IoTMAT 2020 2- Future of Connected Mobility, Innovations In EV & Charging Infrastructure

Session Blog. See overview at  IoTMATRIX 2020 Conference Summary


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Session 1 – “ of Connected Mobility” 

Panel Discussion @ Matrix 2020, 11th December 2020, 13:00-14:00 Hrs IST 

Panellists: 

  • Mr Sanjay Gupta, Vice President and India Country Manager– NXP Mr Shivkumar Kalyanaraman, CTO, Energy and Mobility at Microsoft R&D India Ms Punitha Sinnapan, VP Automotive Design & Innovation - Cubic Telecom 

Moderator: 

  • Mr Mohan Raju, Chief Business Officer - Danlaw India 

Panel Discussion Context: 

The automotive is seeing the rapid deployment of connected, electric and autonomous vehicles. These vehicles are equipped with sensors and microprocessors to capture and analyse data in real-time leading to better monitoring of vehicles (including key components such as batteries) as well as ensuring road safety and efficiency. New features such as V2V  (vehicle to vehicle) and V2X (vehicle to infrastructure) are been developed that has enabled runtime engagement between vehicles and the surrounding ecosystem. The advent of fast 5  G networks would further facilitate the large-scale adoption of these cutting-edge technologies in the automotive sector. 

To sustain this revolution and achieve scale, there will be a need for partnerships across relevant stakeholders in the ecosystem as well as collaboration with technology companies and infrastructure entities. With this context, the Automotive track of IoT Forum in India is hosting a session on ‘Future of Connected Mobility

Key Take Away from the Discussions: 

The panellists discussed the several innovations taking place in the automotive ecosystem including the emergence of connected, electric and autonomous vehicles. The nexus between cleantech, digital and financial technologies have been driving several innovations in the industry. These innovations are also addressing key barriers such as high capital costs and lack of road and grid infrastructure in India. In addition to new technologies from the  OEM side, innovations are happening around business models including subscription,  leasing as well as adoption in new use cases such as last-mile logistics.  

In addition to the -driven connected and electric mobility experience, there is a  growing focus on the autonomy of vehicles starting with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems  (ADAS). Given the high number of fatalities resulting from road accidents, mainly attributed to driving error, autonomous driving will play a key role in the automotive industry.  

The current and software components in the vehicles are generating a significant amount of data that could be shared between vehicles as well as with external infrastructure such as traffic systems. The recent developments around OTA updates are also leading to a major disruption in the business model where once the vehicle is manufactured and delivered, its future upgrades around software could be done remotely. These linkages between telecom and automotive technologies could result in new opportunities for multiple stakeholders. 

With the recent developments in the automotive industry, there are significant opportunities for new-age startups to engage and partner with relevant stakeholders. Start-ups could work on the further development of V2V and V2X communications that will also address traffic and parking related challenges. Governments should continue to come up with relevant mandates on areas such as safety and security that will encourage the ecosystem. India should leverage its core expertise in the software domain and focus on data analytics to develop scalable solutions. With the advent of 5 G, the speed and safety elements of data will be much improved. However, that would need development in the overall telecom infrastructure in the long term. As an intermediate solution, entities could also work on edge computing to optimize for the low bandwidth as well as process and manage data closer to the source. 


Session 2- “Innovations in and Charging Infrastructure”  Panel Discussion @ IoT Matrix 2020, 11th December 2020, 15:00-16:00 Hrs IST 

Panellists: 

  • Mr Ravikiran Annaswamy, CEO and Founder, Numocity 
  • Mr Ashish Kumar, Founder, Charge myGaadi (CMG) 
  • Ms Pratibha Bajaj, Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation (IFC) 
  • Mr Irfan Khan, Founder CEO, eBIKEGO 

Moderator: 

  • Ms Hemlatha Annamalai, Founder, Ampere 

Panel Discussion Context: 

As part of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement, India has pledged to improve the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent below the 2005  levels by 2030. The Government of India has set an ambition of having 30% of vehicles in  India as electric vehicles by 2030. This would necessitate demand creation in terms of adoption of EVs starting with specific business cases such as ride-hailing and last-mile deliveries as well as the development of charging infrastructure.  

In order to sustain this revolution and achieve scale, there will be a need for partnerships across relevant stakeholders in the ecosystem as well as collaboration with technology companies and infrastructure entities. With this context, the Automotive track of IoT Forum in India is hosting a session on ‘Innovations in Electric Vehicles and Charging  Infrastructure. The session will include panellists representing OEMs, Charging service providers, last-mile logistics entities and financial institutions.

Key Take Away from the Discussions: 

The panellists discussed the specific challenges and opportunities for E-mobility in India.  These include the key barriers for EV adoption - high capital costs, range issues and lack of charging infrastructure. However, there are certain business models such as last-mile logistics where EV adoption already makes economic sense. The group also assessed the importance of developing a technology-driven EV charging infrastructure and Smart Grid integration. With the advent of 5 G and IOT, the end to end digitization of EV charging infrastructure would be further strengthened. However, in the Indian context, we are very early in terms of the adoption of disruptive technologies such as 5 G.  

Financing is a critical challenge faced by entities across the value chain. The financiers are keenly exploring opportunities. However, there are still apprehensions of supporting one technology or business model that could eventually scale up in the future. The other challenge for large scale adoption has been the lack of consistent EV policy-related support across States in India. Eventually, these factors lead to a higher cost of financing compared to other markets.  

The panellists agreed on certain areas that have to be addressed for large scale deployment  of EVs and charging infrastructure: 

1) Need for standardization of charging protocols – Unless there is a common standard for charging electric vehicles, there will be barriers for large scale adoption of EVs. There will be apprehensions among EV operators (including E2W, E3W) who would be unsure of being able to use public charging infrastructure leading to range anxiety. On the other hand, if service providers need to deploy charging options applicable for multiple OEMs, that would add significantly to the capital costs. Hence, the Indian government should come up with a uniform standard to address the above concerns. 

2) Uniformity in EV policy across States – Given urban transport is a State subject,  there were different policies in terms of registration/permits which are often roadblocks for EV adopters – individuals or commercial users.  

3) Lack of overall awareness around EVs – There is still a lack of complete knowledge about the long term benefits of EV adoption both in terms of reduced operating/maintenance costs and better customer experience, apart from the environmental benefits in terms of GHG reduction. Governments should play a  proactive role in promoting EVs across the country. 

4) Focus on skills development – For India to be a leading player in the EV market, we should also focus on building EV related technical skills starting with graduates in our universities. This could be achieved in partnership with the private sector who can collaborate with academia to design relevant academic courses and training certifications. 

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