Euler Motors, a startup with an aim for electrification of the last-mile connectivity space came forward in 2018. Their products have industry leading range figures and cargo capacity along with some never seen before features. Join us on a small chat with Mr. Gaurav Kumar, Head of Supply Chain and Manufacturing as we talk about China, government incentives and EV production.
1. China still remains the world’s largest EV battery maker. Do you think India can get ahead in the race very soon?
Battery manufacturing is the most complex part of EV production, which is unlocking in India. It is encouraging to see that the industry is prioritizing this, and India has built strong capabilities in battery pack development and assembly. There are also many technology-led startups and players gearing up to expand in the Li-ion battery space and innovating to help the industry localize cell production.
To fast forward the development of cells, India needs to look at fostering stronger alliances for lithium procurement and cell production for the battery supply chain to grow. There is scope to evolve, and even look at alternate raw material sourcing, and other chemistries, that can make India lead the way.
At Euler Motors, we have designed and manufactured our own battery packs to support Indian roads and extreme temperatures with active liquid cooling technology – a first in the commercial vehicle segment. From a supply chain perspective, we have liaised with multiple vendors for our battery components which include cells, liquid-cooled components, and other electronics. We have managed our assemblies in-house, supported with formal qualification processes that involved aggressive component testing (including cells), and also developed a localized vendor base for these products.
2. What’s the government’s role in encouraging this industry and what measures should/have been taken?
The government has laid the foundation for faster EV adoption with policies like FAME that are already supporting OEMs like us. We now need to move forward with deeper policies and fiscal initiatives that support the availability of raw materials and cells for battery production.
PLI schemes for advanced chemistry cells (ACC) and implementation of Giga factories are already underway and will eventually drive the localization of the battery cells and further the battery value chain.
India could also look at long-term foreign direct investment inflows or strategic global partnerships in cell production that supports the availability of raw materials like lithium. The Government needs to help support these synergies, to make India a significant global battery manufacturer.
3. Is it easier to make an EV compared to an ICE vehicle? Does it take less time on the assembly line?
EVs come with lesser overall components but the complexity with respect to the design and development of batteries and powertrain is more time and capital-intensive.
This will evolve with time, as EV production in India reaches scale. This will also be supported by the mass production of batteries, which will help solidify the overall vehicle assembly lead times.
4. What’s the next technological breakthrough in commercial EVs that you think will be a turning point?
We believe that commercial EVs with higher load capacities and longer range-providing batteries will help customers earn more and drive lower TCOs. High-performance commercial EVs need to be powered by superior battery technology, which is durable and withstand all kinds of on-road and weather conditions. Technologies like liquid cooling supported by advanced BTMS are gaining precedence in EV battery pack development, while telematics for fleet management will lead the way for more economic and efficient operations.
5. Do you think a gearbox with multiple ratios will make EVs more energy efficient? If yes, why have we not seen this in mass market EVs till now?
We think that multiple gearboxes are not a necessity at the moment, as EVs function with an easily adaptable direct drive approach with simple DNR (Drive Neutral and Reverse) controls.
Gearboxes with multiple ratios primarily assist with providing the necessary amount of torque based on the vehicle’s power requirement. This ‘automatic’ nature of the drive is another aspect that makes EVs rather attractive to a customer. Adding multi-speed transmission to an EV would add weight, complexity, friction, and inefficiency to an otherwise simple system. (Drive, Neutral and reverse approach).