Auto Expo 2018, India – Are We Going the EV way ?

Auto Expo, the biggest event of the automotive industry in India, is being held at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

The rumbling of Electric Vehicle (EV) can be heard at the Auto Expo 2018. EV has taken the world by storm and India the 5th largest automotive market is not an exception. Almost every carmaker has an exhibit of electric mobility at their stand in some or the other form.

Mercedes showcased the EQ electric car concept at 2018 Auto Expo and it was the star of the company’s stable. Aesthetically, the concept looks suave and much part of the Mercedes family albeit with sharper lines. The main design feature distinguishing the future electric EQ models will be the Black Panel front grille that comes with a white-illuminated Mercedes star and integrates all the light elements under one surface. Much like the offerings from its compatriots, the Mercedes-Benz EQ Concept is no slouch with the company claiming a power output of 400hp and a driving range of up to 500 km on a single charge. The lithium-ion battery pack is mounted between the axles and have been designed between Daimler themselves. Despite its sheer size, Mercedes says the concept is capable of sprinting from 0-100 km/h in under 5 seconds.

Debut Tata Motors has turned quite a few heads with their Racemo sports coupe EV. The all-electric version of the Racemo is christened the ‘Racemo +-‘ and comes equipped with a 200 bhp churning electric motor which gets its power from a lithium-ion battery pack. According to the company, the RaceMo boasts of a range of 350km. Racemo is a 2-seater sports car that sits under 4 metres in length (3835 mm). The car uses a special body that has Tata’s MOFlex multi-material sandwich structure. Tata says this is a ‘structural technology that enables greater freedom in surface design, efficient large-scale part integration leading to modularity and faster time to market’.

The Ioniq is Hyundai’s answer to Toyota’s Camry/ Prius and will help the company in working on an affordable EV for the Indian market but the one showcased at the Expo was an electric version. The Ioniq EV is powered by an electric motor that produces the equivalent of 118 bhp and 295Nm of torque. It can go from 0-100kmph time in just 10.2seconds, with a top speed rated at 165 kmph. The range of the Ioniq stands at 280km.

Renault Trezor showcases the company’s new design language. Taking the shape of an aggressive two-seater Grand Tourer (GT), the new Renault Trezor concept EV features a sleek and curvaceous carbon fibre body featuring red glazing to provide a splash of contrast. The company showcased the car at the Auto Expo 2018 and the powertrain used in Renault’s latest EV concept is derived from a Formula E car. In this application it delivers 348bhp and develops 380 Nm of torque. The rear-wheel gets enough electric power to do a 0-100kmph sprint in less than 4-seconds, although the maximum range hasn’t been specified. Renault engineers have fitted the car with two air-cooled big batteries, one sitting at the front while the other is in the back to ensure an optimal weight distribution between the two axles. We wait to see what Renault brings to India though with an electric powertrain.

In comes the i3S, the sportier version of the EV and this is not the first time the company is bringing this EV to India. In fact we’ve seen it when the company launched the i8 hybrid sports car in India, but at the Auto Expo 2018, the updated i3S made heads turn. The new BMW i3s provides zero emissions and features a high output 181 bhp electric motor which generates peak torque of 269 Nm. Its updated drive system includes modified motor control and specific taper roller bearings, which have been utilized to optimize power delivery and the performance curve at higher rpm. At the limits of the motor speed range, the power and torque of the enhanced drive system represent an improvement of up to 40 per cent over the BMW i3.

The e-Survivor Concept was unveiled at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show and now it comes to India at the Auto Expo 2018. The Suzuki e-Survivor comes with four in-wheel electric motors but it’s been envisioned as a two-seater car without a roof. The extremely short overhangs at both the front and rear axles, show the compactness of the e-Survivor concept. The e-Survivor comes with electrically retractable running boards and features a modern front fascia derived from the Jimny with circular LED headlights and an illuminated five-slot grille. The cabin will put a smile to your face with features like full-width head-up display, screen built into the flat-bottomed steering wheel and speakers and air conditioning ducts mounted within the seats. The brand which gave the joys of driving a car to every Indian, brings a quirky SUV for the modern Indians.

It seems as if the manufacturers have decided to enter full fledged, let’s see how much time does it take for india to get ready with the charging infrastructure that supports these ev’s proper run in indian economy.

February 16, 2018

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