EV Automobile giant Tesla will have a red-carpet welcome from India for its proposal to invest in the country, while its largest rival in electric vehicles, China's BYD, has been stopped cold by increased scrutiny from New Delhi.
"The future of who wins in India will have some bearing on who wins globally in the EV race," said Jasmeet Khurana of the World Economic Forum.
Since a meeting between Musk and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June in New York, Tesla has fast-tracked closed-door discussions with officials on a potential plant investment and plans to build a new low-cost $24,000 EV.
Those talks continued over the past week with Tesla discussing minute details of its plans to gain access to India's fast-growing EV market, and Prime Minister Modi personally tracking developments, sources say.
BYD China's loss in India could be Tesla USA & Musk's gain.
In a blow to the Chiese EV vehicle manufacturer, India rejected Chinese carmaker BYD Co.'s proposal to build a $1 billion electric-vehicle plant in partnership with a local company, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The government dismissed the plan from BYD and Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd. on national security concerns, the people said, asking not to be identified as the decision is not yet public. The use of Chinese homegrown technology is a concern with the Indian policymakers, one of the people said.
Foreign direct investment in India's automobile sector doesn't typically require approval. Investment proposals from countries that share a border with India, however, need political and security clearance from the ministries of external and home affairs.
Meanwhile, the government is keen to proceed with the Tesla EV proposal, it was indicated during PM Modi's US visit and the meeting with Elon Musk. ,
Top car maker in India Maruti Suzuki India launched the Invicto today, its most expensive car in India yet. The car is a rebadged version of the Toyota Innova HyCross MPV, launched last year. The Invicto is yet another product after the partnership between Maruti and Toyota Kirloskar began in 2016 and was formalised in 2019.
The alliance will establish and promote "long-term cooperation in new fields", including electric vehicle technology and autonomous driving, as per a joint statement issued by the two companies.
The car is being offered in three variants - Zeta+ (7 seater), Zeta+ (8 seater) and Aplha+ (7 seater). The price starts from ? 24.79 lakh for the first trim and goes up to ? 28.42 lakh for the top variant. The middle variant has been priced ? 24.84 lakh. The Invicto will also be available for subscription at ? 61,860 per month.
It will be available in four colours: Nexa Blue and Mystic White. This will be the eighth product to the Nexa line-up
In an encouraging signal of a booming economy, automobile retail sales grew in double-digits in the country last fiscal, driven by a record offtake of 36 lakh passenger vehicles, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) said on Tuesday.
Total retail sales rose to 2,21,50,222 units last fiscal, up 21 percent from 1,83,27,326 units in FY22. The passenger vehicle registrations rose by 23 percent to 36,20,039 units, as against 29,42,273 units in 2021-22.
Two-wheelers retail sales rose by 19 percent to 1,59,95,968 units in FY23 compared to 1,34,94,214 units in 2021-22. Commercial vehicle retail sales rose 33 percent while three-wheeler registrations witnessed an 84 percent increase as compared with 2021-22.
Tractor retail sales grew by 8 percent last fiscal as compared with FY22.
“FY23 was the first full year without any impact of Covid after a gap of two years. Consequently, overall retail sales during the year experienced double-digit growth of 21 percent,” FADA President Manish Raj Singhania said.
He noted that last fiscal the retail sales of passenger vehicles reached a record high of 36 lakh vehicles, a growth of 23 percent as compared with FY22. The previous high was in FY19 when retail sales were at 32 lakh units.
The segment benefitted from numerous new launches and better product availability due to the easing of the semiconductor shortage, Singhania said.
Market leader Mahindra & Mahindra launched new versions of its sports utility vehicle Thar with price starting at Rs 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom). The new range includes rear wheel drive variants (without 4 wheel drive capability) in two engine options with manual and automatic transmissions, the auto major said in a statement.
The two diesel-powered manual rear-wheel drive trims Thar are priced at Rs 9.99 lakh and Rs 10.99 lakh while the petrol automatic variant is tagged at Rs 13.49 lakh. The 4WD (4-wheel drive) range now comes with an advanced electronic brake locking differential, the company said.
"To make our offering even better, we listened to our customers and engineered the new range of the Thar with important enhancements," Mahindra & Mahindra President, Automotive Division Veejay Nakra noted. By offering the new rear wheel drive variants, the company has made it much more accessible for probable customers, he added.
"Thar aditions on the 4WD variant have been designed to please the true off-roaders," Nakra said.
Largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India plans to invest over Rs 7,000 crore this year on various initiatives, including the construction work of its new plant in Haryana and new model launches, according to company CFO Ajay Seth. The country's largest carmaker has already commenced work at the new facility in the Sonipat district.
The Kharkhoda-based plant, the company's third set-up in the country, is expected to be operational by 2025 with an installed production capacity of 2.5 lakh units in the first phase.
Currently, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has a cumulative production capacity of over 22 lakh units per annum across its two manufacturing plants in Haryana and parent Suzuki Motor's facility in Gujarat.
The two plants in Haryana -- Gurugram and Manesar -- together roll out around 15.5 lakh units per annum. In May, the auto major announced to invest Rs 11,000 crore in the first phase of the Sonipat facility. "We will be spending upwards of Rs 7,000 crore this year," Seth said in an analyst call.
Elaborating on the investment plans, he said the earmarked amount would cover various activities. "We'll have to place orders to various vendors (for the Sonipat plant). So, that will be one major portion of the capex," Seth noted.
He further said: "Besides that, all the new model launches that we are doing where we have to have the investment on toolings, et cetera, I think that will be another large piece of capex. So, these are two areas where the capex will be maximum." The capex would also go into other areas like R&D, the regular maintenance among others, Seth said.
On a query regarding the current business outlook, Seth said: "The electronics component shortages are still limiting our production volumes. In this quarter, the company could not produce 35,000 vehicles." Limited visibility on the availability of electronics components is a challenge in planning the company's production activities, he added.
"Our supply chain, engineering, production and sales teams are working towards maximising the production volume from available semiconductors. The supply situation of electronic components continues to remain unpredictable," Seth stated.
He said that the company's pending customer orders stood at about 4.12 lakh vehicles at the end of the second quarter with recently launched models accounting for around 1.3 lakh pre-bookings. Having achieved success with both Brezza and Grand Vitara, the company aims to bring in more models in the SUV segment, Seth said.
"Going forward, the company will strive to further strengthen its SUV portfolio to dominate the SUV segment, just like all other segments," he said.
German luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz expects 25 per cent of its sales in India to come from electric vehicles in the next five years, a senior company official said on Wednesday.
The company’s Indian arm, Mercedes-Benz India will be launching three electric vehicles in the next four months as part of the strategy to accelerate its electric mobility journey in the country.
Under the plan, the company launched its all-electric performance luxury sedan, Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC, with a price starting at Rs 2.45 crore (all India ex-showroom prices) on Wednesday. It will launch the locally assembled all-electric sedan EQS 580 next month followed by seven-seater electric SUV, EQB around November.
“We are very optimistic and we are bullish to look at around, say 25 per cent of sales in the next five years (from EVs),” Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India Martin Schwenk told PTI here.
He further said, “Whether it comes early or later, nobody knows but two years ago, I would not have had the guts to make that statement.”
The company had sold a total of 11,242 units in 2021, while in the first half of 2022 it registered sales of 7,573 units.
With Tesla registering phenomenal growth over a year, the electric vehicle (EV) shipments grew 79 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in the first quarter of 2022 to reach 1.95 million units, says a new report.
According to market research firm Counterpoint, of these, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for 73 per cent and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) for the rest.
"With EVs comprising just 12 per cent of the total passenger vehicle shipments during the first quarter of 2022, there is a lot of scope for expansion. Fresh players are entering the market to benefit from the opportunity," Senior Research Analyst Soumen Mandal, said in a statement.
"To counter new entrants, existing players are using leading-edge technologies to have improved battery, superior IVI system, and higher levels of ADAS in their EV models as major selling points," Mandal added.
Tesla is currently the global EV market leader. The company's shipments grew 68 per cent YoY in the first quarter and are expected to cross 1.3 million units by the end of 2022.
BYD Auto emerged as China's top EV seller during the first quarter. Its EV shipments increased by a whopping 433 per cent YoY to reach more than 0.28 million units.
China remained the market leader in EV shipments, followed by Europe and the US. China's EV shipments increased 126 per cent YoY in the first quarter of 2022 to reach more than 1.14 million units from just 0.5 million units in the first quarter of 2021.
Herbert Diess, the current chairman of the board of management of the German motor vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen Group, has said that the carmaker will take the lead over Elon Musk's Tesla by 2025.
During a meeting at the company's headquarters in Germany, Diess said that Tesla will lose its strength trying to ramp up two gigafactories -- one in Austin, Texas and the other in Grunheide, Germany, reports the Daily Mail.
He sees this as an opportunity to take the lead, as Volkswagen is running at full capacity.
"Elon must simultaneously ramp up two highly complex factories in Austin and Grunheide -- and expand production in Shanghai. That will cost him strength," he told workers on Tuesday, as first reported by Financial Times.
"We have to seize this opportunity and catch up quickly -- by 2025 we can be in the lead," he added.
Diess has had his sights set on Tesla for quite some time -- earlier this year he said Volkswagen is capable of selling more electric vehicles than its rival by 2025.
During the presentation, Diess also mentioned that Tesla is weakening and then presented a slide with a meme that showed actor Jason Momoa representing Volkswagen creeping up behind fellow actor Henry Cavill cast as Tesla.
Diess and Musk are friendly outside of the EV race, but the German executive continually notes Tesla as Volkswagen's biggest rival.
Volkswagen sold 4,52,900 electric vehicles worldwide in 2021, while Tesla sold 9,30,422. It is listed fourth when it comes to electric car companies and fifth among the largest EV companies.
In a first such case involving an electric car in India, a Tata Nexon EV caught fire in Mumbai and the company was investigating the incident.
The EV car fire incident was reported from Vasai West (near Panchvati hotel) in Mumbai late on Wednesday, and the video of the Tata Nexon engulfed in fire went viral on social media.
The company said in a statement that "a detailed investigation is currently being conducted to ascertain the facts of this isolated incident".
"We will share a detailed response thereafter. We remain committed to the safety of our vehicles and their users," it added.
Tata Nexon EV is the highest selling electric car in India and at least 2,500-3,000 cars are being sold every month in the country.
The company has so far sold over 30,000 Nexon EVs.
According to the video, the owner of the car charged his Nexon EV with a normal slow charger installed at his office.
After driving about 5 km towards his house, he heard some weird sounds from the car and saw flashes of warnings on the dashboard which alerted him to stop the vehicle and get out of the car, media reports said.
Later, firefighters were seen spraying water on the burning Nexon EV.
"This is a first incident after more than 30,000 EVs have cumulatively covered over 1 million km across the country in nearly four years," said the company.
Several electric two-wheelers have caught fires owing to battery explosions in the country, leading the government to launch a probe into the incidents involving EV makers such as Ola Electric, Pure EV, Jitendra EV Tech, Ather Energy and Okinawa.
Promise of hydrogen in the transition to a net-zero emissions future is fraught with challenges in production, storage, and utilisation and including disaster resilience of infrastructure at the current nascent stage can yield exponential benefits, a perspective paper released on Friday said.
"A cogent perspective on disaster and climate resilience of the hydrogen value chain with its infrastructure systems, sub-systems, components and assets is conspicuous by its absence in the current discourse," said the perspective paper on 'The Resilience Imperative: Forward Thinking on Hydrogen Infrastructure' released on the last day of the International Conference on Disaster Resilience Infrastructure here.
The conference was organised by the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), a global multi-stakeholder partnership of national government, UN agencies, programmes, multilateral development banks, financing mechanisms, private sector, academic and knowledge institutions, committed to working with various stakeholders to promote the resilience of infrastructure globally in the changing climatic conditions.
"There is a clear need to recognise and understand the vulnerabilities in the value chain including dependence on renewable energy sources in the context of changing climate, the impact of hydrogen production on available natural resources, mainly water, need for investing in specialized transport infrastructure among others," the paper said, and suggested: "Including disaster resilience of infrastructure in the discourse could yield exponential benefits if incorporated at this nascent stage of the hydrogen economy."
The organisers said the perspective paper is based on the practical inputs from different stakeholders globally and secondary theoretical insights from secondary literature review on the importance of taking a holistic approach to the resilience of infrastructure for driving the hydrogen economy and to introduce future programmatic offerings by CDRI.
"A global energy transition is underway. The drivers of this transition include equitable access, security and cleaner forms of energy to address climate change. Across several countries, hydrogen is likely to form a critical pillar of this transition. Hydrogen offers a green carbon-neutral alternative to generate electricity as well as power transport and industry. The report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report on Mitigation of Climate Change released in April 2022 specifically refers to the role of hydrogen as an energy source for heating, transport and heavy industry," said Kamal Kishore, India Co-chair, CDRI executive committee and Member Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in the foreword of the report.
"The paper underscores the complexities of hydrogen infrastructure globally, while reinforcing the importance of resilience as we transition to renewable energy sources. It is our hope that this paper influences planners and decision makers and serves as a resource for all stakeholders on a transition to a clean and resilient future," Veena Reddy, co-chair CDRI from 2022-2024 as a representative of the US, added.