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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | The government has been forthcoming with its policies
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There is a significant shift in the patterns and consumers are looking at EVs as a serious and safe alternative to petrol vehicles, informs Nagesh Basavanhalli, Managing Director & CEO, Greaves Cotton Limited. He states that innovating locally is another trend being observed and the government is also encouraging this with subsidies for local contracts as announced in the recent FAME II policy.
How prepared is the industry for the transition to BS VI?
BS-IV to BS-VI transition was a critical transition for the Indian automotive industry. With over 70 per cent market share in diesel 3W segment, Greaves is an integral part of the Indian 3W industry. Greaves is well poised to deliver low TCO and fuel efficient BS-VI solutions for the last mile transportation needs of Indian users. Greaves has signed off with all its OEMs for supply of BS-VI power train solution and will be ready before the April 2020 deadline.
Recently, Greaves has strengthened its position on last mile transportation through its fuel efficient CNG engine. Can you elaborate on this initiative?
With its 400cc water-cooled and 510cc water-cooled engines, Greaves has created a niche for itself in the 3W industry. With its better pulling power, Greaves is playing an important role in India’s green mobility and shared mobility vision, while providing far superior cost of ownership to the 3W owner. At the same time, with its after-market support, Greaves ensures that 3W owners face minimum downtime in their day-to-day operations, further contributing to 3W owners’ earning potential. Greaves has registered a higher double digit growth in its CNG portfolio as a mark of acceptance of its reliable and dependable product range, which delivers more earnings for the daily breadwinner, drivers of last mile 3W CNG vehicles.
Greaves understands the needs of customers in last mile transportation. We are working with our OE partners closely to make BS VI ready solutions available for the Indian market, ahead of the regulatory deadline. Apart from technology development, we have invested in huge aftermarket support and spares & service channels across the country. As part of aftermarket support and bigger assurance footprint, Greaves has around 250 plus Greaves retail outlets and 5,000-plus spare parts dealers across the country. We have invested in design and development, training, and capability building of channel force to deliver these future-relevant products and services to our customers. We offer a wide range of fuel agnostic powertrain solutions in three different segments – automotive engines, non-automotive engines and industrial engines.
What is the role of norms such as CAFE and BNVSAP?
Emission norms such as Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency and Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme among others, are a step in the right direction. Manufacturers are making a conscious effort to fulfill requirements. Government is also working towards creating a conducive and facilitating environment to address carbon emission from vehicles and has set up National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP) centres as well as National Automotive Board to act as facilitator between the government and the industry. This is a helpful measure.
Do you think automation is indispensable at present?
We are living in the age of automation and digitalisation, and the only way forward is to embrace them and create capabilities to deliver the same. However, even in the age of automation, human capital continues to play a major role. Greaves is a great example of combining automation with human intelligence. This is validated by the efficiency shown in our manufacturing process adopted by the company for all our products, designed to run relentlessly for long time across various terrains and varying market load conditions. We manufacture one engine a minute which is about 400,000 engines a year. The way ahead for the industry to increase product and service efficiency is to use the right mix of automation and human capital.
Also, what is Greaves' approach in making its products more sustainable and efficient (in terms of both cost and fuel)?
Greaves has a widespread portfolio of fuel agnostic products and services which caters to varied consumer segments. Our focus is to provide affordable cleantech mobility solutions that continues our legacy of trust earned over decades with unparalleled value proposition of low TCO, reliable products backed by extensive aftermarket support of affordable spares and services. Today Greaves has powertrain solutions that delivers across various fuel types – petrol, CNG, diesel, and through various technology tieups we are geared to deliver higher level of fuel efficiency and environment friendly solutions in times to come.
As India progresses with rapid expansion of CNG, Greaves with its current CNG lineup and upcoming CREST technology is ready to revolutionise the last mile CNG segment. Lastly with the Ampere electric vehicles acquisition backed by Greaves 3S retail network, we’re catering to the electric scooter segment and other e-mobility solutions.
In a nutshell, we’re continuing our commitment of delivering energy efficient, profitable product and services solution in both affordable CV and personal vehicle mobility segment. We are dedicated to mobilise India ahead while providing gainful employment opportunities to millions at the bottom of the pyramid. We have integrated solutions which are sustainable and live up to our philosophy of serving better the people, planet and prosperity. We adhere to the highest standards and best practices in the industry to ensure that we are making our products more sustainable and efficient.
How big is the role of government policies to steer the auto industry?
The government has been very forthcoming with their policies in encouraging the EV industry to grow. With the deteriorating air quality in the country, the government has realised that cleantech mobility is the way forward. Initiatives like ‘Make in India’, FAME II policy, opening charging corridors for EVs and incentivising the sale are welcoming. These policies will strengthen the EV ecosystem in the country and encourage the industry to come out with clean mobility solutions. The 'National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage' which was recently approved by the Union cabinet, will aid transformative mobility and implement phased manufacturing programmes (PMP) for five years till 2024. This mission will help in a great way to localise the EV value chain with the help of bodies like NATRiP and National Automotive Board.
What are some of the upcoming trends that can redefine efficiency?
In order to curb rising air pollution and move to cleaner fuel, government has set a strict deadline of converting vehicles to BS-VI compliance. We feel this is a significant step in the right direction and companies are working to adhere to this deadline.
There is a significant shift in the patterns and consumers are looking at EVs as a serious and safe alternative to petrol vehicles. Innovating locally is another trend we are seeing and the government is also encouraging this with subsidies for local contracts as announced in the recent FAME II policy. It is estimated that by 2040, close to 50 per cent of vehicle sales will be EVs. We believe that the customer will choose the configuration and it’s upon the automotive industry and all the tech partners across the globe to give the best. At Greaves we are working towards the same.
What can the industry do to overcome the challenges they face while manufacturing safe and efficient products?
It’s not just the product but customer support services – Vehicle services, battery charging, battery swapping and whole lot of aftermarket support in the mobility ecosystem which matters. Manufacturers must introspect and keep a check on our standards in order to maintain consistency in our products & services. There is a need for collaboration between industry and academia which can spur the development of EV/cleantech talent. Another challenge that our country faces is that of lack of infrastructure for cleantech mobility solutions. The only way to rectify this is that manufacturers in the space have to collaborate with the government and contribute to build the required infrastructure. Only then can we expect the customers to change and move over from petrol and diesel vehicles.
Greaves Cotton Limited
Diesel 3W Segment
Average Fuel Efficiency And Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme
Transformative Mobility And Battery Storage
Cleantech Mobility Solutions
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