ENERGY NEWS JUNE-2019 - Petroleum Conservation Research Association Sanrakshan Bhawan 10, Bhikaji Cama Place New Delhi 110066 - PCRA

ENERGY NEWS JUNE-2019 - Petroleum Conservation Research Association Sanrakshan Bhawan 10, Bhikaji Cama Place New Delhi 110066 - PCRA

Petroleum Conservation Research Association
 Sanrakshan Bhawan 10, Bhikaji Cama Place
            New Delhi 110066
ENERGY NEWS JUNE-2019 - Petroleum Conservation Research Association Sanrakshan Bhawan 10, Bhikaji Cama Place New Delhi 110066 - PCRA
S. NO.                  SUBJECT                   PAGE

  1      TRANSPORT
 1.1                                             1-31
         -E-Vehicles (EV)
 1.2     -Oil & Gas run vehicles                 31-33

 2.1     - Air, Water & Sound pollution          33-41


 3.1     -Oil & Gas                              41-58
 3.2     -Electricity                            58-59

 4.1     -Solar                                  59-66

 4.2     -Wind                                   67-71

 4.3     -Biomass                                72

  5      OTHERS                                  73-83

  This Energy News contains excerpts of articles
  picked up from selected daily newspapers & magazines.
ENERGY NEWS JUNE-2019 - Petroleum Conservation Research Association Sanrakshan Bhawan 10, Bhikaji Cama Place New Delhi 110066 - PCRA
India to order taxi aggregators to go 40% electric by 2026

India plans to order taxi aggregators such as Uber and Ola to convert 40 per
cent of their fleet of cars to electric by April 2026, according to a source and
records of government meetings to discuss new rules for clean mobility. Uber
and Ola, both backed by Softbank Group, would need to start converting their
fleet as early as next year to achieve 2.5 per cent electrification by 2021, 5 per
cent by 2022, 10 per cent by 2023 before hiking it to 40 per cent, according to
the person and the records that have been reviewed by Reuters. Some taxi
players, like Ola, have previously tried to operate electric cars in the country,
but with little success given inadequate infrastructure and high costs.

Push for green drive- The Centre, however, is looking to push the new policy to
boost the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) as it tries to bring down its oil
imports and curb pollution so it can meet its commitment as part of the 2015
Paris climate change treaty. The NITI Aayog is working with several ministries
on the new policy. Neighbouring China, home to the world’s top auto market,
is already leading the world in electrification by setting tough EV sales targets
for carmakers and offering incentives to taxi operators to increase their fleet of
clean-fuel cars. In a meeting in New Delhi on May 28, NITI Aayog officials and
the ministries of road transport, power, renewable energy and steel, as well as
the departments of heavy industries and trade, were among those
recommending taxi operators in India gradually convert to electric. They also
recommended that all new cars sold for commercial use should only be electric
from April 2026, a change that would also apply to Uber and Ola, said the

ENERGY NEWS JUNE-2019 - Petroleum Conservation Research Association Sanrakshan Bhawan 10, Bhikaji Cama Place New Delhi 110066 - PCRA
person who has direct knowledge of the matter but spoke on condition of

Food delivery vehicles- Motorcycles and scooters sold for commercial
purposes, like food delivery or for use by e-commerce companies, will also need
to be electric from April 2023, the person added. India has seen a boom in food
delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy, which counts Naspers and Tencent as
investors. Sales by e-commerce firms like and Walmart-owned
Flipkart are also rising.

India Inc Wants Niti’s EV Juggernaut to Move Out of the Fast

The meeting between Niti Aayog and industry representatives to draw up a
road map for the rapid adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) on June 21 wasn’t
exactly harmonious, according to people who attended. Battle lines had been
drawn weeks earlier, when the bosses of Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Co had
made their views on an accelerated timetable eminently clear—they were
opposed to it. However, founders of electric vehicle startups were all for such
a move, said the people cited above. The government is reportedly thinking of

ENERGY NEWS JUNE-2019 - Petroleum Conservation Research Association Sanrakshan Bhawan 10, Bhikaji Cama Place New Delhi 110066 - PCRA
a 2023 deadline for three-wheelers and 2025 for all two-wheelers up to 150cc
capacity to go electric. Manufacturers pointed out that they have already been
forced to accept an accelerated timeline for tighter emission norms that go into
force next year and entail expensive redevelopment. Bajaj Auto managing
director Rajiv Bajaj expressed bewilderment over the logic of a ban on two- and
threewheeler vehicles powered by internal combustion engines (ICE) in three
to four years. It was more “shock and awe,” said the chief of the country’s
second-largest motorcycle company, referring to Niti Aayog discussion. Venu
Srinivasan, chairman, TVS Motor, India’s third-largest two-wheeler maker, was
equally critical. “You want to negate in one stroke” the strides made by India in
building the world’s largest two-wheeler market, which exports three million
vehicles annually, he told ET. A senior Niti Aayog executive defended the policy
think tank’s agenda and explained that the intention was to lower pollution and
stay in step with other global markets in terms of electric vehicle (EV)
technology. Srinivasan and Bajaj, who together represent more a third of India’s
twowheeler market and more than half of the three-wheeler market, argued
the case for more reasonable deadlines. Pawan Munjal, chairman of Hero
MotoCorp, India’s biggest twowheeler maker, didn’t attend. Srinivasan made
the presentation on behalf of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers
(SIAM), the industry lobby group. Bajaj and Srinivasan subsequently laid out
their case and responded to queries. While Niti Aayog wanted a comprehensive
road map for EVs in two weeks, Srinivasan said it would take at least four
months as stakeholders — supply chain including vendors and battery makers
— and global consulting firms would be approached. “No way can we go back
in two weeks,” he told ET in a phone interview. Niti Aayog officials had argued
that the issue was not new and had been deliberated upon at the Global
Mobility Conference last year, which many industry chieftains had skipped.
Srinivasan said the conference had not been meant for policy-making. Niti
Aayog got support from fledgling two-wheeler EV startups, represented by
Tarun Mehta, founder of Ather Energy, which makes electric two-wheelers, and
Sulajja Motwani of the Firodia group. Other EV startups backed their views but
Srinivasan pointed out that their volumes were low. “People who want to do it
tomorrow are making 1,000-odd vehicles annually,” he said. A startup
entrepreneurs cited the example of China, which produces 20 million

ENERGY NEWS JUNE-2019 - Petroleum Conservation Research Association Sanrakshan Bhawan 10, Bhikaji Cama Place New Delhi 110066 - PCRA
electrically powered motorcycles annually. Since EVs are more expensive, they
will require state assistance in this price-sensitive sector, Bajaj said. “I’m in awe
of the apparent willingness to subsidise EVs — an approximate ₹1 lakh per
vehicle — to help achieve reasonable price parity with ICE two- and three-
wheelers for an estimated minimum industry size of 25 million by 2025,” Bajaj
said. Srinivasan and Bajaj said they are in favour of monetary and other
incentives for transitioning to EVs. Niti Aayog officials said the courts could
impose a ban if the industry did not act voluntarily. They pointed to high levels
of pollution and the fact that fast action would help put India on the cutting
edge of EV technology, unlike in some other high-tech areas. Bajaj felt this view
was unrealistic. A ban on ICE vehicles would mean importing lithium ion
batteries, the costliest component in EVs, from China, offseting any drop in oil
imports. Further, India’s electric grid won’t be able to support the charging of
25 million EVs at night, Bajaj and Srinivasan said. “This is a complex issue… it
needs adequate thought,” Srinivasan said, adding that it will have a significant
bearing on an industry that employs a million. “Every manufacturer is working
on EVs.” Bajaj disputed the contention that EVs are superior in terms of
environment and experience. “In spite of all the fiscal sops in place, the great
electric revolution apparently can't get off the ground unless it stands on the
crutches of banning internal combustion engine two and three wheelers,” Bajaj
said. “Indian two and three wheelers that are the global benchmark for low
emission and high fuel efficiency must be banned within the next few years with
scant deliberation on where the employed are to go or from where the
electricity for charging is to come.” China’s ban on ICE vehicles meant it lost out
on the global marketplace, which was filled by Indian manufacturers such as
Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor, he said. “The unshakeable fact is that our industry is
world class, for it makes the lowest emission and highest fuel-efficiency vehicles
in the world, exports every year over 3 million vehicles worth about $3 billion
and employs at home across its supply chain one million people whose
contribution to India's GDP is anything but insignificant,” he said. Both Bajaj and
Srinivasan favoured a phased rollout of EVs. According to Srinivasan, certain
quadrants such as the most polluted regions could be taken up first for

ENERGY NEWS JUNE-2019 - Petroleum Conservation Research Association Sanrakshan Bhawan 10, Bhikaji Cama Place New Delhi 110066 - PCRA
Electric planes headed for takeoff

Electric-plane Company Eviation Aircraft Ltd., which just signed up its first
customer, predicts that in a few years it may not be able to keep up with orders.
“We’ll have a supply issue, not a demand issue,” Chief Executive Officer Omer
Bar-Yohay said in an interview at the Paris Air Show. The founder of the Israeli
venture capital-backed developer said U.S. regional airline Cape Air has agreed
to buy a “double-digit” number of planes. The carrier flies on routes such as
Boston to Martha’s Vineyard and New York to Nantucket. Eviation was
showcasing a prototype, transported in pieces to the biennial exhibition, and is
“talking to everyone” about future sales, said Bar-Yohay. Prospective
customers include major U.S. carriers like United and JetBlue, which are
interested in planes to feed hubs. Eviation’s plane, the Alice, is one of a host of
electric models at the design stage, and its nine-passenger capacity and 650-
mile range from a single charge could give it an edge in the commuter market,
currently served by a variety of light aircraft. Interest in electric planes is
growing as the aviation industry comes under criticism for increasing emissions
of greenhouse gases. Eviation is planning a first flight later this year in the U.S.
“We’re a bit ahead of the pack but I have no doubt others are coming,” Bar-
Yohay said. Eviation contends its plane makes economic sense: Running costs
for the Alice will be about $200 (Rs 14,000) per flight hour versus $1,000 (Rs
70,000) for a turboprop. The Alice will be slower than some conventional craft,
with a cruising speed of 240 knots (276 miles per hour), half the pace of modern
business jets but not far short of some turboprop models. Eviation is one of
about 100 different electric-aircraft programs in development worldwide, up
30% since 2017, according to Roland Berger, a consulting firm. Zunum Aero,
backed by Boeing and JetBlue, aims to bring a hybrid-electric commuter model
to market by 2022, while MagniX Technologies is developing a propulsion
ENERGY NEWS JUNE-2019 - Petroleum Conservation Research Association Sanrakshan Bhawan 10, Bhikaji Cama Place New Delhi 110066 - PCRA
system for an all-electric plane. Easyjet has partnered with U.S.-based Wright
Electric to develop a fullsized battery-powered airliner within a decade for
flights of less than two hours, enough to link London with Paris or Amsterdam.

            Govt. eyes strict emission rules to boost EVs

Unhappy over the auto industry’s resistance to the mandatory sale of electric
two- and three-wheelers from 2025, the government is looking at tougher
measures, including making emission standards stringent, to discourage the
production and purchase of vehicles that are fitted with internal combustion
engines (ICEs). The growing view in the government is that the auto industry
has traditionally resisted reforms toward cleaner vehicles, be it the introduction
of catalytic converters, use of CNG or even tougher emission standards such as
BS-VI and has always sought to block such steps. Even at a meeting in NITI Aayog
last week, industry representatives were seeking to stall the shift towards
electric vehicles (EVs) until the government think tank read out the riot act.
While NITI awaits the auto lobby’s recommendations, government officials are
working on ways to make petroland diesel-fired engines less attractive. One of
the options is to impose the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards
that was used in the US. It is seen to have been effective in California that is
transitioning towards cleaner energy. “US, Europe and China have used various
ENERGY NEWS JUNE-2019 - Petroleum Conservation Research Association Sanrakshan Bhawan 10, Bhikaji Cama Place New Delhi 110066 - PCRA
tools to make greener vehicles attractive. We are also looking at ways to
discourage ICE engines,” a senior government official told TOI. The government
is finalising to fix targets by regulating carbon dioxide emissions and fuel
efficiency for auto makers. Among the options being explored is to mandate
limits and targets for emission intensity by every vehicle for auto makers and
provide flexibility to maintain their production mix between ICE and EVs. This
can be done through stiffer fuel efficiency reduction targets from the current
stipulation of around 8-10% over five years, a source said. This is expected to
push up prices of traditional vehicles that are currently on the road and make
electric more attractive. Officials said that work has begun on setting targets to
lower carbon emission at the corporate level for auto companies as opposed to
the individual models. So, an auto manufacturer will have to ensure that all the
models have an average emission level up to a certain level only.

EV Push may Leave No Tanks to Fill at CNG Pumps, Burn Gas

The government’s plan to popularise electric vehicles (EVs) and phase out the
sale of fossil fueldriven vehicles beginning 2023 can put at risk the planned
investments of more than ₹1.2 lakh crore in city gas distribution business,

ENERGY NEWS JUNE-2019 - Petroleum Conservation Research Association Sanrakshan Bhawan 10, Bhikaji Cama Place New Delhi 110066 - PCRA
company executives said. Niti Aayog, which is leading the policymaking effort
for accelerated penetration of EVs in the country, has reportedly proposed that
only electric vehicles be sold after 2030. The proposed phase-out timelines for
different categories of fossil fuel-driven vehicles are April 2023 for three-
wheelers, April 2025 for twowheelers below 150 cc, and April 2026 for taxis.
The EV policy drive, which has unnerved automakers, is also scaring many
companies that have won city gas distribution licences in recent auctions. “This
will be disastrous for the city gas business,” said an executive at a state-run city
gas company that has licenses for several areas. The EV push has created
confusion among new licensees and may lead to companies missing work
programme targets they had quoted to win licences and slow down
investments in the sector, multiple executives at city gas firms said. “With such
bleak future for the industry, banks will not lend for city gas projects,” said
another executive. Executives did not want to be named for the fear of
annoying the government. Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum,
Adani Gas and Manila-based AG&P did not respond to ET’s emailed query on
how the government’s EV push would impact them. In just about a year, the
downstream regulator has awarded licences for 136 geographical areas
covering about half of India’s population. To win licences, the 20-odd state-run
and private companies have pledged to build 7,200 compressed natural gas
(CNG) stations, connect 3.5 crore homes with gas pipelines, and lay 156,000
inch-km of pipeline by March 2029. This, as per the regulator, would require an
investment of ₹1.2 lakh crore. Expansion plans by older licensees would require
additional investment. EV’s invasion would hurt sale of CNG, city gas
distributors’ most profitable business. CNG makes up three-fourths of the sales
revenue of Indraprastha Gas (IGL) and twothirds of Mahanagar Gas (MGL). IGL
and MGL mainly operate in Delhi and Mumbai, respectively. Gujarat Gas, which
operates in much of industrialised Gujarat, sells a fifth of its gas volume as CNG.
Three-wheelers and taxis are primary customers of the economical fuel besides
city buses as private car owners prefer not to wait in long lines outside CNG
stations for refilling. Two-wheelers mainly use petrol and their conversion to
electric is unlikely to affect city gas players. It is hard to shift households from
subsidised LPG to piped gas and when they do, they consume little, an
executive said. “Industries can be big consumers but not every licence area

would have the kind of factory population that Gujarat has. Second, they have
alternative cheaper fuels like fuel oil and coal available,” said an executive,
adding that exclusion of gas from GST also makes it less attractive. Executives
said it would be hard to build the city gas business without the most profitable
segment of CNG. Moreover, a typical new license area comprises two districts,
which means companies need to invest more to reach out to customers, unlike
say in densely populated places like Delhi or Mumbai, they said.

              Going Green: Ekart to deliver on E-vans

Ekart, the logistics arm of ecommerce marketplace Flipkart, said it will replace
nearly 40% of its last-mile delivery fleet with electric vehicles (EVs) over the next
nine months. The company is also setting up charging infrastructure at its hubs,
and expects these initiatives to cut carbon emissions by over 50%. Ekart clocks
about a million deliveries a day. “Our team is working with local ecosystem
partners to help them co-design concepts for electric vehicles best suited for
the growing ecommerce industry,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Group CEO,
Flipkart. Flipkart has currently deployed eight electric vans in Hyderabad, 10 in
New Delhi and 30 ebikes in Bengaluru. Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors
are two leading manufacturers of electric vans. EVs will help cut costs, said
Amitesh Jha, senior vicepresident, Ekart and Marketplace at Flipkart. “Electric
freight mobility will play a key role in building a robust supply chain for the
future and reduce our dependence on conventional power sources,” he said.
Grocery retailer BigBasket uses electric vehicles for deliveries in Hyderabad and
Delhi-NCR, and solar power in seven warehouses across Bengaluru, Gurugram

and Chennai, founder VS Ramesh told ET. Food delivery app Swiggy too does
more than 1.5 million deliveries a month on cycles.


With the government aggressively pushing for a shift to EVs to bring down oil
imports and curb pollution, startups are actively working to drive adoption of
these vehicles. Ride-hailing app Ola has been lobbying in favour of electric
vehicle regulations, including recommending that the government consider
battery swapping and quick charge as appropriate technologies. “India can
leapfrog problems of pollution and energy security by moving to electric
mobility, create millions of new jobs and economic opportunity, and lead the
world,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, cofounder, Ola. In March, the government
announced an outlay of ₹10,000 crore for the second phase of the Faster
Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles scheme, or FAME
2, to boost electric mobility and increase the number of electric vehicles in
commercial fleets. The outlay is for three years till 2022.

NITI Aayog, two-wheeler makers to brainstorm electric
roadmap today

Friday’s meeting between NITI Aayog and the two-wheeler industry will be
critical to draw up a pragmatic electric mobility roadmap for India. The Centre’s
policy think-tank has called for this session with the top management of two

and three-wheeler manufacturers. The last few weeks have seen some of the
big guns from Bajaj Auto, TVS Motor, Hero MotoCorp and Honda articulate their
concerns on the deadlines proposed for electrification in three-wheelers and
sub-150cc bikes/scooters. The Centre, through NITI Aayog, has indicated that it
is looking at 2023 and 2025 for a complete conversion to electric for these two
product categories. The industry, in turn, is upset with this ad hoc
announcement since stakeholders already have their hands full in meeting the
Bharat Stage VI emissions deadline that comes into effect from April 2020. From
their point of view, it is an important step to clean up the air and there is really
no need to hasten the electric programme. Quite rightly, manufacturers have
also said that this would lead to disruptions in the supporting ecosystem of
dealers, suppliers and the overall workforce if the internal combustion engine
is shown the door overnight. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers
(SIAM) has also cautioned that it makes sense to take one thing at a time when
it comes to e-mobility. It is in this backdrop that the meeting between NITI
Aayog and the two-wheeler companies assumes tremendous significance. In all
likelihood, both sides will try and work out a deal where there is some give-and-
take. Perhaps, NITI Aayog may extend the deadline or mandate electric only for
select metros whose residents are literally suffocating in foul air. Two-wheeler
manufacturers have already made it known that they are all for e-mobility so
long as it is a logical, phased programme that will not hurt any of the
stakeholders involved. Startups that are into their own electric scooters have
reiterated that they have no problems embracing electric with immediate
effect. This is easier for them since they do not have the scale of their traditional
counterparts that make millions of motorcycles and scooters every year. Yet,
there are some serious concerns that need to be addressed first. While the
Centre is keen on showcasing India’s clean air drive to the rest of the world, this
should first be preceded by implementing a scrappage policy for all categories
of vehicles first, right from two-wheelers and cars to trucks and buses.

Necessary steps- Any product that is over 15 years old should be removed from
the roads and it is up to the think-tank in New Delhi to come up with an
incentive/compensation package for such a move. After all, it makes little sense
to think of electric and the like when there are other polluting vehicles on the
roads. It would just become an enormous exercise in futility. Two, going electric
is fine but what happens to two-wheeler manufacturers like Bajaj Auto, which
are heavily into exports? Over 40 per cent of the company’s production is
shipped overseas, which is truly a testimony to ‘Make in India’. But this will
become irrelevant if electric is made mandatory. For any exporting entity, be it
Bajaj, TVS or Hero, balancing between electric and the internal combustion
engines (ICE) for the domestic and overseas markets will become a tall order.
Three, suppliers who make ICE parts will find themselves marooned in an era
of electric. They will have to sack redundant employees who cannot cope with
the new regime and even close down operations if they are pushed to the brink.
This will be an extremely costly price to pay that also has the potential to wreak
havoc in an already fragile ecosystem where unemployment is on the rise. The
crisis could also extend to dealers who may face new challenges in retailing e-
bikes. Sale of parts in the aftermarket, which forms an important revenue
stream, will take a nosedive as the rules of the game change. These are real
issues that cannot be wished away even though it is becoming crystal clear that
the Centre is not going to give up on its drive to go electric.

Unrealistic targets- It was not too long ago when policy-makers drew up a
grandiose vision of striving for 100 per cent electric in the automotive
ecosystem by 2030. Clearly, this was an impossible task given that precious little
had been done at the ground level in terms of providing for charging
infrastructure or fiscal sops to get the momentum going. One of the more
serious players in this space, Mahindra & Mahindra, has been facing headwinds
precisely because of these reasons. Since then, this unrealistic forecast has
been reduced to 40 per cent and thereabouts even though speculation is rife
that the Centre is keen on changing the goalpost all over again. The auto
industry, which is already facing slowdown challenges, will be in no mood to
oblige as was apparent in the recent spate of reactions to the electric roadmap
for two-wheeler companies. From manufacturers’ point of view, there is really
no point putting the cart before the horse when it comes to serious issues like
e-mobility. It is increasingly clear, however, that the present political regime
subscribes to disruption as a tool to ensure that the industry is constantly ahead
of the curve and does not slip into a somnambulistic mode. There is a feeling
within policy-maker circles that not all manufacturers are proactive when it
comes to change and would rather have the status quo continue. This perhaps
explains why legal intervention has been necessary from time to time, as in the
case of CNG being made mandatory for Delhi nearly two decades ago or the
more recent case of the move from BS III to BS IV. When this happened in March
2017, most manufacturers were left befuddled since they barely had four days
to clean up old stocks at dealerships and replace them with BS IV vehicles. There
has been no ambiguity on the BS VI deadline with the directive loud and clear
that as of April 1, 2020, manufacturers will not produce any BS IV vehicles. As
in other parts of the world, especially in Europe, where clean emissions have
almost become an obsession, India is equally keen to make a statement that it
is committed to this objective.

Sound policy needed- This is clearly the reason for the mega electric drive
except that it needs a sound policy on the lines of what China has formulated
and successfully executed over the years. The key for India is to take one-step
at a time where cities can be covered in phases first before endeavouring to
have the entire landscape virtually electrified. This is not going to be a walk in
the park for sure and the industry is perfectly justified in being apprehensive
about any radical shift to electric. After all, it is an all-new domain where
building expertise will take time. However, where the Centre could be right is
that it is equally imperative to start taking serious steps first. There is also every
possibility of paving the way for cheap Chinese electric parts that can literally
flood the market and pose a threat to Indian manufacturing. The following
decade will be a huge challenge for automakers as they look for a host of
solutions to tackle vehicular emissions in the subcontinent. Electric is inevitable
but there is no point giving a shock to the entire ecosystem at one go.

Hyundai’s first electric for India feels like a no-compromise
Many international publications and news wires already have a section for
electric vehicles and there is news everyday in India too about electrics. In the
start-up space and amongst OEMs, in the two-wheeler and in the passenger
vehicle segments, the buzz around electrics is reaching a crescendo. The

numbers are still too small to even mention and the charging infrastructure for
supporting an ecosystem of electrics is even less worthy of mention. But, let us
hope that the government will match its targets and promises with action on
that front in the years to come. In the meantime, manufacturers like Maruti,
Hyundai, MG Motors, Ford, and Kia Motors have announced plans to launch
electrics in the future. Mahindra and Tata already have electrics on our roads.
The success of electrics in India will depend on two important factors — one
will be the availability of an easily accessible public charging infrastructure and
the second will be the car itself mustn’t seem like a compromise in any
department when compared to its internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalent.
An electric that will fit that profile perfectly is the Hyundai Kona and it is coming
to a showroom near you by the second week of July. To get a first-hand
experience of how the Kona EV actually feels on the road, I travelled to Seoul
last week to sample the car before it lands on our shores.

SIAM pushes for enhanced penetration of alternative fuels
amid focus on EVs

Automobile industry body SIAM has proposed making petrol-powered two-
wheelers and passenger vehicles material compatible with 10 per cent ethanol
(E10) and 3 per cent methanol (M3) blends by 2025. In a white paper on
'Alternative Fuels for Vehicles' released recently, the Society of Indian
Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) also said that by 2030, the auto industry
could make specific vehicles compatible with 20 percent ethanol (E20)-blended
gasoline depending upon sustained availability of fuels with separately labelled
dispensing at fuel stations. While electrification of fleet will be a major help
towards providing energy security and improving environment, SIAM said that
"India needs to work on other efforts, to not only complement this effort,
considering the ultimate objective of improving India's energy security". With a
requisite policy push and infrastructure development, to be done as an enabler
of fuel diversification effort by the government, the automotive industry aims
to achieve substantial penetrations of alternative fuel vehicles, it added.
Besides ethanol blends, four-wheeler industry would benefit from the
increased reach of CNG infrastructure, driving sales of CNG vehicles to save CO2
as well as reduce import bill, it said. For three-wheelers, CNG penetration can
be increased and by 2030, the gasoline-powered vehicles could be made
specifically to be compatible with E20 and diesel vehicles with B7 (7 percent
biodiesel), depending upon the sustained availability of fuels, it added. In case
of diesel-driven passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and heavy
commercial vehicles (HCVs), industry could make vehicles compatible with B7
bio-diesel blends by 2020, SIAM said in the white paper. Spelling out targets,
SIAM said, "For gasoline-powered two-wheelers and passenger vehicles,
industry will endeavour to make vehicles material compatible with 10 per cent
ethanol (E10) and 3 per cent methanol (M3) blends by 2025." Further, it said, "By
2030, industry could make specific vehicles compatible with 20 per cent ethanol
(E20)-blended gasoline depending upon sustained availability of the fuels with
separately labelled dispensing at fuel stations." For both two-wheelers and
four-wheelers, SIAM said that during the first phase by 2020, E10 material-
complaint vehicles would be continued to be made available across India. By
2025, in the second phase, all new vehicles will be E10 material-compliant and
will also be tuned for fuel efficiency, it added. In addition, vehicles will be made
material-compliant to gasoline fuel with 3 per cent methanol (M3). For four-
wheelers, SIAM said if CNG infrastructure is further doubled from the 2020 level
of 3,000 stations, penetration of CNG vehicles is likely to increase to more than
5.2 million vehicles, it said. During the third phase by 2030, based on fuel
availability and infrastructure, SIAM proposed two- and four-wheelers
specifically compliant to E20 to be produced, which will also be compatible for
M3 across India.

GST on EVs may be reduced to 5%

India may cut the goods and services tax (GST) on electric vehicles to 5% from
12% to provide a stimulus to the sector that’s a high priority for the Narendra
Modi government. The GST Council is set to take up the proposal at its June 20
meeting, said a senior government official aware of the development. “There is
a proposal to cut tax rates on EVs among other issues,” the official told ET.
Lower duties are expected to encourage global manufacturers to invest in
India’s planned shift to electric vehicles in order to try and bring down pollution
levels. This comes as Punjab has written to the Centre seeking a review of tax

        How start-ups can turbocharge the EV revolution
While the government’s proposal mandating electric three-wheelers and two-
wheelers (by 2023 and 2025, respectively) has faced stiff opposition from the
conventional players, mobility solutions start-ups seem all set to benefit from
the move. Kapil Shelke, CEO and Founder of Pune-based Tork Motors, which
calls itself ‘India’s first electric motorcycle manufacturing start-up with
proprietary drive train technology’ said: “It is (the government mandate)
definitely a great opportunity for start-ups like us because we have spent a
good amount of years building this robust technology. Now, it’s time for us to
build vehicles on it and roll out the electric motorcycles, considering that there
is a market for at least 10 million vehicles,” he said. The company will be
launching its electric motorcycle, T6X, soon. While both traditional automotive
companies and start-ups are investing in the EV technology for two-wheelers,
the only difference is that the start-up business is focussed on EV alone, pointed
out Subrata Ray, Senior Group Vice-President - Corporate Sector ratings, ICRA.
Rajeev Singh, Partner, Deloitte India, said the government mandate would
definitely be an opportunity for start-ups, which may have faced headwinds in
their initial years due to the dearth of a suitable ecosystem for EVs. Despite such
constraints, since these companies have gone ahead and developed products
right from the scratch, this would be an opportunity to “encash some of the
efforts that they may have put in for the last so many years”, he explained. “We
are ready for this revolution whereas the existing players will have to invest a
lot in changing their existing systems and manufacturing units,” said Shelke

Charging infrastructure- Tork Motors is in the process of building its own
charging infrastructure, starting with Pune, with plans to extend to other cities.
“We are glad with the urgency in the government's voice to move the
automobile industry to electric by 2025. Electric vehicles are the need of the
hour and the sooner we get them on roads, the better it will be. With the start-
ups, government bodies and consumers enthusiastically reacting to electric
vehicles, it is time to get them out at the earliest,” said Shelke. As for Okinawa
Autotech Pvt Ltd, the Gurugram-based electric twowheeler maker which came
into being in 2015, its Founder and Managing Both traditional automotive
companies and start-ups are investing in the EV technology for two-wheelers
Director, Jeetender Sharma, said that if the established players also work
towards the new mandate, it would give support to companies like Okinawa, as
it will generate more awareness in the market about electric two-wheelers.
“The industry is huge with more than 20 million units, so there is a big scope for
everybody to grow (and) it’s the right time to start now,” he added. Okinawa is
planning to launch a motorcycle and scooter this year, with at least two
launches planned every year going forward. Talking about the advantages that
the start-up community has in this situation, Singh said, “I think the established
players will look to acquire some of these start-ups, rather than trying to do
everything inhouse. If someone has already got the business model and
products established, then they would like to acquire them rather than trying
to build everything in-house because that’s the way to cut down the
development time, to meet the deadlines. In case there is pressure on some of
the existing players, then they may want to look at these start-ups from the
perspective of acquiring them.”

Online delivery companies may soon take to e-vehicles in

The government Wednesday said it is collaborating with e-commerce and
urban logistics companies to induct up to 1,000 electric vehicles (EVs) in the
lastmile delivery segment in the next one year. Launching its first electric
vehicles freight pilot project, Delhi government said over 30 players in final-mile
urban delivery from across India have come together as part of its ‘urban
mobility lab’. “The goal is to pilot up to 1,000 electric vehicles for urban
deliveries in the city over the next 12 months. It is a first-ofits-kind project to
pilot and rigorously analyse the performance of EVs for urban deliveries,” said
Jasmine Shah, vice chairperson of Dialogue and Development Commission
Delhi, which organised the two-day workshop. Power distribution company,
Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, said it has inducted over 90 e-scooters,
37 e-rickshaws and four electric cars for carrying out operations in northwest
Delhi. “Delhi government believes electric vehicles are the future and it’s time
to bring this future into the present,” said transport minister Kailash Gahlot.

The government said policy framework for such EVs will be included in the
upcoming electric vehicle policy for Delhi. Dave Mullaney, director ofRocky
Mountain Institute’s global freight transport initiative — which has partnered
with the government for the ongoing urban mobility lab — said those involved
in the pilot project includes “titans of Indian industry, global e-commerce giants
and new homegrown startups.

Future stock: Latest directive on e-bikes raises hackles of
two-wheeler companies

The message was one of solidarity. Earlier this week, there were two no-
nonsense press statements issued by Rajiv Bajaj and Venu Srinivasan on the
same day. They were reacting to the Centre’s proposed move to have 100 per
cent electrification for three-wheelers and sub-150 cc two-wheelers by 2023
and 2025 respectively. The Managing Director of Bajaj Auto and the Chairman
of TVS Motor represent companies that are fierce rivals in the market. Yet,
there was consensus on this latest notification that it was unrealistic and
fraught with risks for the industry. Both Srinivasan and Bajaj made no bones
about the fact that this goalpost was impractical especially in a country which
is grappling with power shortages in many parts. Both CEOs welcomed the shift
to electric but warned that this was not the way to go about it in an ad hoc
manner. What was even more interesting was that the Society of Indian
Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had also made it clear in its own statement
issued a day earlier that this latest move on electrification was really a tall
order. Market leader Hero MotoCorp reacted later and pretty much stayed on
the same page as its predecessors as did Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India.

Subsidy Proposals This Week to Set Up 5,000 E-charging

The government will within this week float two large proposals offering subsidy
to states for deployment of 5,000 electric charging stations in cities and
highways. This is the pilot electric infrastructure layout plan by the government
and aims at promoting India’s plan to shift 40% fleet to battery-operated
vehicles. Presently, there are 150 charging stations in India. Setting up stations
in cities will be open to all companies while only central utilities will be eligible
to deploy such infrastructure on highways. Two separate expressions of
interest for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in cities and on highways will
be floated by the department of heavy industries this week, an official said. For
securing subsidy for deployment of charging stations within cities, states
through their nodal agencies, mostly electricity distribution companies, will
have to submit their proposals to the department. Interestingly, for setting up
electric charging points at highways, proposals can be submitted only by central
public sector enterprises. For deployment of charging stations at highways
100% subsidy will be given on cost of charger and transformer, the official said.
The government has de-licensed public charging stations business for electric
vehicles enabling individuals to extend such facilities, but at a regulated tariff.
Companies like ABB, Acme Industries, Fortum India and a few Dutch firms are
actively considering setting up vehicle charging stations. State-run companies
like NTPC, GAIL India, Indian Oil Corp and Power Grid Corp have been exploring
diversification into electric vehicle charging infrastructure business. India has
recently approved phase-II of FAME India Scheme (Faster Adoption and
Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India), for a period of three
years commencing from April 1, 2019 with total budgetary support of ₹10,000
crore. The main focus of this phase of the scheme is the electrification of public
and shared transportation and laying of electric vehicles charging
infrastructure. The government targets setting up of one charging station every
three km in cities and every 25 km on both sides of highways.

India-Taiwan JV 22KYMCO to export electric scooters from
Two-wheeler brand 22KYMCO, a collaboration between home-grown 22Motors
and Taiwan’s Kwang Yang Motor Company (KYMCO), will export its range of
scooters from its manufacturing facility in Bhiwadi, Haryana. “We are doing
extensive feasibility studies across the world for different markets. Our model
‘iFlow’, which is designed and developed in India, is going to be the first scooter
to be exported to other markets,” said Parveen Kharb, Founder and CEO,
22Motors. The company will also bring electric models from KYMCO to India and
will localise them for the Indian market. Kharb said that the commuter segment
can be easily serviced by electric two-wheelers, but the premium and the
performance segment is better served by conventional gasoline-powered
vehicles. Infrastructure development for the commuter segment is also easier
compared to the high-power segment, where prices will be driven up, he
added. 22KYMCO is already setting up infrastructure for charging points and
battery swapping stations in six cities — New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Pune,
Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Kolkata — in addition to dealerships. The company
will offer battery swapping services for around ₹500, which will include battery
cost, infrastructure use and service costs. Kharb welcomed the government’s
push for electric two-wheelers taking over the sub-150 cc segment by 2025, but
called it an “aggressive statement”. “This goes with our strategy of products
too. In the commute segment, we are always talking about electric vehicles,”
he said, adding that the company plans to cater to the premium segment with
its gasoline-powered scooters such as the Like200 and the X-Town 300i ABS.
Sales of pricier scooters are on an upswing, although the overall number of
units is going down. Stressing that 22KYMCO is positioned as a premium brand,
Kharb indicated that it is not running behind huge sales’ numbers and is
targeting selling two lakh units in three years. “We are not looking at great
volumes now,” he said.

      E-Bike Plan Sparks Amity between Rivals Bajaj & TVS
Rivals Rajiv Bajaj and Venu Srinivasan have both opposed a proposal that’s
reportedly under consideration by the government — to mandate that all
twoand three-wheelers switch to battery power in the next few years. “To force
an unrealistic deadline for mass adoption of electric twoand three-wheelers will
not just create consumer discontent it (also) risks derailing auto-manufacturing
in India that supports four million jobs,” said Srinivasan, chairman of TVS Motor
Co, India’s third-biggest manufacturer of two-wheelers. The government is said
to be thinking of setting a 2023 deadline for three-wheelers and 2025 for all
twowheelers up to 150cc engine capacity. Manufacturers point out that they
have already been forced to accept an accelerated timeline for tighter emission
norms which will go into force next year and has entailed expensive
redevelopment. The domestic market for three-wheelers in FY19 was 700,000
units, while that for two-wheelers up to 150cc was more than 19 million units,
adding up to a gross value of over ₹1 lakh crore. The subject has united the
bosses of two companies that have previously fought each other over patent
applications, apart from competing in the two-wheeler market. In a separate
statement, the Bajaj Auto managing director said the industry does not have
any meaningful experience with electric vehicle (EV) technology to support a
transition of this scale within such a short deadline. Bajaj Auto is India’s largest

three-wheeler manufacturer. Other experts have cited the lack of charging and
other infrastructure that’s needed to ensure vehicles won’t run out of juice.
They pointed to long queues for compressed natural gas, a clean-burning fuel
used by cabs and autorickshaws. Srinivasan argued for a “gradual and seamless
adoption” of EVs to avoid “collateral damage” and ensure the technology-
driven disruption is positive and lasting. Bajaj said an appropriate transition
would be mandating Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency norms for all vehicle
categories, laying down strict targets for all vehicles. This will prompt
manufacturers to introduce clean-energy vehicles such as hybrids and EVs to
improve average fuel efficiency. “Basis the learnings from that experience, a
collective plan can be put together to scale up as desired,” Bajaj said. Experts
said two- and three-wheeler makers won’t have enough time to recover
investments they have made for the upcoming transition to BS-VI emission
norms from April 2020. “To me, it seems to be a decision taken in haste,” said
Avik Chattopadhyay, cofounder of brand strategy firm Expereal. “We should
not make such draconian decisions as China did, when it banned the sale of
two-wheelers in cities overnight in 2015, bringing their domestic industry to a

 Two-wheeler players seek ‘practical’ EV switchover targets

Domestic auto majors on Monday urged the government to follow a practical
approach in rolling out of electric vehicles, even as they cautioned that any
unrealistic target will lead to collateral damage by way of job losses. A day after

the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) cautioned the
government on its proposed ban on the sale of ICE (Internal combustion
engine)-based three-wheelers by 2023 and two-wheelers below 150cc by 2025,
top officials of the country’s leading two-wheeler companies have also
expressed concerns over the government’s plan. Venu Srinivasan, Chairman of
TVS Motor Company, said there should be a gradual and seamless adoption of
electric vehicles (EVs) to avoid any collateral damage, and that the technology-
driven disruption must be positive and lasting. He explained that auto-makers
everywhere were supportive of the overall goal of introducing EV and easing
consumers into electric mobility. “As a result, we have been doing serious
development work to ensure we can offer a mass-market EV product that
delivers on safety and high performance. This is necessary to co-opt consumers
into making a switch, so it’s driven by consumer willingness and, therefore,
adopted easily and widely. The supporting infrastructure for charging also
needs to be as robust as conventional fuel options,” he added. However, the
auto industry globally is still a long way away from making significant
development. “To force an unrealistic deadline for mass adoption of electric
two- and three- wheelers will not only create consumer discontent, but will also
risk derailing auto-manufacturing in India, which supports four million jobs,”
Srinivasan said.

          Auto sector on thin ice as slowdown persists

Plant shutdowns have become rather routine for automakers, with sales
plummeting by the day and no signs of a reprieve in sight. The first two months
of this fiscal have seen sales in free-fall mode. Market leader Maruti Suzuki is
reportedly contemplating cutting back on production in the coming weeks.
Mahindra & Mahindra has already made its intent known in a communique
saying it will go in for a closure of up to 13 days this quarter. If the slowdown
continues, more names could join the list. This is because companies will really
have no reason to produce cars/two-wheelers and contribute to inventory
pileups at dealerships. Industry captains are hoping the Budget will bring in
some positive news which could draw customers back to showrooms. For now,
lending by NBFCs has virtually dried up, which means even interested buyers
can’t access loans.

        Cos May Soon be invited to set up Battery Plants
The government is likely to soon issue tenders inviting companies to set up 50-
GW battery manufacturing base in India at $50-billion investment with
attractive financial incentives as the Cabinet is expected to consider the
proposal in a week. The battery manufacturing programme has been scaled up
to 50 GW in a proposal sent to Cabinet from 40 GW that was planned earlier, as
first reported by ET on May 8. The government is likely to offer subsidies and
duty cuts. This could include reducing minimum alternate tax to half and import
and export duty waivers or cuts for eight years for successful bidders, a senior
government official said. According to the final plan, Niti Aayog will seek
proposals from states to identify locations for plants and on providing duty
waivers and exemptions to the battery manufacturers. The states will be asked
to reduce state GST, facilitate land acquisition, provide concessional electricity,
single-window clearance and environmental clearance. Once the best
proposals are identified, the government think tank will invite bids from
companies to set up the plants at identified locations. This is probably the first
time Niti Aayog is executing a tendering process of this magnitude as it has
always been involved in the planning stage. “The draft Cabinet note has been
prepared and sent,” the government official said. “The timelines are likely to be
very stringent. Niti Aayog will have to conclude the bidding in six months from
Cabinet approval. As per the proposal, the companies will have to set up the

manufacturing facilities by 2022, after which they will get the incentives for
eight years till 2030. This clause is being pushed to ensure early setting up of the
manufacturing base. A minimum of five locations and maximum of 20 are likely
to be identified.” The large-scale battery-manufacturing proposal is aimed at
making storage systems competitive in India. Indian companies import
batteries and battery cells from countries like China and the US. With plans to
add 175 GW renewable energy generation capacity by 2022 and shift 30% fleet
to electric vehicles by 2030, the demand for battery storage is expected to be
at 300 GW.

EVs: NITI Aayog tells 2-wheeler makers to pull up socks or lose
out to start-ups

Government think tank NITI-Aayog has told the two-wheeler industry that if
they don’t pull up their socks and prepare for conversion to electric vehicles
(EVs) then the start-up communities would take over. In a joint meeting
between senior management of NITI-Aayog and senior officials of the two-
wheeler industry, it was told that if the established players such as Hero, Honda,
Bajaj and TVS don’t start rolling out battery-powered two-wheelers, then India
would miss the E-mobility revolution just like how the country already missed
electronics revolution and semi-conductor revolution. Sources privy to the
meeting told BusinessLine that NITI-Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant sarcastically even
asked the players to inform when exactly can they launch the EVs. “He asked
how long do you need…25 years, 50 years. Can you give some time line…we are
in a hurry and cannot wait beyond (2025),” an industry source privy to the
meeting said quoting Kant. Kant was told by the traditional players that 2025 is
too early for the rollouts.

Toyota Tsusho to gauge EV market before upping lithium

Toyota Tsusho Corp , one of the world's biggest lithium producers, said on
Friday it would take at least two more years to properly gauge the global
electric vehicle (EV) market's direction before deciding whether to further
expand supply. Over the next 2-3 years, major automakers would be introducing
more electric cars, making EVs less of a fringe product, Masaharu Katayama,
head of the company's strategic metals unit, told Reuters in an interview. That's
also when it would become clear if people use these vehicles in any
fundamentally different way than traditional automobiles, he said, speaking at
the company's headquarters in Nagoya, Japan. "When we have clarity on that,
we can have much more clarity on demand for lithium." Lithium is one of the
core ingredients to make EV batteries. The EV market has boomed in recent
years, but still makes up just a fraction of total car sales. Demand has been
supported by subsidies and ever-tightening environmental regulations,
particularly in China and Europe. So far, Tesla Inc and a handful of Chinese
manufacturers have dominated the market, with Nissan Motor Co's Leaf being
the most prominent offering from a major automaker. However, industry giants
are ramping up those efforts. Volkswagen AG has promised almost 70 new

electric models over the next decade, while General Motors, which has stated
its commitment to an "all-electric future," plans to make its luxury Cadillac
brand electric only. Toyota Tsusho, which is part of the Toyota Group headed
by Toyota Motor Corp, currently produces about 15,000 tonnes of lithium
carbonate at its plant in Argentina through a joint venture with Australian miner
Orocobre. It's currently in the process of expanding production to 42,500
tonnes from 2021. Katayama says the "primary choice" if Toyota Tsusho
decides to increase production would be to expand the project again, rather
than hunting for new supply. "Our cost is very low, so we're very competitive.
...If we need more production, the resources are there. We just need to build
another plant." Katayama expects demand for lithium for decades, because it's
the most basic ingredient of EV batteries. But he sees the rarer and more
expensive metal cobalt as more like a spice, and vulnerable to industry-wide
efforts to reduce the amount required for battery production. Despite that,
Katayama said Toyota Tsusho is currently scouting for investment opportunities
in cobalt mines, although it's at an early stage. He declined to elaborate on the
region or size of investments they are eyeing. He did say that securing cobalt
supply is essential if producers are to prevent China from dominating the
market the way it's done in rare earths, an obscure class of metals essential for
technologies smartphones to satellites, and EVs. China used that dominance in
2010 amid a diplomatic row with Tokyo over a chain of disputed islets,
provoking a crisis that became known in Japan as the "rare earth shock".
"Investment is not enough, if you think about how China has maybe half the
cobalt resources," Katayama said. "Political influence is a worry. We have the
trauma from rare earths."

    Why kill ICE bikes in the electric rush, ask Bajaj and TVS
The first thing Rajiv Bajaj noticed was that there was not a single battery
manufacturer present at the NITI Aayog-called meeting last week with two-
wheeler companies on the electric plan. After all, this was about the electric
mobility roadmap, and the Bajaj Auto Managing Director was surprised that a
critical link to this vision statement was not present. Global battery makers

would have better articulated the scale of plants needed so as to “significantly
lower battery costs”. Insisting that it was time for two-wheeler manufacturers
to join the electric revolution, while citing China as a successful business model,
NITI Aayog had reiterated its stance that the internal combustion engine (ICE)
had to go. “What revolution? What ban? Doubtless electric has great merit but
keep in mind that the progressive ban by China on ICE vehicles made it possible
for the Indian two- and three-wheeler industry to exploit large global markets,”
Bajaj told BusinessLine. There was really no urgency to completely recast the
script with electric, especially when Indian two-wheelers had set the
benchmark globally for emissions and mileage. “Why ban an industry which is
world-class? If we are employing one million people and exporting over three
million vehicles, what are we talking about?” asked Bajaj. Venu Srinivasan,
Chairman of TVS Motor Company, who was also present at the meeting, said
Indian automakers were well aware of a national pollution issue that needed to
be tackled on a war footing. Yet, it was not as if vehicles were the main
polluters; power plants and refineries, industries like construction, and crop
burning emitted much more. “Given that most of our power is generated from
coal, the pithead to wheel carbon emission will not improve with electric
vehicles,” Srinivasan told BusinessLine. Further going from oil dependence to
being dependent on imported lithium cobalt and other rare elements-based
motors and batteries would not help the balance of payments situation. “In
fact, we are replacing one problem with a bigger problem; going from the frying
pan to the fire,” warned the TVS Motor Chairman. Bajaj also made it clear that
the industry was not anti-EVs by any stretch of imagination, but, for the same
reason, there was no reason for NITI Aayog to be antiICE either. While
reiterating that he welcomed electric and the accompanying fiscal sops to make
it happen, he cautioned that the present battery cost of $250/kWh would make
it a pricey option for the end-user. If e-bikes/scooters were to be affordable,
battery costs would have to come down to $100/kWh levels. Additionally, if
battery makers were assured of two million units annually from twowheeler
companies, there would be “enough volumes to justify investments.” On the
other hand, if the Centre were to subsidise evehicles to make them as
affordable as the ICE range, this would work out to ₹1 lakh/vehicle; on an

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