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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | Penetration of EV 4 wheelers will increase 4-5 per cent by 2025
Penetration of EV 4 wheelers will increase 4-5 per cent by 2025
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The electric vehicle (EV) market is gaining momentum across the globe driven mainly by environmental concerns, but the shift will be a gradual one due to issues like range, production costs, charging infrastructure and a fossil fuel heavy energy mix. Anil Kumar MR, MD & Regional President-Indian operations, SEG Automotive, talks about the company plans for Indian EV market and how electric 2- and 3-wheelers could lead India into reduced CO2 emissions in future.
Tell us about your focus areas and about the recently launched two new EV motors?
SEG Automotive gets its name from the areas the company– starter motors, electrification and generators. SEG has been a pioneer in the leafing starter technology, as well as in start-stop systems. In the last year’s end, SEG has launched Electric Motor 1.2 (EM 1.2), a 2 kw electric motor, targeted at e-rickshaw segment. This product was initially developed jointly in collaboration with German-Indian R&D teams. A unique feature of the product is that it runs on the Brushless DC (BLDC) motor technology. This technology is used across all our developments globally. But for India, Permanent Magnet Synchronous Machine (PMSM), which maximises efficiency over the drive cycle, is developed in India for India. These motors are 8-10 per cent better than other products in the market. We have ensured that the reliability of the motor is equivalent to its life. We have standard tests to prove it too.
With our experience in hybrid machines, we are able to deliver reliable and safe products while abiding by the functional safety standards. This served as the basis for the launch of the two new products— EM 1.5 and EM 1.8.
EM 1.5 is a 5 kw motor for two wheelers which can be replicated for any kind of two-wheelers such as motorcycles or scooters. We also make controllers to maintain system efficiency, thus controllers are manufactured with 5 kw motors. The 1.8 is an 8 kw motor which is aimed at the e-rickshaw segment is the L5 segment which in India currently runs on internal combustion engines.
In the e-rickshaw motors, we have added one more improvement is to keep the efficiency flat over the working cycle for the real time drive cycle. This means that we will certainly be better in terms of range compared to that of the existing players in this relatively new market.
We are also looking at offering better driving experience of the customer. We will have best-in-class operations for noise, vibration and harness (NVH). These products will be made available in the second half of this year.
If you look at the current market trends, electric vehicles will not experience a shift overnight. This transition will be a gradual one considering 4 wheelers. While the electric vehicles are launched and the transition takes place, SEG automotive is helping in increasing efficiency of the internal combustion engine (ICE) better. With the upcoming BS VI introduction, CO2 legislation will become more strong and sringent. Currently we are at 130 g /kilometre of CO2 emissions and by 2022 the legislations will demand that it should be reduced to 113 g / kilometre and in the next 3 years down to 100g/ kilometre. There will be acute need of the products meeting such a requirement. At SEG automotive, we are ready and prepared for such challenges. Our Start-stop feature for ICE engine reduces CO2 upto 8 per cent in the drive cycle. This coupled with a high-efficiency generator is a very good option for reducing CO2 to come down to CAFE Norms which will be demanded by 2022. We are ready with that. We are market leaders and the first to introduce start-stop in 2008.
When CAFE norms become tight, the solution for the ICE engine to meet the regulations is through hybrids. Worldwide, SEG automotive is a leader in hybrids engines as far as 48v segment in Europe are currently catching up in China. Hybrids will work as a bridge between current ICE engines and future electric ones. This is the intermediate stage which we believe will come with more stringent CO2 legislations. We are busy on 2 aspects— preparing our products so that we can keep our ICE engines efficient for the future while we work on electrification of the light electro mobility in India and globally. Overall, our goal is electrification in the 48 v segment which is 3 wheelers.
When are electric vehicles expected to match up with ICE vehicles?
Government of India’s FAME II initiative incentivised 500, 000 three-wheelers and 1 million of two-wheelers. This was aimed at establishing and electrifying last mile connectivity.
Why we see most electrification in 2- and 3-wheelers today is due to the business case or the total cost of ownership (TCO) makes them a perfect fit for electrification. Moreover, it does not require big infrastructure like that of 4 wheelers. So, electrification in India would start with 2- and 3-wheelers and will take a while for 4 wheelers. There are some challenges why the 4 wheelers will take time:
Environmental challenge: If you look at the energy generation patterns in India, 70 per cent of it is generated from coal, rest is from renewable sources. A typical mid-size electric vehicle (EV) can generate up to 67 per cent lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than a petrol or diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) car. But electricity generation emits higher CO2 than petrol or diesel. Thus on the environmental side we are not yet ready.
TCO: The TCO of ICE vehicles is very less than the payback period of the e-mobility which goes beyond 10 years while it is basically driven by the huge amount of the battery cost.
Battery cost: Today, 1 kw power costs 170 dollars and unless it comes closer to 100 or below, the TCO of electric vehicles will not make much sense for individual mobility. However for the fleet mobility, since the usage is higher, it has a better chance to start off. So, Indian automotive industry is looking to start fleet electrification of the 4 wheelers while the individual mobility will take a while.
What is SEG Automotive currently working on?
SEG has got a portfolio globally which enables EM 1.25 motor, a 25 kilowatt motor which will also be launched in India. The uniqueness of this motor is that it can be used in conjunction with the ICE vehicles with P4 or P3 combinations which is an e-axle that goes directly into the wheel of the vehicle. P4 combination will serve as an option for hybridising and as an electric drive configuration. EM 1.25 can also be used for smaller vehicles as electric drive. Currently, we are looking at electrifying of parts by P4 stroke- the electric mobility for small vehicles.
By the time market matures with tight energy mix and also the right cost to the batteries, we will be ready with the technologies that will support electrification in India. We are working on high voltage motor which is still under trials. In India, the penetration of the electric vehicles is extremely fast and seeing the current progress, we will see penetration of EV 4 wheelers will increase 4-5 per cent by 2025.
What SEG Automotive’s localisation plans?
Our motors have been developed in India but only the key components have been sourced from Germany. We believe in ‘local for local’ concept; as and when the volumes shoot up we are open to explore manufacturing completely in India.
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