Auto Expo shows sustainable road ahead

Sandesh M S, DH News Service, Feb 11 2018, 20:50 IST
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Greater Noida: Mahindra & Mahindra's electric vehicles on display at the company's stall Auto Expo 2018 in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday. PTI Photo by Kamal Singh (PTI2_7_2018_000207A)

More than 22 upbeat vehicle manufacturers showcased strong products, which are likely to rule their respective segments of the market. Key highlights of the Expo were electric vehicles, hybrids and vehicles that run on fuel cell technology, which depicted the future of mobility in India.

Working towards the government's vision of 100% electric vehicles (EVs) for public mobility and 40% for personal mobility by 2030, manufacturers committed to put investments in the new technology, while also seeking support and clarity on policies.

Maruti Suzuki's third generation Swift and Hyundai's Elite i20 were the much-awaited cars that were launched in the Expo. Beside this, the Toyota Yaris, Honda's all-new Amaze and the fifth generation CR-V were also unveiled. Honda's launch of its 10th generation Civic surprised its competitors. Renault showcased the Trezor, an all-electric grand tourer concept car. It also showcased ZOE e-Sport Concept, the Formula One racing car, R.S. 17 and the complete Indian range led by the newly launched Captur and Kwid.

On the luxury front, Mercedes-Benz displayed its Concept EQ, with the appearance of a sporty SUV, giving a preview of a new generation of vehicles with battery electric drives.

"It will have a 300 kW total output with a range of up to 500 km, along with driver assistance systems for maximum safety," the company statement said. Similarly, BMW India also showcased its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle i8 Roadster, which will be launched in India later this year, along with the i3S, an electric vehicle with a range of 280 km per charge.

South Korean car manufacturer Kia made its debut in India, unveiling the striking new SP Concept, which made its public premier at the Expo, along with 16 global models.

Homegrown Tata Motors showcased six electric vehicles in mass and personal mobility segments, which include a 12-metre electric bus and passenger carriers - Magic EV and Iris EV along with Tiago EV, Tigor EV, and Indian debutant sportscar Racemo EV.

Reiterating its commitment in making Vision 2030 come true, Tata Motors CEO and MD Guenter Butschek said, "We have taken several notches higher, outlining our plans for the future of India's smart cities and its connected generation. Our 'Smart Mobility, Smart Cities' pavilion has been designed keeping the future of Smart Cities and emerging market trends in mind. Our exhibits are a clear indication of our capability to meet the growing aspirations of our customers."

SML Isuzu introduced a new range of trucks based on the Isuzu design philosophy named Global Series. JBM Solaris Electric Vehicles launched its 100% electric bus series ECO-LIFE, powered by lithium batteries and can run 150-200 km in 10-15 hours of city bus operations.

Apart from this, the country's largest electric two-wheeler manufacturer Hero Electric unveiled as many as eight of its global products, which the company is planning to launch in a phased manner.

"Hero Electric has been leading India's electric mobility revolution over a decade now. Our commitment to sustainable mobility is manifested in the consistently superior products that we have launched over the years. Our new product range is an extension of this commitment. The AXLHE-20, HE-19, HE-18, HE-17 and e-bicycles A2B Blake, A2B Kroemer-MTB, A2B Speed and Kuo Boost are developed keeping in mind the needs and aspirations of such customers," Hero Electric CEO Sohinder Gill said.

The newly unveiled products are part of Hero Electric's plan to double sales every year over the next five years. The company will add to its current manufacturing capacity by setting up multiple plants in that time period.

Reducing the carbon footprint on the environment, TVS Motor Company showcased Apache RTR 200 Fi Ethanol, which could play a pivotal role in reduction of emission and CO2 levels.

Showcasing their vision of future mobility solutions for the evolving two-wheeler rider, the company also unveiled CREON, a performance-oriented electric scooter concept.

Vinay Harne, President €" New Product Development at TVS Motor Company, said, "In the drive towards smart and sustainable transportation solutions, two-wheelers have a key role to play. TVS and Intel have worked together to transform urban mobility, with a product line of smart-connected gadgets on energy-efficient two-wheelers. This collaboration is aimed at creating a unique positioning for hybrid and electric scooter series from TVS as both green-energy champions and smart-connected gadgets."

Startups steal the show

On Day 2, startups arrived on the scene, promising their commitment towards working on the government's 2030 vision. Bengaluru-based Emflux Motors launched Emflux One, which is the first electric sports bike of India.

Menza Motors, India's only bootstrapped automobile manufacturing startup, unveiled the first look of electric motorcycle - Menza Lucat - which is priced at Rs 2,79,999 (ex-showroom price). Aftek Motors showcased its entire line-up of motorcycles. Lohia Auto launched a high-speed comfort e-auto rickshaw with Lithium-ion Battery. Twenty Two Motors launched India's first AI-enabled, cloud-connected Scooter FLOW at Rs 74,740.

UM-unveiled Renegade Thor and Duty at a price of Rs 4.9 lakh and Rs 1.10 lakh, respectively. Starkenn Sports launched an advanced version of the world's fastest bike Giant TCR Advanced SL MAGILIA ROSA, costing Rs 6.9 lakh.

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