, F7x, F5 and the GWM EV: iQ & R1.
At the GWM pavilion on display was a functional area that had a showcase of lithium ion battery, Haval Intelligent Home, Haval Intelligent Safety Display and Great Wall Autonomous EV.
"We know the importance of the growing Indian market and the future of EVs. Therefore, we are looking forward to expanding our research and development centre in Bengaluru to make more user-friendly EVs for India and abroad," Hardeep Singh Brar, Director, Sales & Marketing, Great Wall Motors, told reporters.
"Additionally, the company is also looking forward to setting up its manufacturing unit in India. We want to expand the 'Make in India' strategy and we are looking forward to cater to the needs of the global audience from India," Brar said.
At the 15th edition of the auto exhibition, Maruti Suzuki unveiled its concept electric vehicle 'FUTURO-e'.
"The Indian EV industry is on the cusp of a great innovation opportunity as both the government and the citizens understand the impact of an EV-based ecosystem, not only on businesses, but more importantly on the climate as well," said Nimish Trivedi, Co-founder and CEO of Prakriti E- Mobility Pvt Ltd.
"The growth of the EV industry is essential for a clean, green and sustainable future. We envisage a future where EVs will become the vehicle of choice for every Indian, amply supported by a holistic ecosystem," Trivedi said.
Among the products that MG Motor India showcased was the Marvel X, which is part of the company's focus on developing cutting-edge products with integrated internet and electric, and autonomous capabilities. It also featured a dedicated segment for "i-SMART" - the technology that powers the HECTOR and the ZS EV.