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EV innovators are working to bring products that reduce import dependence

Rutam Vora | Updated on: Jun 22, 2022
The EVangelise’22 was announced by Jagdish Vishwakarma (third from right), Minister of State for Industries, Gujarat on Tuesday in Ahmedabad.

The EVangelise’22 was announced by Jagdish Vishwakarma (third from right), Minister of State for Industries, Gujarat on Tuesday in Ahmedabad.

iCreate, Startup India and CII-CIES launch second edition of EV innovation challenge - EVangelise’22

Amidst soaring electric vehicle (EV) sales month-on-month, the EV start-ups are increasingly concentrating their research on reducing the dependence on Chinese imports for key devices such as battery systems, cells and chips to make vehicles more affordable and sustainable.

Experts noted that current issues of batteries catching fire, mileage not meeting the desired levels and rising input costs are attributed to cheap and sub-standard sourcing of inputs from China. To support India to become a global leader in the electric two-three wheeler segment, the start-up incubator, iCreate (International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology), looks to address these challenges through an iconic innovation challenge initiative.

Anupam Jalote, CEO, iCreate, told Businessline that the second edition of an EV innovation challenge, 'EVangelise'22' is being rolled out in partnership with Startup India and the CII - CoE for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Start-ups (CII-CIES) to achieve industry-centric solutions.

"The first edition of EVangelise was innovator-focused, while the second edition is industry-focused," he said. The challenge carries a cash prize of Amidst soaring electric vehicle (EV) sales month-on-month, the EV startups are now increasingly concentrating their research on how to reduce the dependence on Chinese imports for key devices such as battery systems, cells and chips to make vehicles more affordable and sustainable.

Experts noted that current issues of batteries catching fire, mileage not meeting the desired levels and rising input costs are attributed to cheap and sub-standard sourcing of inputs from China. In a bid to support India to become a global leader in electric two-three wheeler segment, the start-up incubator, iCreate (International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology), looks to address these challenges through iconic innovation challenge initiative.

Anupam Jalote, CEO, iCreate told Businessline that a second edition of an EV innovation challenge 'EVangelise'22' is being rolled out in partnership with Startup India and the CII - CoE for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Start-ups (CII-CIES) to achieve an industry-centric solutions.

"The first edition of EVangelise was innovator-focused, while the second edition is industry-focused," he said. The challenge carries a cash prize of total ₹1.12 crore for winning startups to take their ideas further to market.

Stakeholders and startups participated in a panel discussion with the experts.

Stakeholders and startups participated in a panel discussion with the experts.

"The EV demand is roaring, because of very high viability of EVs, besides the positive climate impact. Now, the industry wants a substitute to imports from China. From the first edition, we realised that if industry can pre-specify their problems, the EVangelise can throw answers to that and it can be taken forward for commercial rollout," he said.

The EVangelise'22 was announced by Jagdish Vishwakarma, Minister of State for Industries, Gujarat. He said, "Gujarat has the highest adoption of battery operated 2-wheelers in the country, which makes it an ideal proposition for industries to invest in EV manufacturing in the state."

iCreate's focus remains on technical and design solutions for two and three-wheeler EVs, especially the Battery management systems or Battery Thermal Management systems (BTMS), auxiliary cooling systems and the technical support to develop apps for robust charging infrastructure.

Stakeholders, innovators and startups participated in the interaction during the panel discussion.

Stakeholders, innovators and startups participated in the interaction during the panel discussion.

"As more and more EVs start moving on roads, people realise there is a lack of charging stations. It is not just the charging stations or the charging plugs that makes the charging infrastructure. It is also the apps, which lets you to know the availability of empty slots and time to reach there and estimated duration to charge there etc," said Jalote adding that the second edition of the EVangelise would focus on vehicle energy storage, infrastructure that includes physical and software like apps and vehicle power trains such as motor train and motor control.

Currently, one of the big challenges before the EV makers is to become self-sufficient in the areas of key inputs.

"Controllers are needed for EV's motors and battery management systems. So, we are telling startups to move away from expensive processors, components and chips towards generic ones. When you open the innovators' mind in that space, then the costs come crashing and supply also eases," he said, adding that iCreate will soon design its chips to make them wholly made in India with a message of self-reliance. "The project is underway and that development is planned in the next six months. We have started the programme," he said.

Published on June 22, 2022
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