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Omega Seiki Mobility, an EV maker will establish a retrofit facility near Chandigarh to convert internal combustion engine-powered vehicles (ICE) into electric vehicles. The total investment for this is USD 25 million. Chairman Uday Narang said that the facility will be operational by December.
Narang stated that although financing is still a problem for EV customers, retrofit makes these vehicles affordable to those who wish to switch to electric vehicles, especially at a time when petrol prices and diesel prices have risen.
Faridabad-based Anglian Omega Group currently produces cargo and passenger electric three-wheelers as well as small commercial vehicles M1KA. It is also working on launching an electric two-wheeler and trucks with a higher range.
“We have tied up with a global player for retrofit technology to get into the conversion of vehicles with ICE engines into electric powertrain vehicles. We are setting up a retrofit plant in Mohali in Punjab on 5-acre land,” Narang told said.
He stated that the facility would be ready in six months. It will initially accommodate small and light commercial vehicles, and will then add buses and other vehicles.
“We are investing USD 25 million in our retrofit company, OSM Retro, and our policy will diesel lao and electric le jao (bring your diesel vehicle and get back an electric one),” Narang stated. He also said that he is in talks with other countries and EV operators in Africa to help them gain this business.
Narang said that retrofitting an EV is a cost-saving option. This makes it a viable alternative for customers who are unable to afford an EV.
He noted that recent increases in fuel prices, especially diesel, had “adversely” affected the earnings of ICE commercial vehicle operators. However, he stated that there has been a significant increase in demand for EVs.
“However, the financing to EV vehicles, particularly from the nationalised banks remain a serious issue on account of certain apprehensions such as the vehicles resale value, its durability, among others. Because of this, the conversion to EVs is not happening at the pace it ought to have happened as demand without purchase cant’s constitute demand,” Narang said.
He stated that while both the Central and State governments have policies for EV manufacturing and financing, it is not the case for the finance of these vehicles. This is an important factor in the rapid adoption of such vehicles.
“Addressing demand-side issues is as important as taking up the supply-side issues. I urged the Government to look into these aspects as well. Nationalised banks also should let us know the comfort (collateral) they want for EV financing,” he said.