Week in Brief: EESL Set to Procure 1,000 Electric Cars, Toyota and Panasonic Join Hands to Develop Automotive Prismatic Batteries for EVs, Electric vehicle penetration in India to remain below 5% till 2025 and More

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EESL Set to Procure 1,000 Electric Cars

The Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has floated a tender to procure 1,000 electric cars with a driving range over 180 km on a pan-India basis. EESL is a joint venture of the public-sector units of the Ministry of Power and the Government of India. The scope of work includes designing, manufacturing, supplying, and maintenance of the cars at the required locations in the country. Interested bidders are required to pay an earnest money deposit of ₹21 million (~$294,142) for package-1 and ₹7.06 million (~$98,887) for Package-2. The tender adds that small and medium enterprises will be exempt from paying the tender document fee and EMD.

Toyota and Panasonic Join Hands to Develop Automotive Prismatic Batteries for EVs

Toyota Motor and Panasonic Corporation have joined hands to establish a joint venture specializing in automotive prismatic batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). The joint venture will be called Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, Inc. This latest decision comes a year after the two companies announced that they had concluded a business integration contract and a joint venture contract for the formation of a new company. In the joint venture, Toyota will own 51% of the stake, while Panasonic will have the rest 49%. Prismatic batteries offer a viable alternative for providing energy for automobiles and other forms of e-mobility, which can address the growing concerns regarding environmental issues and can play a central role in driving the e-mobility ecosystem forward. Prismatic batteries are widely used in electric vehicles, mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, and the main advantage that they have got over conventional batteries is that they use less space than the cylindrical batteries because of their rectangular shape. 

The biggest challenge for mass adoption of electric vehicles in India: Price

More so than anywhere else, automakers are chasing the holy grail of electric mobility in India: a lower price. Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.’s launch of its e-KUV at a price of ₹825,000 ($11, 587), compared to its next cleanest option — a mid-range petrol variant at ₹650,000 — highlights the challenge of pricing electric cars that can entice buyers. A global model such as Hyundai Motor India Ltd.’s Kona electric SUV starts at ₹25 lakh and has sold just about 300 units in seven months since its launch. More than half of the passenger vehicles sold in India last year cost $8,000 or less, according to BNEF. Electric cars won’t achieve price parity with asoline-powered cars until the early 2030s, BNEF said.

Electric vehicle penetration in India to remain below 5% till 2025 : ICRA

The penetration of electric vehicles in the country is likely to remain low at 3-5 per cent till 2025 due to higher prices of EVs compared to its internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts, as well as the inadequate public charging infrastructure, said credit rating agency ICRA. Given that the average car realisation in India is low compared to markets like the US and China, achieving price parity for EVs and ICE is likely to take a long time, it noted. This is in the backdrop of the Indian market being a price-sensitive one, and the economies of scale being a crucial factor for passenger vehicle OEMs to price its model competitively, it explained.

Tata Power, Prakriti E-Mobility Partner to Setup 50 EV Charging Stations in NCR

With an aim to further contribute towards India’s e-mobility drive, utility giant Tata Power has entered into an agreement with Prakriti E-Mobility, an app-based electric vehicle (EV) cab operator, to set up fifty charging stations in Delhi NCR region. As per the deal signed, Tata Power will set up charging infrastructure in phased manner to support Prakriti’s EV Taxi fleet of ‘EVERA’ Cabs. Last month, Tata Group has unveiled its plan to create an e-mobility ecosystem, via group companies, to accelerate the adoption of EVs in India. According to the agreement, the company will be responsible for designing, procurement, installation & management of all charging infrastructure at select locations across Delhi NCR. 

Tata Motors Launches First-Ever Electric Truck To Widen EV Focus

As part of Tata Motors’ theme for Auto Expo 2020, which is building a sustainable future through aspirational, innovative mobility solutions in India, the company unveiled Ultra T.7 Electric, India’s first intermediate commercial electric truck. The Ultra T.7 Electric is the latest offering from Tata Motors in the ILCV segment under the vehicle range of Ultra Platform. “It is developed for Indian roads, redefining the transportation industry leveraging enhanced technologies, blending ideally both technology and economy of operations,” said the company. The Ultra T.7 Electric can be fully charged in around two hours using a DC fast charger. It has been designed to address the specific needs of the evolving Hub & Spoke model of goods distribution.

SoftBank, Mahindra Electric May Ink Partnership To Push EV Solutions

Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank is reportedly in preliminary talks with Indian emobility giant Mahindra Electric to formulate a strategic partnership. The alliance might also include SoftBank getting a minority stake in Mahindra Electric. As per a Business Standard report, SoftBank and Mahindra Electric’s tie-up is still uncertain. The report adds that Mahindra is talking to a diversified range of potential investors. These investors also include players who can help Mahindra in developing EVs, powertrains, chargers and other emobility solutions. However, SoftBank can help Mahindra Electric to push its EV solutions. SoftBank has a subsidiary mobility business, SB Energy Corp, which combines renewable energy with EV battery cells.

Two and three-wheelers to power electric vehicles revolution

Adaptation of electric mobility in India will be more robust in the two-wheeler and three-wheeler segments, while share of electric vehicles (EVs) in the four-wheeler space is expected to remain low in the next five years, according to a report by CRISIL Research. The report estimates that electric two-and three-wheelers, which already enjoy better cost economics compared to their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts, will continue to zoom ahead and by FY2024, the EV penetration is expected to improve by 12-17 per cent of new vehicle sales for electric-two-wheelers and a whopping 43-48 per cent for electric-autos.

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