Monday, 19 February 2018

EV 2030 Rollback The Silver Lining

EV 2030 Rollback: The Silver Lining

"I am going to do it, whether you like it or not. I will bulldoze. Petrol diesel banaane walon kaa band-baajaa bajaanaa hai."

On September 7, 2017, these words from the Road Transport Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari at the SIAM conference took the automotive industry by storm. Especially because this statement came after Minister of State for Power and Renewable Energy Shri Piyush Goyal's statement that India will produce and sell only electric vehicles by 2030, ruling out even hybrid vehicles.

EV 2030 Rollback: The Silver Lining

There were a lot of doubts about how a developing country like ours, which is still working towards providing electricity to all of its citizens, can gear up for an all-electric fleet of cars. who had invested in petrol/diesel technology or were working towards hybrid powertrains. But now, the government has revised its stand and this time, with a penned reply in the Lok Sabha.

"There are, at present, no plans under consideration of the Department of Heavy Industry to make all vehicles in the country powered by electricity by 2030," said Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. Shree Nitin Gadkari too gave a statement that "There is no need for any policy now."

EV 2030 Rollback: The Silver Lining

While this might come as a relief for the automotive industry, it might not be the best thing for the people. Because while there are a number of reasons why the all-electric deadline was immature, it did something very important -. And since you know all the reasons why this deadline could not have worked, here are a few which show why this wake-up call was necessary.

EV 2030 Rollback: The Silver Lining

First, keeping the harsh words aside, let's focus on why the government was so pushy on getting EVs by 2030. India has been struggling to make strides in automotive technology. Yes, it is one of the largest automotive markets and growing at a rapid pace, but even today it is dominated by the technologies and products of foreign manufacturers. And while there are carmakers like Tata and Mahindra who now have started to get a grip on the market, the majority sales are still accounted by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. And in the big car or luxury car market, there are no Indian carmakers at all.

If you have been following the changing trends in the automotive industry you would know that the future of mobility is electric. If not all-electric, but surely a balance tipping towards the motors. But in India, there was hardly any action or development which hinted towards electrification. Heck, taking advantage of the FAME subsidy, manufacturers dealt us puny mild hybrids in place of actual ones, while electric vehicles were not even on the cards.

EV 2030 Rollback: The Silver Lining

With a strong and an almost unreal push towards e-mobility, the Government wanted to ensure that we, if we do not become the leaders in electric vehicle technology, should not be lacking behind either. And that is one of the reasons why there were no subsidies given towards foreign imports of electric cars or tech. Also, because a subsidy on hybrids could have again resulted in more mild technologies coming in, it would have only pushed an inevitable shift towards electric further into the future.

Emflux

And this is not something which is immature or unreal. Yes, it would still have been almost impossible to produce and sell only electric cars by 2030, but there would have been a or carmakers making and dominating the EV market. And that aside, since the verbal all-electric deadline was given, we have seen a lot of changes happening. The Suzuki-Toyota JV to make and sell electric cars in India by 2020, Suzuki-Toshiba JV to manufacture lithium-ion battery packs in Gujarat, Hyundai gearing up to launch electric vehicles and not hybrids, and Maruti-Suzuki to introduce hybrid vehicles and more.

EV 2030 Rollback: The Silver Lining
Peak demand deficit - Maharashtra

Now comes the question of having the required infrastructure and a clear policy roadmap towards electrification. While the latter was completely absent, the former was being worked upon to help provide for e-mobility, options to choose from by 2030.




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Maharashtra Government Launches EV Policy 2018

Mahindra e2o Plus

Just a few days after the central government took a U-turn over formulating a policy for the introduction of EVs in the country by 2030, the Maharashtra government has announced its Electric Vehicle Policy 2018 to support faster EV adoption in the state. This is not the first time the government has taken such a step. Last year itself, Maharashtra. Following that, Goa also exempted EVs from road tax starting January 2018.

Related:

Mahindra eKUV100

Under the new policy, a subsidy of 15 per cent of the total cost of the EV will be given to the buyer. However, this will be limited to only the first 1 lakh EVs that are registered in the state. To further bring down EV prices the government has also exempted them from road tax and registration fees.

Maharashtra Government Launches EV Policy 2018

Apart from the buyer incentives the policy also paves a way for better charging infrastructure in the state. EV manufacturers are now allowed to set up charging stations at existing petrol pumps (subject to safety clearance), and the first 250 charging stations to set up will get a subsidy of 25 per cent from the state government. The maximum payout under the subsidy is capped at Rs 10 lakh per station. To make charging the EVs cheap the charging stations will get electricity at a tariff that is on par with residential electricity rates, which is significantly cheaper than commercial electricity rates. In the first phase, the policy will be implemented in only six cities: Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Aurangabad and Nasik.

Tata Tigor EV


Last year, the Karnataka government also announced (not yet implemented) the Karnataka Electric Vehicles andamp; Electric Storage Policy 2017. It was aimed at projecting its capital, Bangaluru, as the EV capital of India. It is to be done by developing EV manufacturing zones and clusters, providing subsidies for charging infrastructure in all public and private properties, exemption from payment of taxes on EVs, and providing various other benefits to all manufacturers, support system providers and buyers.

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Friday, 16 February 2018

Narain Karthikeyans New Toy Is A Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche 911 GT3 And Karthikeyan

We often hear about people with capital, but not necessarily driving skills, buying exotic sports cars. But this time around, justice has prevailed. Narain Karthikeyan, one of India's faster drivers, has bought himself a. This is the performance-focused variant of the 911 range and gets tweaks which make it more stable for someone like Karthikeyan, rather than someone in a, well... suit.

Porsche 911 GT3 And Karthikeyan

The 911 GT3 runs the largest flat 6-cylinder engine ever on a road-going. It's a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated motor which pushes out 500PS of maximum power at 8,250rpm and 460Nm of peak torque at 6,000rpm, and revs till 9,000 rpm. It's not as aggressive as the GT2 RS which makes 700PS/750Nm from a 3.8-litre engine, but the GT3 is still pretty quick with a 0-100kmph time of 3.4 seconds. This is mainly down to the Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch transmission which sends power to the rear wheels.

Porsche 911 GT3 And Karthikeyan

Handling has supposedly been improved with the new GT3 featuring improved front and rear suspension. Rear wheel steering, electronically actuated rear differential and active suspension management have been carried over from the previous GT3.

Porsche 911 GT3 Interiors

In a bid to reduce weight, stuff like the rear seats' sound insulation layers have been removed. Furthermore, there is extensive use of carbon fibre in the car, to an extent where even the hinges for the engine cover are made from it. But because this car still needs to be comfortable for the driver, it gets electronically adjustable bucket seats, AC and a large central touchscreen infotainment system paired to a sound system, which seems to be a little pointless given that the flat-6 will be singing all the time.

We are sure Karthikeyan will be able to do justice to this engineering marvel and vice versa.




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NITI Aayog Gets Its First Fast-Charging Station

NITI Aayog Gets Its First Fast-Charging Station

After EESL received the from Tata, the NITI Aayog government body has now installed ABB fast chargers in its campus. The ABB Terra 53 fast-charging station will be used by officials to juice up their official electric vehicles at the organization's office in New Delhi. The Terra 53 electric charger converts alternating current (AC) from the grid to the direct current (DC) used by EV batteries, and can work with EVs that use AC charging as well. This ABB's 50kW fast-charging station can provide a full charge to the connected electric vehicle in 30 minutes.

ABB Terra 53 fast-charging station

The installed charging station also features ABB Ability Connected Services. This allows the company to link the charging station to payment platforms and smart grid systems. This connected technology also help plan where the next charging stop should be, according to to the availability of charging stations. This installation goes a long way in strengthening the NITI Aayog's commitment to convert all their vehicles to electric ones in the coming months.

Tata Tigor EV

On this occasion, Sanjeev Sharma, Managing Director of ABB India, said, "We are thankful and honoured to support Indian Government's thought leadership and drive to systematically transform the nation's transportation base to electric vehicles. ABB reinforces its commitment to the nation's future of renewable power generation and clean electric transportation with our global technologies made in India.''

"We will continue to deploy and leverage the next level of global, open standard technology to provide the best-in-class reliable and cost-effective EV charging experience for Indian citizens living in smart cities. We believe that smart cities are made of smart elements and ABB EV Charging technology is one such important element." he added.

Hyundai Ioniq

This move by NITI Aayog is definitely a step in the right direction and should encourage more government and even private bodies to convert their office fleets to electric, or at least install a fast charger in their facility to help employees shift to electric cars.




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Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door Undergoes Wind Tunnel Testing Ahead Of Geneva Debut

Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door Undergoes Wind Tunnel Testing

After releasing a couple of spy shots of the AMG GT Four-Door earlier this week,-AMG has now showcased images of the upcoming Porsche Panamera-rival undergoing wind tunnel testing before it makes its global debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show next month. These images give us a closer look at the design of the four-door supercar. So, let's take a look at what it has to offer.

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

In terms of design, the GT Four-Door is reminiscent of the GT Concept which was showcased in Geneva last year. It features a long bonnet, a sleek silhouette and a sloping roofline. The rear end looks similar to the regular AMG GT supercar and sports sleek LED tail lamps and a round profile. The near-production model even gets an active rear spoiler, which was something that was absent on the GT Concept.

Related:

Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door Undergoes Wind Tunnel Testing

Despite sharing the name with AMG's top of the line supercar, the upcoming car does not share its underpinnings with its two-door sibling. In fact, the GT Four-Door will be based on a heavily modified version of the MRA platform that underpins sedans such as the.

Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door Undergoes Wind Tunnel Testing

Under the bonnet, the GT Four-Door is expected to pack AMG's 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 petrol motor aided by an electric motor mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox and Mercedes' 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. Although there's no word on the power figures yet, we expect it to develop upwards of 600PS.

Mercedes-AMG has not yet confirmed what the production version of the grand tourer will be called. However, what is certain is that it will feature the alphabets 'GT' and the number '4' in its name.

Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door Undergoes Wind Tunnel Testing

Slated to go on sale in global markets in September 2018, Mercedes-Benz India has not yet revealed if it will be bringing this grand tourer to our market anytime soon. However, considering that Mercedes-Benz has one of the largest product portfolio in the country, we expect the latest four-door GT to make its way here soon after it goes on sale in other right-hand-drive markets.

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Thursday, 15 February 2018

Photo Gallery: Canadian International Auto Show


The Canadian International Auto Show begins February 16 2018, and our man in the field swung on by for the press day. Audi had all of the latest and greatest models on display, with a healthy dose of Audi Sport models such as the R8, RS 5, TT RS and RS 3. The new A8 [...] More »


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ABT body kit for 2018 Audi SQ5 and Q5 ready for order now


With a new aerodynamic body kit ABT is complementing the style and sophistication of the 2018 Audi SQ5 and Q5 by adding, among other parts, visible tailpipes to the rear. The basic package of the new ABT aerodynamic kit comes with a front skirt design similar to what ABT offers for the Q7, door strip [...] More »


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Striking in power and design – ABT Audi SQ5 with Widebody Aerokit and 425 HP


  ABT Sportsline takes the three-liter turbo gasoline engine in the new Audi SQ5 to a fiery 425 HP (313 kW) and a torque increase of 10% to 550 Nm. A bold statement from the world’s largest tuner for vehicles from the Audi and Volkswagen Group, as the production version offers 354 HP (260 kW) – just like its predecessor with [...] More »


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