The key challenge for e-mobility is in balancing factors of sustainability and affordability; electrification is the future, but it is more than just battery electric vehicles
The third edition of iTEC India 2019 (International Transportation Electrification Conference) was inaugurated by industry stalwarts in Bengaluru. The three-day conference is being organised on the theme of ‘eMobility Solutions for Community,’ and aims to bring the automotive industry together to enable the transition towards transportation electrification. The lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries signified the official opening of the conference, which saw the participation of delegates representing various sectors of the automotive ecosystem.
Dr Bala Bharadvaj, Managing Director, Boeing India Engineering and Technology Centre, & President, SAEINDIA, welcomed the gathering with his address. He spoke of the importance of various teams working together for development of technologies, with collaborations being the focus area. Mobility as we know needs to change with the multiple disciplines, such as transportation via land, sea and air needing to come together to solve problems collectively, added Dr Bharadvaj. He further noted that mobility technologies have been transitioning from being mechanical to electronics, software and new materials, which makes it more complex and challenging to develop. Complexity can be scary, but at the same time give opportunities to invent and innovate. He asked that the industry change e-mobility to “we-mobility” to enhance working together, and keep the environment in mind by leaving very little residue while creating solutions of mobility.
The welcome address was followed by Dr Aravind Bharadwaj, CTO, Mahindra & Mahindra, drawing up the history of iTEC in India, covering the last two editions of the conference. He observed that e-mobility has progressed extensively, and the choice of Bengaluru for the location of this edition of iTEC was due to its technology ecosystem for IT, software and Electromobility. He concluded that the conference is also being organised to try and impact the overall e-mobility policy framework in the country.
Other addresses were given by Dr David Schutt, CEO, SAE International, US, Mr Georges Zissis, President, IEEE IAS, US, and Dr Veeranna SH, Managing Director, Karnataka Trade Promotional Organisation. Dr Schutt spoke of the industry requiring to look at task at hand in developing the future of mobility. He said mobility is transforming radically from the automobile as well as form the traditional discipline of powertrain. The focus is on creating mobility with zero congestion, accidents and fatality, with technology being the driving force for many minds and millions of dollars of investments, Dr Schutt noted. He added that conferences like this will shape the future actions required in the development of future mobility. Meanwhile, Mr Zissis was of the view that mobility is a human need that needs to be respected, along with that of the environment. He said discussion around smart systems is especially required for mobility. Dr Veeranna highlighted about the steps being undertaken by the state of Karnataka in the enhanced adoption of e-mobility solutions.
The Guest of Honour for the inauguration of iTEC India 2019 was Dr Guenter Fraidl, Senior Vice-President, Powertrain Systems, AVL Graz. He presented on e-mobility solutions for the community and said that the industry can expect more change in the next five years that the preceding five years. Challenges come in the form of requirement of air quality, increasing oil import bills, high cost and complexity of battery electric vehicles, and CO2 lifecycle requirements. He mentioned that comprehensive sustainability is much more than just ‘tank-to-wheel’ CO2, and in the Indian context adoption of a technology mix may be the future. The future of the internal combustion engine (ICE) can be dubbed ‘ICE 4.0’ that is fully-networked and making the best of energy management, noted Dr Fraidl. The key challenge for e-mobility is the balance of sustainability and affordability, with potential in India arising from three-wheelers and two-wheelers over passenger vehicles. He concluded with the point that electrification is the future, but it is much more than battery electric vehicles.
Prashanth Doreswamy, Head, Continental India & Managing Director, Continental Automotive India, was the Chief Guest for the inaugural session of iTEC India 2019. He presented on the industry perspective of the future of mobility. Doreswamy talked about 2030 and the future perspectives of mobility, which are around safety, efficiency, comfort, social inclusion and accessibility. In terms of the future of the powertrains, he said that 2025 will see the development on the final generation of combustion and after 2030 expects production to begin on the final generation of these engines. Doreswamy added that the combustion technology will be phased out after 2040 and 2050 will see CO2-free cities. The community help will be required for technology and R&D, building expertise, legislation and schemes, as well in cost optimisation.
A common ideology of all the dignitaries was that collaborative work needs to be carried out to enhance the development, and adoption of electrification in transportation. The role of mobility also needs to grow beyond the automobile and be inclusive of all form of transportation. The iTEC conference also includes a range of technical sessions and paper presentations, along with panel discussions on various topics pertaining to e-mobility development.