A week of innovation – Hyundai’s fuel cell EV India launch, Toyota Mirai demo & more

Hyundai, Toyota, Tata Motors and MG Motor India made some announcements last week related to EVs and connected car systems. Here is how the gone by week has been a week of innovation.

By:December 8, 2019 9:40 AM

It’s been a week of innovation for the Indian automotive industry—from announcements on fuel cell vehicles to new advances in in-car connectivity, there was a lot on offer. On Thursday, Hyundai Motor India Ltd said it was evaluating launching fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV, powered by hydrogen) and started feasibility study in India on the same. Parent company Hyundai Motors had launched the Nexo FCEV in China and other mature markets last year, and has announced $17-billion investments over the next six years towards FCEVs, which are claimed to be free from any greenhouse gas emissions.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor also held a demonstration and driving experience of its electrified vehicle technologies—including hydrogen (the Mirai), hybrid (the Aqua and the Camry) and pure electric (the eQ)—in Delhi this week, showcasing these vehicles to the technologies behind them to central government ministers; the Mirai is an FCEV like the Nexo. Parent company Toyota Motor Corporation has, over the years, sold 14 million units of EVs, and achieved a carbon dioxide emission reduction of 113 million tonnes globally.

On the in-car connectivity front, Tata Motors—which will launch the Altroz premium hatchback early next year—introduced the ‘Tata Altroz Voice BoT’ in association with Google. It’s a voice assistant system that, the company says, assists customers in their online buying journey and enhances their in-car connected experience through access to content such as product features and specifications, in an interactive manner. All that a user needs is a phone that has Google Assistant, and speak ‘Ok Google, Talk to Tata Altroz’ to activate the system. It can also be paired with the car (the Altroz) via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

MG Motor India announced the iSMART EV 2.0 infotainment system, which will be introduced with the ZS EV—the electric SUV that will be launched soon. The iSMART EV 2.0 has an inbuilt embedded SIM that provides internet onboard and can also be connected to an external Wi-Fi connection—allowing users to connect their ZS EV to their home networks and mobile hotspots. It also comes with features like searching charging stations nearby, carbon dioxide saved while driving (it’s an electric car and produces zero tailpipe emissions).

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