Shell ex­plor­ing fu­ture of mo­bil­ity in In­dia

Auto components India - - CONTENTS - Story by: Mon­ica Chaturvedi Charna

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.”

Emis­sion norms

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.”

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