Shell exploring future of mobility in India
The academic and automotive industry experts delved deep into the future of mobility in India, the specific mobility challenges and solutions, the emission norms and recent trends in green energy, at the recently-conducted 5th edition of the Global Lecture series of Shell Lubricants India in IIT Delhi.
Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Chennai, and CoChairman, Technology Advisory Group for Electric Mobility (TAGEM), Government of India said, now India has only negligible presence of electric vehicles (EVs). But the ambitious target of achieving 100 million EVs by 2030 is going to be a challenging task.
“India will have to work on the volume game to keep prices under control. Another important aspect to be considered is that converting the current transport system to Evs, which will use 15-20% of the total electricity produced in the country. It is imperative that this electricity comes from renewable energy (RE) sources like solar and wind. This is because if the electricity is produced using coal, it will lead to a lot of pollution which will defeat the very purpose of moving to EVs. Looking at the bright side, the cost of RE today is less than coal and is expected to go down further with the advancements in technology and greater awareness of its benefits.”
According to P K Banerjee, Deputy Executive Director, Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (SIAM), “advancements in communication technology is pushing the ‘shared mobility’ concept. Going forward, this trend will not get restricted to the taxi (commercial) segment, rather it is set to grow into the freight and private sectors as well.” He said in 10 years the model of transportation will change from ‘shared mobility’ to ‘connected mobility’, which will subsequently transform into ‘autonomous mobility’.
One of the major requirements of
future mobility will be the connectivity infrastructure, which is important for vehicle- to- vehicle connectivity. “The Indian automotive industry requires a stable and clear policy roadmap to have a smooth transition from petrol and diesel vehicles to hybrids and EVs. Keeping in view the Indian scenario, there should not be any unnecessary pressure on the industry to leapfrog. If the required roadmap is provided, the industry will commit to provide the best and most affordable mobility solutions that are safer, environmentally benign and customerfriendly,” Banerjee said.
For EVs Battery is the most essential but expensive component. It has an important role in the growth of EVs. In recent times, innovative techniques and growing volumes have led to a fall in the battery prices worldwide. The impact of this is expected to show strongly in India in the next 3-5 years, in the form of more EVs plying on Indian roads. Lead acid batteries will have to be replaced with more efficient lithium ion batteries. While battery cell manufacturing is currently not happening in India, for scaling of EVs to happen, manufacturers will have to start manufacturing these indigenously.
Soma Banerjee, Principal (Energy and Infrastructure), Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), said, future mobility needs to focus more on public vehicles as they ferry large number of people in the cities. “We are already struggling with too many private vehicles on constrained roads. Delhi has seen 9.94% increase in the number of private vehicles in 2015-16, which just clog the roads and add to the problem parking in the residential and commercial areas.”
Mathew Abraham, Senior General Manager, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, said, “The technology for leapfrogging from BS IV to BS VI norms is adoptable but the timeline of 2020 is a major challenge. The Indian ecosystem is quite different from that of the developed countries, so we cannot just lift the technology from the US and Europe and implement it in India. OEMs should ensure that they provide the same quality as in the developed world at the same price, which is a huge commitment. Meeting the stringent norms against various challenges will require more time. Had India followed the proper series of moving from BS IV to BS V and then to BS VI emission norms, the transition would have been more organized and smooth”.
The automotive industry needs to prepare itself for the new safety norms that will soon come into force. “By 2020, 6 safety norms will be implemented to ensure that our vehicles are at par with those in the US and Europe. All put together, these are complicated times for the industry, and it will take a collaborated approach to offset the new developments. OEMs have a great challenge ahead of them of whether to make the vehicle structure strong to ensure that safety parameters are met or to make light structures to improve fuel consumption. Balancing the emission norm and fuel economy will require some compromise on the engine tuning and all these must be done in just 3 years. Also, no specific date has been mentioned for switching from BS IV to BS VI fuel and there is no confirmation whether the fuel would be available with immediate effect,” Mathew Abraham said.
Role of lubricants
Lubricants play an important role in ensuring fuel efficiency, and synthetic lubricants are the answer to achieving fuel-efficient and energy efficient-mobility, Mansi Madan Tripathy, Country Head - Shell Lubricants India Cluster, said. “Shell, being a global lubricant supplier, has wide experience in countries that are already following BS VI norms. We know what the OEMs need in terms of lubricant technology and we are also helping them in project management efforts. Shell will also play its role in India’s electric mobility journey with its high-quality range of hydraulic oils and transmission oils,” she said.
Dan Arcy, Global OEM Technical Manager, Shell Global Solutions, said the implementation of emission norms in India and globally was very important. “It is the need of the hour that we as energy dispensers and users take charge to reduce our carbon footprints. By collaborating with the industry and the academia, we aspire to develop lubricants that define the future of mobility as efficient and sustainable,” he said.
On the technological aspect, Akhil Jha, Chief Technology Officer, Shell Lubricants India, said, “Technology plays a pivotal role in directing the future of mobility. The global energy challenge and the increasing concerns regarding emissions are 2 very strong factors that are leading the OEMs to continually advance their products technologically. There is an urgent need to switch to stringent emission norms and discover technologies that meet those standards- be it product and hardware or application and process engineering.”