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  • Industry, not policies, should decide the course of electric mobility
    Autocar India

    Industry, not policies, should decide the course of electric mobility

    Electrification is fast becoming the dominant force of change in the auto industry the world over. And though the need for the shift towards electric mobility is undisputed, the ‘how’ and ‘when’ do throw up plenty of debate. At the recent EV Forum organised by our sister publication Autocar Professional, Dr Andy Palmer, Chairman, Switch Mobility and former CEO of Aston Martin, said, “While we must be single-minded in the journey to zero emissions, we must not be myopic.” He went on to say, “My problem with legislation is that, frankly, politicians aren't qualified to mandate the solution. If they mandate the solution, they make mistakes.” Global auto industry could face legislation for net zero emissions Technologies like hybrids, EVs, fuel cells being deliberated over in India More stringent emission norms to kick in by 2022 in our market Industry should have the freedom to choose the best technology Stressing on the urgency to act, Dr Palmer said, “We have now started to think about net zero emissions – the carbon generated not only by the vehicle itself, but also from manufacturing and the end of life of the vehicle. That's a new challenge because we are talking about getting to net zero by 2040 or 2050. But it's not fast enough for the planet. I think, we have to put something more in mind to the tune of 2030 or 2035.” The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland later this year. Referring to the meet, Dr Palmer commented, “Humanity needs to gather around and we, as an industry, have to play our part. Under our own control, we need to explain how we are going to get to net zero in a reasonable timeframe, because if we don't, it's going to be legislated on us.” He added, “We can't stand and wait, because then, people less qualified than us, will decide the future for us and that's only bad for the industry.” Instead, he suggested that the auto sector itself should “decide what types of technology it wants to use, and in the end, it doesn't matter if it's an (battery) EV, fuel cell, in-cylinder combustion of hydrogen, or synthetics. I think we can let Darwinism play out there.” To that end, governments the world over should only mandate the emission reduction goals and let the industry work out the best solution for achieving the targets. In India, for instance, the more stringent CAFE 2 (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) norms are set to kick in by 2022, followed by the RDE (Real Driving Emissions) regulations the next year. And our auto sector is already deliberating different technologies to meet the goals. Hybrids vs EVs Japanese players like Maruti Suzuki and Toyota are strong advocates of hybridisation being a stepping stone towards pure electrification. The former offers a mild hybrid solution across numerous models in its range like the Baleno, Ciaz, Ertiga, Vitara Brezza and the S-Cross. Toyota, on the other hand, has strong hybrid powertrains available in the high-end Camry sedan and Vellfire MPV. Both companies further plan to double down on hybrid solutions, as part of their collaborative efforts in the country. On the other hand, our home-grown automakers are gunning straight for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) instead. Tata’s Nexon EV was the largest selling electric passenger vehicle in 2020, and the company is working on future products like the Altroz EV. Commenting on the topic, Anand Kulkarni, Product Line Director, Electric Vehicles and ALFA architecture, PVBU, Tata Motors, said at the EV Forum, “In a nascent market, customers need to have more choice and flexibility in terms of being able to select the right solutions for themselves.” He added, “In the last year itself, we've sold 3,000 Nexon EVs. This is a testament that Indian customers would happily adopt EVs if they meet their requirements of range, affordability and performance.” Mahindra, too, is gearing up for an all-electric offering in the form of the eXUV300. While neither of the technologies are legislated in our market, there is greater support for pure electrics. BEVs are taxed at a much lower GST rate of 5 percent, in addition to attracting various state subsidies. Hybrids, on the other hand, face the full brunt of taxation, like any other combustion-engined vehicle, limiting their scope. The case for hydrogen fuel cell Hydrogen fuel cell is yet another zero-emission technology that is gaining attention. “If a bigger battery is given in a bus for a longer range, it is expensive. So there has been a lot of progress in terms of hydrogen fuel cell. For buses and trucks, in the long term, fuel cell is the answer. Just last month, there had been a publication of standards, called AIS-157, which talk about Type-1 approval for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for Indian road conditions,” said Biswajyoti Mandal, CTO, Schaeffler India, during the EV Forum panel discussions. While fuel cells offer easier refuelling capabilities and higher range than battery EVs, the production and distribution of hydrogen remains a challenge, weakening the case for at least passenger vehicles. “Data tells us that 95 percent of the times, people don't run for more than 50-60km a day. So for a country like us, would that (fuel cells) be a solution? We think that reasonably sized batteries, which give you a range of 250-300km, with a reasonably dense network of (charging) infrastructure should be capable of handling most of our requirements. From a point of customer affordability, a network of hydrogen is another level of investment that we will have to get into and in my opinion, that's not something which is happening in the near term. It will take some time to get to that stage,” chimed in Tata’s Anand Kulkarni. However, players like Hyundai are still evaluating the launch of fuel cell vehicles in the country. Dr Palmer’s suggestion of a Darwinian approach, then, will ultimately see the most optimal solution gain dominance in the coming years. Also see: Customer demand, not legislation, to drive EV growth India Auto Inc divided on next step of electrification FAME II scheme needs course correction: Hero Electric MD UN study highlights environmental impact of EV battery production

  • Nissan Magnite prices hiked by Rs 30,000
    Autocar India

    Nissan Magnite prices hiked by Rs 30,000

    Prices of the Nissan Magnite compact SUV have been hiked by the carmaker to the tune of Rs 30,000. However, it is only the turbo-petrol variants of the Magnite that have received a price increase. Offered with a naturally aspirated (NA) petrol and a turbo-petrol engine Only Turbo-petrol prices have been increased Available in five trims –XE, XL, XV, XV Premium, XV Premium (O) 2021 Nissan Magnite prices (ex-showroom, Delhi)Variants New PriceOld PriceDifference XERs 5.49 lakhRs 5.49 lakh-XLRs 5.99 lakhRs 5.99 lakh-XVRs 6.68 lakhRs 6.68 lakh-XV PremiumRs 7.55 lakhRs 7.55 lakh-Turbo XLRs 7.29 lakhRs 6.99 lakhRs 30,000Turbo XVRs 7.98 lakhRs 7.68 lakhRs 30,000Turbo XV PremiumRs 8.75 lakhRs 8.45 lakhRs 30,000Turbo XV Premium (O)Rs 8.85 lakhRs 8.55 lakhRs 30,000Turbo XL CVTRs 8.19 lakhRs 7.89 lakhRs 30,000Turbo XV CVTRs 8.88 lakhRs 8.58 lakhRs 30,000Turbo XV Premium CVTRs 9.65 lakhRs 9.35 lakhRs 30,000Turbo XV Premium (O) CVTRs 9.75 lakhRs 9.45 lakhRs 30,000 2021 Nissan Magnite: price change As we can see in the table above, the prices of all the turbo-petrol variants – manual and automatic – have increase by a uniform Rs 30,000. While all the 1.0-litre naturally aspirated engine equipped variants have remained unchanged in terms of price. This means, the Magnites prices now range from Rs 5.49 – 9.75 lakh (ex-showroom). It is also worth pointing out that this is not the first time the Magnite has received a price hike. Earlier this year in January, Nissan raised the base trim’s price by Rs 50,000 (from Rs 4.99 lakh to Rs 5.49 lakh). Though this hike did not alter the prices of any other trims. 2021 Nissan Magnite: engine and gearbox Nissan offers the Magnite with two petrol engine options. One is a 72hp, 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine while the other is a 100hp, 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, turbo-petrol unit. Both engines come paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard. Additionally, the turbo-petrol is available with the option of a CVT automatic gearbox (which produces 152Nm of torque - 8Nm less than the manual). 2021 Nissan Magnite: features Keeping in mind its price point, the Nissan Magnite comes pretty well equipped. The top-spec XV Premium (O) trim comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a 7.0-inch TFT display for the instrument cluster, voice recognition technology, a 360-degree around view camera, tyre pressure-monitor, push-button start, cruise control, and much more. Nissan Magnite rivals The Nissan Magnite is positioned in the fiercely competitive compact SUV segment where it takes on the Renault Kiger, Kia Sonet, Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon, Ford EcoSport, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Toyota Urban Cruiser. Though due to its competitive pricing, it most directly competes with its cousin the Renault Kiger. Both these SUVs are almost neck-and neck in terms of pricing and are also the most affordable models in the segment. Nissan Magnite vs Renault Kiger prices (ex-showroom, Delhi)Nissan MagniteRenault Kiger 1.0 MTRs 5.49 - 7.55 lakhRs 5.45 - 7.55 lakh1.0 AT-Rs 6.59 - 8.00 lakh1.0 turbo MTRs 7.29 - 8.85 lakhRs 7.14 - 8.55 lakh1.0 turbo ATRs 8.19 - 9.75Rs 8.60 - 9.55 lakh Also see: Nissan Magnite review, road test Nissan Magnite secures four stars in ASEAN NCAP crash tests Nissan Magnite price, variants explained Renault Kiger vs rivals: Price, specifications comparison

  • BMW M340i XDrive India Test Drive Review: Like a Smaller M3, But Gives You Equal Goosebumps

    BMW M340i XDrive India Test Drive Review: Like a Smaller M3, But Gives You Equal Goosebumps

    BMW India will soon launch the M340i XDrive, the top-of-the-line 3-Series variant that offers much more performance thanks to a 387 HP engine. Here's our BMW M340i XDrive Test Drive Review.