Last updated: Feb 2020 by Narasimhan Santhanam
Synopsis: The Indian electric vehicle ecosystem is evolving fast, with one of the key aspects, the supply chain for various components evolving rapidly too. This post provides details and trends on the current and emerging supply chain strategy for prominent Indian electric vehicle companies in the two, three, four wheeler categories and in electric buses.
This post is a part of EV Next’s EV Perspectives.
EV Next, a division of EAI, is a leading market intelligence & strategic consulting firm for the Indian e-mobility sector.
The EV supply chain is similar to the ICE passenger vehicle supply chain. However, instead of competing based on the engine and transmission, EVs compete based on their batteries and electric motors. While Batteries draw the most attention in innovations and economics, motors and other power electronics have been mostly standardised and common. With the government’s push to manufacture and use indegenous local made components, automobile companies began investing in the component manufacturing. However, studying the market and economics to understand the impacts of imports and self manufacturing is being tried out.
Supply Chain Trends & Updates
Electric Two Wheelers
Ampere Vehicles: The company was sourcing all the components of electric vehicles, including motor, charger, controller, battery, but soon faced many problems with imported batteries. Hence they started to indigenize the parts rather than sourcing them completely.
Since 2014-15, Ampere Vehicles has been making its own motors, chargers and controllers. They still (as of 2018) source their batteries from vendors, but have come up with an intelligent battery chip, which ensures that the battery doesn’t bulge and also has a longer life. The batteries need to be charged for eight hours and vehicles can run 60 kms on a full battery.
The company has also developed indigenous chargers, which was launched in 2017 and plans to supply them to OEMs in the EV space.
Hero Electric: As of 2018, Hero Electric is the market leader in the electric two-wheeler industry, having over 200,000 customers with more than 350 dealerships across the country.
The company spent considerable time developing the lithium-ion battery pack, which was to be used for the first time in India in vehicles during the year of 2016-17. While the battery cells had been sourced from Japan, the battery management electronics or the heart of the battery was developed by the company.
The company had also planned to launch e-bicycles and e-scooters during 2017-18. For some of its e-vehicle models, to be launched in 2018, the batteries and the motor are developed by Hero Electric’s partners in Taiwan and China and for its two new lithium ion battery based e-scooter models, the lithium-ion battery is sourced from Korea, China or Taiwan.
TVS: The company has gained expertise in assembling imported lithium ion cells together to form individual battery packs. These battery packs can be further assembled to develop a complete rechargeable battery unit.
The company is thus making its own battery pack, including the battery management system while sourcing individual cells from international suppliers. The work on the battery, which includes connecting and making the battery management system, is being done internally.
Emflux Motors: The company’s Superbike Model 1, which was launched in Auto Expo 2018, can go up to 200 kmph and can touch 0-100 kmph in just 3 seconds. The vehicle is powered by Samsung Li-ion batteries. The company has also developed technology for manufacturing electric drivetrain including battery, BMS, charger, motor controller and the motor.
The Emflux One was first showcased at the Auto Expo 2018
Electrotherm: As of 2017, the company is importing parts of electric powertrain from China. However, the R&D team at Electrotherm’s electric vehicle division has been successful in designing highly efficient, power motor which will be introduced in its electric vehicles in the near future.
Electrotherm even manufactures the control equipment of electric vehicles which makes the company an independent manufacturer in manufacturing a major proportion of its electronic vehicle.
Electric Three Wheelers
Gayam Motor Works: The company’s R&D team has spent years developing proprietary battery technology and management systems, to make it suitable for Indian road and weather conditions.
Lohia Auto: In 2017, Lohia had three product portfolios, including electric two-wheelers, electric rickshaws and diesel three-wheelers for passenger and goods transportation.
With regards to the extent of localisation of its product range, Lohia has claimed that its electric two-wheelers have local content of 60-65%, in terms of value. The e-rickshaws are almost completely localised, with the exception of the electric motor and controller, while the diesel three-wheelers are completely made locally. The company also imports components of electric two-wheelers such as electric motor, controller and few plastic components from China.
Electric Four Wheelers – Electric Cars
Mahindra: The company collaborated with LG Chem for the supply of VRLA and Li-ion batteries required for its electric vehicles in 2018. Further, to impart the Make in India initiative of the government, Mahindra Electric plans is investing in manufacturing their own electric motors, batteries, motor transmission and power dynamics.
The company aims to export the local made components to international OEMs.
They also plan to setup a Li-ion battery manufacturing plant where they would make battery modules and packs with the cells provided by LG Chem.
Tata Motors: The company states that the electric powertrain for its new model Tigor EV is sourced from Electra EV, a new company that supplies electric drivetrain systems.
In September, 2019 the company launched its own built electric powertrain Ziptron which will power all their new Electric Vehicles. The Tata Nexon EV launched in January, 2020 is the first vehicle to have the Ziptron. The same would also be used to power the Tata Altroz EV scheduled to launch late 2020.
The Tata Nexon EV is powered by Tata Motor’s own powertrain, the Ziptron while the older vehicle, the Tigor EV uses a powertrain from Electra EV
Hyundai Motor India Limited: The company imports its first EV(kona) as CKD (completely knocked down) units and assemble at its Chennai plant. Later on, depending on market response, it will consider manufacturing in India.
With battery being an important component for the success of EVs in India, HMIL is keeping the option open of partnering with local firms for sourcing of electric vehicle battery, besides considering other alternatives like importing from China or South Korea.
Ashok Leyland: In 2016-17, the company developed the circuit series electric bus, a zero-emission product, with some technology inputs sourced from its UK subsidiary Optare, which is a pioneer of electric buses.
Battery for these buses were to be imported from the US, which could be expected to last five to seven years. The local content in the bus was about 30-40 percent.
The company was also working with three to four companies simultaneously for import of batteries. These included Malcom and Valence.
Ashok Leyland Circuit -S electric bus with automated swappable battery
Goldstone: As of end 2017, Hyderabad based silicon rubber insulator manufacturer Goldstone Infratech has partnered with Chinese automobiles and rechargeable batteries maker BYD Company, to make electric buses in India to meet the growing demand in the domestic market.
The company is assembling fully electric buses in India in technical collaboration with BYD. In Hyderabad, the company has a design and services unit as well as a testing facility. Bus bodies are built through third-party arrangement while most parts are imported from China.
JBM Solaris: The company launched its first fully electric bus EcoLife at the Auto EXPO 2018. Though the batteries for the electric bus were imported they had been built by battery manufacturers based on JBMs in-house designs.
(Source: GE Research Presentation )
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See also the blog posts
- Electric Vehicle Transmission System – EV Transmission, Gears, Powertrain
- AC, DC Motors in Electric Vehicles – Types of Motors in Use in Electric Cars, E-scooters
- Motors used in EVs – BLDC, Induction, SRM, Permanent Magnet Motors for Electric Vehicles
Comprehensive Inputs on Indian EV EcosystemCheck out the following sections for comprehensive inputs on Indian EV ecosystem (click on each section for more details)
Categories: E-mobility, Electric Cars, Electric Two-wheelers and Three-wheelers, Electric Vehicle Segments, Electric Vehicles, EV Companies and Startups, EV Component Manufacturers, EV OEMs
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