The Auto Expo 2018 kicked off on Wednesday with car makers and commercial vehicle manufacturers unveiling a slew of electric and hybrid vehicles, in line with the government’s aggressive target to electrify all new vehicles by 2030. The thrust on electric vehicles was a unifying theme across the lineups of vehicle makers that was on display.
In comparison to Auto Expo 2016, this year saw the number of EVs surge 10-fold to over 50 electric and hybrid vehicles as car makers drew up plans for electrification of their fresh line-up of products. What was also noticeable on day one was the absence of a fresh line-up of cars and motorcycles as a number of big vehicle manufacturers decided to give Auto Expo 2018 a miss. Alongside, there was a bevy of concepts on offer from the 22 exhibitors who unveiled 65 products with 14 fresh launches on day one, most of which were about two or three years away from making their way on to the road. Also READ: Day 1 – EVs, concepts dominate
Day two of biennial Auto Expo 2018 was all about startups, electronic vehicle players and new firms entering India who showcased a range of products from scooters to bikes to cars. About 12 startups have participated in the 14th edition of Auto Expo, with an aim to be a part of India’s story of transition from internal combustion engines to electric mobility. What made big news on Thursday was the much-awaited launch of the all-new Maruti Suzuki Swift. It was launched at an introductory price ranging between Rs 4.99 lakh to Rs 8.29 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Startup Emflux Motors also made headlines as they showcased the prototype of its electric sports bike Emflux One, which is slated to hit Indian roads in April 2019. It’s also India’s first indigenous electric superbike. Powered by a 9.7kWh Lithium-ion battery, the Emflux One can go up to a maximum speed of 200 km/hour. Set up in 2016, Emflux Motors is also looking at raising USD 5 million funding in the next few months to fuel its expansion plans.
Here are highlights of Day 1 and 2:
Maruti Suzuki e-SURVIVOR Concept
Maruti Suzuki India unveiled its electric concept compact SUV ‘e-SURVIVOR’ and said products alone will not be enough to realise India’s grand vision of bringing down emissions substantially, reduce dependence on imported fuel, and secure a leadership position on clean technology capability. Speaking at the Auto Expo 2018, MSI MD and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said while unveiling the Concept e-SURVIVOR, “India will need a comprehensive ecosystem that supports cleaner technologies, including electric vehicles.”
Maruti Suzuki ConceptFutureS
Maruti Suzuki India also made the global unveiling of its concept compact car with “SUV like characters” named ConceptFutureS. The car is a uniquely styled compact car with distinct SUV like characters and will define the next generation of design for compact vehicles in India, the company said. Ayukawa said, “Compact is the natural choice of India’s car customers. Compact needs a fresh design language, one that is bold, confident and dynamic. Our designers have created this brand new design, aggressive on the outside, and bold and inviting interiors.”
Toyota Kirloskar Motor on day one unveiled Yaris sedan, marking its entry into the mid-sized premium car segment in the country. The company said it will launch the sedan by April this year. The vehicle would compete with the likes of Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Hyundai Verna in the Indian market. The vehicle comes with a 1.5 litre petrol engine and various features such as 7 airbags, roof-mounted air vents and all-wheel disc brakes. The bookings for the model open from April, the company said.
Renault showcased Trezor concept
French auto major Renault showcased its electric concept cars TREZOR and ZOE e-Sport at the Auto Expo 2018 here and said it is awaiting a
clear policy and roadmap on infrastructure for electric vehicles to take a long-term strategic decision. The company also showcased its Formula One car R.S. 17, the first car put together from scratch by the Renault Sport Formula One Team, Renault India said.
Honda Sports EV concept
Japanese auto maker Honda also displayed its NeuVConcept and Sports EV concept but said it will wait for clarity in policy for EVs in India before firming up any definite plans for the segment. “In order to stitch up a strategy (for EV segment) we are requesting to have a road map regarding plans of charging stations…Without a clear policy it will be difficult to select models,” Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) President and CEO Yoichiro Ueno told reporters here.
BMW 6-series Gran Turismo
Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar launched BMW’s 6 Series Gran Turismo Sports Line that will be priced at Rs 58.90 lakh (ex-showroom). The diesel version of the vehicle will be launched in the second half of the year.
Renault Kwid Super Hero Edition
French automaker Renault also displayed its range of Kwid Super Hero Edition.
Mahindra & Mahindra UDO EV concept
Indian auto major Mahindra & Mahindra unveiled six new electric concept vehicles and models as it showcased its strategy to shape the ‘Future of Mobility’ at the Auto Expo. The company’s products on display in the EV segment includes UDO, a concept two-seater electric mobility pod; ATOM, a last mile urban mobility concept vehicle and a lithium ion battery-powered three-wheeler, Treo along with e-KUV100, an electric version of its compact vehicle KUV100.
Mercedes Benz Concept EQ
German auto major Mercedes Benz also exhibited the Concept EQ, an electric vehicle with the appearance of a sporty SUV. It gives a preview of a new generation of vehicles with battery electric drives, the company said. It will have a powerful electric drive of 300kw total output with a range of up to 500 km along with driver assistance systems for maximum safety.
Hero XPulse 200
India’s country’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp unveiled 200cc adventure motorcycle, XPulse and two new 125cc scooters, which will hit the markets later this year. With the XPulse, the company is strengthening its presence on the higher engine capacity motorcycle segment. “We will continue to have enhanced focus this year on two rapidly growing segments – premium motorcycle and scooter. Aligned with this strategy, we have showcased two new scooters and a dual purpose motorcycle here, which will be launched later this year,” Hero MotoCorp Chairman, MD and CEO Pawan Munjal said here at the Auto Expo.
Company’s Head of Global Product Planning, Malo le Masson said the XPulse will address the growing trend of adventure riding in India and in global markets.
Emflux One electric e-superbike
Bengaluru-based startup Emflux Motors showcased at the Auto Expo the prototype of its electric sports bike Emflux One, which is slated to hit Indian roads in April 2019. The Emflux One is powered by a 9.7kWh Lithium-ion battery and can go up to a maximum speed of 200 km/hour. Emflux Motors, set up in 2016, is also looking at raising USD 5 million funding in the next few months to fuel its expansion plans.
“We are a team of 25 young engineers and designers. The pre-production prototype showcased here will hit Indian roads in April 2019. We expect the standard model to be priced at Rs 6 lakh,” Emflux Motors co-founder and CEO Varun Mittal told PTI. He added that another model with three performance upgrades is expected to be available for Rs 11 lakh.
Hyundai Elite i20
South Korean automaker Hyundai launched a new version of its premium compact hatchback Elite i20 priced between Rs 5.34 lakh and Rs 9.15 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The company, which operates here through its wholly-owned arm Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), also unveiled its global electric vehicle Ioniq. The petrol versions of the car are priced between Rs 5.34 lakh and Rs 7.9 lakh while the diesel trims are tagged between Rs 6.73 lakh and Rs 9.15 lakh.
New Maruti Suzuki Swift
Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), country’s largest carmaker, on Thursday launched the all-new version of its most-awaited popular hatchback Swift at an introductory price ranging between Rs 4.99 lakh to Rs 8.29 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The new Maruti Suzuki Swift is wider and has a longer wheel-base. It comes with more cabin space, headroom and luggage space than the outgoing Swift. According to the company, the next generation Swift is 40 mm wider with 20 mm longer wheel-base.
DC Sports Car
Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha poses with the DC sports car at the Auto Expo 2018.
Tata Motors 45X concept
In the passenger vehicles (PV) segment as part of the two-architecture strategy, Tata Motors made the global unveiling of the ‘H5Xconcept’ from the ‘Optimal Modular Efficient Global Advanced’ Architecture – the 5-seater luxury SUV. It also showcased the ’45X concept’ – the premium hatchback based on the versatile ‘Agile Light Flexible Advanced’ Architecture. Speaking at the event, Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran said Tata Motors is committed to the future of mobility, specially the government’s vision in the electric vehicles space.
Lohia’s Comfort E-Auto
Lohia Auto, part of the diversified Lohia Group, launched battery-operated three-wheeler Comfort E Auto. The company has priced Comfort E Auto HS at Rs 1.49 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and comes with facilities such as central locking and GPS. It would have a Lithium-ion battery and could run up to 30 km per hour and offers a mileage of 80 km.
Piaggio’s Aprilia SR125
Italian automaker Piaggio launched its new 125cc bike, Aprilia SR125, in the Indian market at a price of Rs 65,310 (ex-showroom Pune).
The company also showcased its Vespa scooter range, including Vespa GTS, Tuono 150, and e-scooter Elettrica at the Auto Expo 2018 here. SR125 has the DNA of Aprilia and is more affordable, Piaggio India CEO and MD Diego Graffi told reporters. Powered by a 3-valve engine, SR125 comes with 14-inch wheels and wider tyres. The vehicle will be available across Aprilia and Vespa dealerships in the country.
Mahindra & Mahindra Treo
Treo is a lithium-ion battery-powered three-wheeler.
Cleveland CycleWerks motorcycles
American bike maker Cleveland CycleWerks (CWC) announced the launch of two models -Ace and Misfit- at Auto Expo here, marking its foray into the Indian market with a target to sell about 5,000 units by 2019. Powered by a 229cc four-stroke engine, there are three sub-models under ACE category – Ace Deluxe, Ace Scrambler, and Ace Cafe. In the Misfit model, the bike Gen II Misfit also comes with a 229cc air-cooled engine with single motor giving a peak power of 15.4 HP and 16 NM torque.
Tata Motors H5X
In the passenger vehicles (PV) segment as part of the two-architecture strategy, Tata Motors made the global unveiling of the ‘H5Xconcept’ from the ‘Optimal Modular Efficient Global Advanced’ Architecture – the 5-seater luxury SUV.
Mercedes Benz E-220D
The company also showcased its E-Class All-Terrain sedan at the Auto Expo here.
Japanese auto major Honda unveiled three new products, including the all new Amaze, which will hit the market during the upcoming fiscal. While Amaze will strengthen Honda’s presence in mass segment, all new CR-V and comeback of Civic will help the company fortify its presence in the premium segment.