Greaves Cotton backs OEMs with BS VI powertrains
Founded by James Greaves and George Cotton in 1859 and bought by the Thapar Group in 1947, turning it into an Indian entity, Greaves Cotton has been manufacturing diesel engines since 1939. Entering into a joint venture with Ruston & Hornsby Ltd. UK, the company introduced BS-II compliant ecofriendly light diesel engines in 2005. Supporting automotive OEMs like Piaggio, since its entry into India in 1998, by powering its three-wheelers with efficient diesel engines, and a range of small commercial four- wheelers that were launched at a later date, Greaves Cotton Ltd., is looking at playing a role of catalyst by enabling OEMs to meet regulatory and other requirements successfully.
The company has developed powertrain solutions that are BSVI compliant so that its clients, including those in the automotive space, will be able to meet the regulatory requirements. It also provides for the changing customer requirements for performance, efficiency and comfort. Engineered to help its clients’ demand for alternative fuel powertrains, the new solutions that Greaves Cotton has developed, will power three-wheelers and small fourwheelers.
Apart from Piaggio, Greaves Cotton supplies engines to Mahindra & Mahindra, Atul Auto, TVS, Tata Motors, and a range of regional three-wheeler manufacturers. The current automotive powertrains include a range of single-cylinder diesel engines (6 kW BSIII/BSIV, 7.5 kW BSIII/BSIV and 8.8 kW BSIII/ BSIV); a range of CNG and LPG engines (5.38 kW BSIII/BSIV, 6.7 kW BSIII/BSIV and 11 kW BSIV), and a range of two (33 to 54 hp unit pump common-rail BSIV), 3 (105 hp direct injection turbo intercooled BSIV) and four-cylinder (135 hp unit pump common rail BSIV) engines. Many of these engines are BS-VI ready, and form part of the new powertrain solutions development. At the Auto Expo 2018, Greaves Cotton showcased a BSVI compliant multi-cylinder turbocharged inter-cooled diesel and a CNG engine built in technical association with Pinnacle Engines and Altigreen Solutions. It also showcased a linear twin-piston technology for CNG and petrol three-wheeler engines that it has developed in partnership with Pinnacle Engines, USA.
Greaves Care scheme
To support such new powertrain solutions, the company has developed an aftermarket programme called ‘Greaves Care’. It will amount to India’s largest multi-brand organised service and spares network for three-wheelers and micro fourwheelers according to Nagesh Basavanhalli, Managing Director and CEO, Greaves Cotton Ltd. Of the opinion that Greaves Cotton will re-invent last mile mobility with the introduction of innovative engines and aftermarket solutions, Basavanhalli said that their vision is to re-invent last mile mobility with future-ready solutions that will provide consumers with efficient, technologically superior products and services.
Upgrading most of its powertrain solutions to meet BS-VI emission regulations, the company is banking on its association with Pinnacle Engines and Altigreen Solutions. Looking at it as a key to fulfil its vision of getting closer to the customer, Greaves Cotton is confident that the linear twin piston technology will lead to a
big improvement in fuel efficiency and performance. It would also lead to a drastic cut in emissions.
The Greaves Care scheme will cover the changes taking place at the technology, the design and development, and at the manufacturing levels. Recognising operational efficiency and product demand as the key drivers of growth, the company is seeking cost advantage.
Claiming to have reworked the dynamics of participation in the CNG and petrol three-wheeler segments, the company is looking at carving out a larger pie of the market. He said the technology would help the company enable its clients to offer a low total cost of ownership to their buyers. For this Greaves Cotton is focusing, beyond the clean diesel technology, on a highperformance electric powertrain with an ultra-light, compact and high-output induction motor.
This motor was developed by Altigreen Propulsion Labs, and is governed by a compact, high performance controller. The controller is powered by lithium-ion batteries. In order to prove that it is market-ready, Greaves Cotton fitted it on a three-wheeler concept E3. It collaborated with the MG Group to build this three-wheeler
concept using composite materials. “By combining our ultra light electric powertrain offering with an ultra light three-wheeler body, we have shown that a high performance package with low total cost of ownership is arrived at. Not only will it give a longer running distance per charge, it will also assist in achieving enhanced earnings for the driver. For commuters, the vehicle would be available for a longer period,” Basavanhalli said.
Greaves Cotton has sold about 5 million engines so far and is touching millions of people through its 3500 retail outlets. It has clocked a 13% increase in revenue to Rs 458 crore, in the first quarter of FY2018-19, against Rs 406 crore in the corresponding quarter of FY2017-18.
Having 6 manufacturing plants and a workforce of over 3500 people, Greaves Cotton builds approximately 400,000 engines a year at its plants in Pune, Aurangabad and Ranipet. It is watching the several new initiatives that it has set in motion, and are transitioning to the next level. There are challenges much like there are opportunities. The most immediate challenge in the way of being a catalyst is the need to get its suppliers to move with it as the battle for BS-VI intensifies.
Greaves Cotton has developed new solutions including alternate fuel powertrains to address changing customer requirements for performance, efficiency and comfort.
To support new powertrain solutions, the company has developed an aftermarket programme called ‘Greaves Care’.
The concept E3 vehicle MG Group developed using light weight composites saw Greaves Cotton provide an electric powertrain.