The future is electric?

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Maruti Suzuki may put its plan to ditch diesel in reverse gear

KETAN THAKKAR & ASHUTOSH R SHYAM

ET Bureau | Updated: Dec 13, 2019, 08.33 AM IST

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Reuters

MUMBAI: Maruti Suzuki is reconsidering the plan to ditch diesel vehicles from its portfolio, after its key rivals decided to continue in the segment, people in the know said.

The nation’s top carmaker had cited non-viability of developing a small diesel engine complying with upcoming emission norms for exiting the space from next year. The company now feels it would miss out on a sizeable market share if it leaves the space but its rivals stay put, these people said.

The Suzuki Motor unit will stop selling diesel cars ahead of April 1deadline to meet new emission norms, but plans to re-enter the market in 2021, they said. It has begun work on a 1.5-litre diesel engine meeting BSVI standards, in line with rivals Hyundai Motor, M&M and Tata Motors that are upgrading their own diesel plants for mid-size vehicles.

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Maruti Suzuki is likely to strap the proposed diesel engine first in the Ciaz, Ertiga and S Cross, and subsequently in the Vitara Brezza and a seven-seater version of the SUV. In the hatchback and small sedan segments of Swift, Baleno and DZire, it would offer a CNG or hybrid engine as an additional option to buyers along with petrol, as there would be no diesel variants, the people said.

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A Maruti Suzuki spokesperson declined to comment.


A petrol specialist, Suzuki for decades had relied on a Fiat-supplied 1.3-litre multijet plant to power its mass-market diesel vehicles. The Italian company isn’t upgrading this to the new emission standards, so Maruti Suzuki is developing its own 1.5-litre plant, people said.

Barring the Volkswagen Group and the Renault-Nissan alliance, Maruti Suzuki’s rivals Hyundai, Mahindra, Tata Motors and Honda Cars are all upgrading their 1.5-litre diesel engines to meet BSVI standards. “It is a given that the 1.5-litre diesel has to come (for Maruti Suzuki), but everyone is keenly waiting for the final report on techno-commercial viability. Just Maruti Suzuki volumes alone may not make the business case, hence supplying for Toyota models in the future is an option being discussed to lower the cost,” said a parts supplier to the company.

Maruti Suzuki is estimated to have sold about 500,000 diesel vehicles in 2018-19, and this fiscal year, internal estimates suggest that number to fall to 250,000-300,000. Once the 1.5-litre diesel engine option is added to the portfolio, Maruti Suzuki expects this volume to return to 500,000-lakh level, including vehicles sold in partnership with Toyota Motor.


The New Delhi-based company has over the past months phased out its diesel models, except for the BS-IV versions of the Vitara Brezza and DZire Tour that have seen a surge in demand recently.

While it is set to soon stop production of these two diesel models as well, the sudden surge in demand for these may have also been a reason for it to reconsider the previous plan. It has now realised there will be a sizeable number of diesel buyers in the market even in the compact and midsize segments, the people said.

With the company that makes half the passenger vehicles in India exiting most of the diesel segments, the share of diesel cars, utility vehicles and vans in the local market slipped to 34% in the first half of fiscal 2020 from 40% a year earlier. About 22% of the vehicles sold by Maruti Suzuki in the first half were dieselpowered. Its share in the overall diesel market was less than 40%.


In India’s passenger car segment, the share of diesel was 14% in the fiscal first half, but in the utility vehicles space, it was high at 68%. Maruti Suzuki took an accelerated depreciation of Rs 160 crore to write off its diesel assets this financial year, but if there is an expected future demand then the company may have to re-value its diesel assets.





 

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'Made In Nepal' Electric Bike Built With Carbon Fibre Promises To Go 230 Km On A Single Charge

indiatimes.com

Dec 21, 2019 12:05 PM

Electric power-trains are becoming common place and nearly all forms of transport have at least one electric variant today. More interestingly, these are being built by entities ranging from an individual to a global OEMs. An engineering team from Nepal has joined the list with a public debut of their electric vehicle in Kathmandu recently - a lightweight electric bike called Project Zero.

The electric bike is being worked upon by a young engineering team of six led by Ashim Pandey, founder of the company Yatri Motorcycles - the moniker under which the electric bike is being made. The bike has been completely designed in Nepal, while the parts have been sourced from companies across the globe, some in India. The next aim for it is to produce the parts locally as well. The team took two years to come up with the electric two-wheeler, while researching on it from one year prior.

A look at the Project Zero electric bike and you can tell its a pretty cool design of a cafe racer, complete with an integrated 7-inch full-HD display at the front that supports app connectivity. The edgy design completely houses the electric motor inside huge side panels and has a bold handlebar up front for an upright stance.

[https://res]

Project Zero electric bike (Image: Yatri Motorcycles)

The company has used carbon fibre to build the bike in order to keep it as lightweight as possible. While much specifications of the electric bike have not been made public yet, the company promises a range of 230 km through its 30 Kw battery that charges within 2 hours.

With an intention of making it a commercial product in Nepal, the company has tweaked the performance of the Project Zero e-bike as per the conditions in the country. Being electric, they promise it to be environmentally friendly and safe. Eventually, with the support of the government, the company aims to sell the electric bike in international markets too.

To make it competitive in such a scenario, Pandey says that the team aims to make the electric motorcycle available at the lowest price possible. That, however, does not yet ensure if the EV will make its way to the market in the current form.


 

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'Made In Nepal' Electric Bike Built With Carbon Fibre Promises To Go 230 Km On A Single Charge

indiatimes.com

Dec 21, 2019 12:05 PM

Electric power-trains are becoming common place and nearly all forms of transport have at least one electric variant today. More interestingly, these are being built by entities ranging from an individual to a global OEMs. An engineering team from Nepal has joined the list with a public debut of their electric vehicle in Kathmandu recently - a lightweight electric bike called Project Zero.

The electric bike is being worked upon by a young engineering team of six led by Ashim Pandey, founder of the company Yatri Motorcycles - the moniker under which the electric bike is being made. The bike has been completely designed in Nepal, while the parts have been sourced from companies across the globe, some in India. The next aim for it is to produce the parts locally as well. The team took two years to come up with the electric two-wheeler, while researching on it from one year prior.

A look at the Project Zero electric bike and you can tell its a pretty cool design of a cafe racer, complete with an integrated 7-inch full-HD display at the front that supports app connectivity. The edgy design completely houses the electric motor inside huge side panels and has a bold handlebar up front for an upright stance.

[https://res]

Project Zero electric bike (Image: Yatri Motorcycles)

The company has used carbon fibre to build the bike in order to keep it as lightweight as possible. While much specifications of the electric bike have not been made public yet, the company promises a range of 230 km through its 30 Kw battery that charges within 2 hours.

With an intention of making it a commercial product in Nepal, the company has tweaked the performance of the Project Zero e-bike as per the conditions in the country. Being electric, they promise it to be environmentally friendly and safe. Eventually, with the support of the government, the company aims to sell the electric bike in international markets too.

To make it competitive in such a scenario, Pandey says that the team aims to make the electric motorcycle available at the lowest price possible. That, however, does not yet ensure if the EV will make its way to the market in the current form.


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Performance of electric vehicles is variable depending on the weight it is subject to. For a feather weight Nepali it will travel 230 KMs. For a heavy weight Indian husband and wife, it will travel only 100 KMs.
 
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