ELECTRIC VEHICLES – HOW TO CHARGE YOUR PORTFOLIO?

about 3 months ago
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Last week, the Govt showed, at least as of now, that it is firm on its road towards electric vehicles.

Despite representations from the industry, the Govt said that there would be no extension on its mandate of sale of electric three-wheelers and two-wheelers (under 150cc) from 2023 and 2025, respectively. And for four-wheelers, as of now, 30% of the total fleet has to be electric by 2030.

While the industry has the usual cry that such a mandate would derail the growth of the auto sector, as it is dealing with BSVI as well as compliance with new safety norms, the Govt is firm. Instead of relenting, it has put the ball in their court -  automobile manufacturers have been given a flat timeline of two weeks to come out with a roadmap to enable e-three-wheeler sales by 2023, e-two-wheeler sales by 2025, and e-four-wheeler sales by 2030. Here too, the industry wanted a 6-month period for chalking out a roadmap. Now they have 15 days.

The writing on the wall is very clear – the future is electric. We are all at the cusp of a major shift in the Indian auto industry. Change in the auto sector cannot happen overnight and what we are seeing today are the steps which would be taken over the next few years to go electric. Is this how the shift would have happened from bullock carts to cars?  

In terms of EV car makers, right from Maruti, M&M, Audi, Porshe, Nissan, all have plans to launch their EVs in the next couple of years. Hyundai Motor India is set to launch Kona Electric, an SUV, in India on 9 July. British automaker, MG Motor India announced that it will launch its first electric SUV called eZS in India by December 2019. Revolt Motors will launch its entry-level commuter electric motorcycle which will have several unique features like artificial intelligence, synthesised sounds and a swappable battery location network in July 2019.

Mahindra will launch the eKUV100 in India near to the festive season this year and is expected to price the car at around Rs 7-9 lakh. Maruti Suzuki recently confirmed that it will be ready with its first electric car for India by next year – WagonR EV and will be priced around Rs.7 lakh.

Ashok Leyland has begun gearing up to deliver 50 electric buses to Ahmedabad’s Bus Rapid Transit System or BRTS. Tata Motors has already delivered 160 electric buses to various public transit networks in five cities.

Mahindra Electric’s reported sales crossed the 10,000-unit mark in FY19, growing 2.5 times from the previous fiscal. While the company sold 10,276 units in sales in FY19 v/s 4,026 electric vehicles in FY 18. Its EV plant in Bengaluru is set to touch 25,000 units in production capacity, later this year. 

Thus in the automobile maker space, Mahindra is the best bet. Remember, it bought India’s first electric car maker, Reva and definitely has the first mover advantage.

The biggest hurdle for fast paced growth of the electric vehicles world over is the lack of enough charging stations. Thus not just electric cars, from a stock market perspective, companies which make these electric car batteries will be the sunrise industry.

On the Indian bourses, though we currently do not have many of these lithium based EV battery makers, the ones listed and into EV charging or components are:

ABB

It plans to bring fast chargers for EVs in India. It already has more than 10,000 direct-current fast charging stations installed in 73 countries, and India houses one of the largest locations of R&D and engineering in the ABB universe. It has installed an ABB Terra 53 fast charging station for EVs at NITI Aayog.

OK Play India

The company has been making EVs since 2015. Its product range now includes E-rickshaws, loaders, vending carts and garbage vans. All are sold under the brand name of e-Rajaa. The company has some 9-10 plants across India and is stated to have a total capacity of 2,50,000 vehicles per annum.

Himadri Speciality Chemical

The company makes Anode Material for Lithiumion Batteries. It is in fact the first Indian company to develop anode material of both Synthetic and Natural varieties for lithium-ion batteries. By 2030, the global demand for Lithiumion Batteries is expected to touch 1550 GWh/a from around 120 GWh?a in 2017. It has the advantage of its integrated manufacturing facility to reduce logistics and energy costs.

JBM Auto

It is one of the first companies in India with a focus only on EVs. It has launched its electric buses in India, having recently completed its test run in Delhi. The company is creating a complete ecosystem by working in an integrated way on charging system, battery technology and controller technology. Its aim is to provide an end-to-end solution for EVs. The company s in a JV with Polish fi rm Solaris Bus to make electric buses and it has already started yielding results.

Exide Industries

India's largest manufacturer of lead acid storage batteries and power storage solutions provider and Leclanché SA , one of the world's leading energy storage solution companies, headquartered in Switzerland, have formed a JV to build lithium-ion batteries and provide energy storage systems for India's electric vehicle market and grid-based applications. The JVs production plant is based in Gujarat and the lithium-ion cell production plant is expected to be in operation by mid 2020. This is ideal for Exide as it compliments its leading position in the lead acid storage battery market in India and will allow it to take the lead in the lithium-ion battery industry.

Amara Raja Batteries

Amara Raja is in the process of building a 100 megawatt-hour assembly plant for lithium battery in Andhra Pradesh and the company is working closely with the IIT Chennai. The battery maker is focused on building solutions for the early stage of electrification of vehicles and work with OEM programmes at the same time.

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