Electric Vehicles News Roundup – 2

electric car news

Electric Cars: The Basics

For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

For those keen on an overview of the global electric vehicle (EV) market and the different types of electric vehicles (EVs), simply scroll down to the end of the article!

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AWS Puts Mahindra Electric In Top Gear As India Adopts EVs: CEO 

With India planning to replace a significant portion of its conventional internal combustion engine fleet by electric vehicles (EV) in the next decade and target 30 percent of all cars on the road to be EVs by 2030, the segment leader Mahindra Electric is witnessing a robust uptick for its vehicles not just in metro cities but also teir -1 and tier-2 cities, its CEO Mahesh Babu told IANS on Wednesday. 

Mahindra electric cars
Mahindra Electric Cars (credit: livemint)

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There is no doubt that Mahindra Electric is committed to the EV migration in India.  The company has already developed a portfolio of electric vehicles to include the Mahindra eVerito, Mahindra eSupro, Mahindra Treo, Mahindra eAlfa Mini and Mahindra e2oPlus

It is indeed good that companies like Mahindra and the GoI have aspirational targets set for EV adoption in India.  The key word here is aspirational.  To achieve a 30% market share for EVs in India is a significant challenge for many reasons.  India today has over 23 crore vehicles on the road (230 million).  To achieve the ambition of 30% by 2030, India would have to replace nearly 7 crore cars (70 million).  

Let us put this in perspective in relation to some of the leading global EV markets.  The UK has currently 20 million cars on the roads, so simply put, the Indian market is more than ten times the size of the UK market.  So far, just below 200,000 electric vehicles have been sold in the UK.  The UK is expected to have up to 1 million electric vehicles by 2022 and up to 6 million vehicles by 2030.  For the UK to achieve this, the country will need to scale the EV charging infrastructure significantly.  This is not an easy target to achieve, given the costs involved in developing infrastructure.

The same rationale also applies to India, albeit, for a significantly larger scale.  For India to achieve its lofty ambitions, it would need to successfully execute the deployment of EV charging infrastructure to support 70 million electric vehicles.  Moreover, it will need to upgrade its grid infrastructure to meet the demands of 70 million EVs charging.   The above are only some of the challenges India is set to face as it migrates from internal combustion engine (ICE) driving to electric zero-emission driving.  We certainly applaud the Government of India (GoI) in setting ambitious targets, even though the challenges are daunting.  We hope that by 2030 India has achieved its 30% zero-emission target, as this will have a significant positive impact on the reducing the pollution. 

MG ZS Electric Vehicle Unveil Today; Price, Launch, Features, Specifications, Other Details You Should Know  

With the government trying to promote the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in India, more and more carmakers are in the process of introducing their environment-friendly four-wheelers in our country. The launch of Hyundai Kona EV in July 2019 came as welcome addition to the electric vehicle portfolio of India that included the likes of Tata Tigor EV, Mahindra eVerito and Mahindra e20 Plus till then.  Now, MG (Morris Garages) Motor India is all set to unveil the ZS EV today. 

MG all electric SUV MG ZS
The All-Electric MG SUV (credit: MG)

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MG is not new to the Indian market and certainly not new in regards to the sport utility vehicle (SUV) market.  The company has already built a track record in the Indian SUV segment with the MG Hector SUV

We in India certainly like our SUVs and jeeps.  Maybe due to practicality given our roads or maybe just a sense of a ‘higher status’ that has driven us in large numbers to own SUVs.  MG is right in trying to leverage its Indian market experience with the ‘love’ for SUVs in India, to build leadership in the electric vehicle sector with the launch of the MG ZS. 

One look at the global EV sector and it is amply clear that the SUV four-wheeled segment is gaining traction.  The all-electric SUV market has become a lot more competitive since the introduction of the iconic Tesla Model X.  In 2018 we saw the launch of the pure electric Jaguar I-PACE, a company ultimately controlled by our very own Tata Motors.   We have also witnessed a number of ‘affordably priced’ electric SUVs enter the EV market, to include the all-electric MG ZS SUV.  Interestingly, MG is now under Chinese ownership. 

For both, the international markets and for India, introducing affordably priced electric vehicles will be key in encouraging the adoption of electric driving.  The announcement of the MG ZS SUV EV for India is welcome news. Expect to see this electric vehicle on sale in 2020.  Prices have yet to be confirmed from the automotive manufacturer, but expect it to be priced over Rs 20 lakhs. 

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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