In Conversation With Biswajyoti Mandal – Vice President – Technology, Schaeffler India

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Please tell us how is Schaeffler presently involved in India’s EV journey and helping with the progress?

Schaeffler India has a firm grip in the EV space. We cater to various OEMs with the
latest technology demands. Additionally, we have a dedicated product portfolio for
hybrid and all-electric drive systems. In India, we see steady progress in the two wheeler EV segment compared to the slower evolution of four-wheel EVs. We are also geared up with hybrid system components as a transition to fully electric vehicles. Multiple initiatives are taken within the organization to bring the production of these products to India. The products manufactured by us are highly flexible and scalable to serve the entire range from compact cars to top-speed sports cars. We are closely watching the EV market space in India and proactively taking strategic decisions to help India progress in the EV journey.

How is R&D supporting the progress in your technology offerings? What have been some key developments in the same?

Research and Development is the core focus point at Schaeffler India and we have
been innovating products to make them more sustainable and efficient. Technology
is moving at a blazing pace and coping with that needs a strong R&D foundation.
Schaeffler is one of the few core manufacturers in the country to be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for developments, giving a competitive advantage. Our fundamental expertise features in materials technology, forming technology, and surface technology. Fully equipped with the next generation Industrial 4.0 products, technologies for
hybrid and all-electric drive systems, and digital products are all a result of R&D efforts.

Some key developments are around motorcycles and special vehicle components, X-life product range in performance products from INA and FAG, Mechatronic solutions, Industrial automation, Schaeffler TruPower Lubricants, and many more. Research and
development have helped us in making our products highly flexible and scalable, catering to custom-based solutions.

With technology making rapid progress, where do you envision the Indian EV technology advancing in the next few years?

The Indian EV technology is moving at a fast pace with consumer perspective changing positively towards EV space. The rising oil and gas prices are favoring the switch faster. Technology infrastructure is important to support and accelerate EV adoption. From established players in the market to many innovative start-ups who are bringing cutting-edge technologies and solutions to the table. With the leverage of rapid prototyping, cloud systems, and Industry 4.0, everyone is equipped to bring out the best to support the EV ecosystem. Schaeffler itself is a visionary company and crafts products for the latest technology demands. We also have product developments for alternative fuels and
hybrid systems to secure the EV switch.

With a lot of focus coming onto hydrogen powered cells, how do you see the same evolving in comparison with li-ion batteries for EVs?

Hydrogen and li-ion batteries are the two technologies that complement each other
towards the country’s common goal of emission free environment. However, the
adoption of both will differ widely, for example, 2W, 3W, and last mile connectivity
vehicles would adapt to Li-ion batteries in the foreseeable future, while the Heavy
Commercial Vehicle (HCV) segment i.e., buses/trucks etc is likely to adopt hydrogen
powered technology or a hybrid technology with optimized Li-ion batteries and the mid mobility segment like passenger cars etc. will adopt hybrid technology as it will.

What plans does Schaeffler have for the remainign year 2021? How do you see it contributing to the Indian mobility sector in the next couple of years?

The future roadmap for the rest of 2021 will focus on Industry 4.0 developments,
automation, and hybrid and all-electric vehicle components. Services and products
are built to become sustainable and CO 2 – efficient. Digitization practice is a big go ahead and we are trying to improve customer satisfaction with these solutions
and products. Our core remains in material technology, forming technology, and
surface technology and we plan to double down on these. Indian mobility sector can
highly benefit from our key manufacturing standpoints and can innovate worry-free
with all types of components at their disposal. Be it EVs, hydrogen-powered cells,
Industry 4.0 solutions, or core components.

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