In this blog, we focus on the electric vehicles showcased by small, medium companies as well as innovative startups that had a presence at the expo. These EV companies were very happy to see us and talk to us as not many people were interested in their stalls!
By conservative estimates, there are over 10 million cycle rickshaws and 7.5 million auto-rickshaws in the country, which could potentially be replaced over a period of time. Thus, there is a huge market opportunity for these players.
Unlike most other e-rickshaws in the country, which have about 95 per cent Chinese components, the OK Play’s E-Raaja is completely made in India. A big big plus.
We will soon see these quiet, clean and colorful electric rickshaws in our cities.
A cool company focussing on electric cycles, self-balancing electric skateboards and Segways.
The most eye catching product for us was India’s first concept e-three wheeler at the Auto Expo. Currently these autos run on diesel or CNG. The shift to e-autos will go a long way in curbing emission of harmful gases in cities. The e-auto comes equipped with 5.7 KW motor and has the capacity to seat 3 passengers.
Apart from the cool e-auto, we also saw India's first Lithium-Ion e-scooter - OMA Star, which offers range of 60 km and top speed of 25 km/hour. The battery is Lithium ion 20 Ah capacity. The best part is the charging time of 2 and half hours compared to the 8 hours it takes to charge the lead acid e-scooters available in the market.
We spoke to the manager there and they promised showcasing these e-scooters for PluginIndia soon.
Revolta has promised to engage more with the community via PluginIndia as it works on product development and release.
We will be doing reviews and previews as and when release approaches.
The Jalandhar, Punjab based company develops all kinds of products - golf carts, e-trains for malls, e-rickshaws, e-cars, e-trikes and now even an electric bus! A pure Indian EV company!
We spoke to the company people and they said that the bus would feature Lithium-Ion batteries and would cost around
15-20 lakh compared to the 1CR figure we keep hearing regarding electric buses. Amazing!
We will be releasing a video soon about this stall, where their media manager talks to us about the company.
A unique feature is a pantograph to charge the batteries while in motion!
They also showcased 2 cool electric buses
STARBUS HYBRID – World’s first commercially produced CNG Hybrid Bus, using Electric & CNG modes as fuel
ULTRA ELECTRIC – First full-electric bus from Tata Motors, with Zero Emissions and Noiseless operations.
Sadly these are the traditional hybrid cars and are not Plugin Hybrids (PHEV). Plugin Hybrids cost more as more bigger battery packs are used in models like Chevy Volt, BMW i8 etc. A Plugin hybrid is a vehicle that recharges its batteries by being plugged into an electrical source. Unlike traditional hybrids, however, plug-in hybrids use batteries as their primary source of power. In plug-in hybrids, batteries power an electric motor which is used in place of an engine to move the car. Plug-ins do have petrol engines, although they're much smaller than a typical hybrid engine and are only used to charge the vehicle's battery when its power is depleted.
With Plug-in hybrids, the price of the car goes up because there are more batteries in the vehicle than in a traditional hybrid. A compact PHEV out of the box will cost about 10 to 20 percent more than a standard hybrid.
Because plug-in hybrids use batteries as their main source of power and standard hybrids use petrol engines as their primary source, the amount of OIL consumed by a standard hybrid is far greater than with PHEVs, which in turn increases the amount of greenhouse gases outputted directly from emissions.
Also many Plugin Hybrids can go upto 30-50 km just on the battery thus giving a user an option to run just on the battery pack.
Thus a plug-in hybrid car owner could stop fewer times at the petrol pump and possibly even eliminating the need altogether by driving it like an EV while driving around in the city.
Foreign auto makers tend to launch cheaper alternatives for the Indian market - such as the traditional hybrids, hoping that the word 'hybrid' catches attention resulting in sales without mentioning that these are traditional hybrids and not Plugin hybrids.
But! There is an exception! The BMW i8 plugin hybrid has been launched in India costing more than 2.5 Crore Rupees!
We spoke to the manager and he proudly told us that they sold 13 Plugin Hybrid BMW i8 cars!
We visited the Expo to check on the progress being made by EV companies on products for the Indian market.
Many companies did not participate. We missed Hero Electric scooters. Terra Motors made a huge splash in 2014 and now were missing. We expected the hottest EV startup Ather Energy to participate but maybe it was too soon for them.
We were disappointed that Nissan did not show the Leaf electric car for the Indian market.
But overall we felt that there is an EV presence and this presence will only grow in the coming years.
We will be back in 2018 showing more cool electric stuff from the next Auto expo! Until then keep Plugging In!