The Indian EV ecosystem is largely dependent on imports of battery packs and motors, and at a time when the government has incentivised local manufacturing, technology integration is business-critical to actually be self-reliant.
In an interview with Express Mobility, Shree Harsha, Director- India Marketing & Strategic planning, Dassault Systèmes said to build and deploy these capacities in the fastest time, electric vehicle manufacturers can deploy virtual twin technologies such as 3D modelling which will help them to not only visualize the product they are building, but also analyse what-if scenarios, and help in modelling the future product while validating the performance in several driving conditions.
What have been the highlights for the EV sector in 2021?
The automotive industry in India has gone through a paradigm shift with the accelerated transition to less energy-intensive options, especially electric vehicles, which has made 2021 the watershed moment in the EV industry.
Central Government announced its ambitious target of 100% electrification of the public fleet by 2030 and added crucial cogs in the wheel like an e-AMRIT portal, a one-stop platform for information related to EV. Investor friendly policies from states such as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and the central PLI scheme were pivotal to boosting EV manufacturing capabilities in India.
Having said that, the most notable highlight for us is the growing interest from the purpose-driven third age of enterprise, as we see startups adding value at various aspects of the supply chain.
For example, Cell Propulsion, an electric mobility startup, is using our 3DEXPERIENCE platform to enable large-scale electrification of commercial vehicles, by bridging the gap between design and manufacturing. Mahindra Electric is using SIMULIA Apps for simulating the functioning of automotive components in a virtual environment and identifying, mitigating risks at an early stage, reducing physical testing and prototyping.
How can Indian EV manufacturing be self-reliant?
Currently, the Indian EV ecosystem is largely dependent on imports of battery packs and motors, and while Government has incentivized local manufacturing, technology integration is business-critical to actually be self-reliant.
To build and deploy these capacities in the fastest time, EV OEMs can deploy virtual twin technologies such as 3D modelling which will help them to not only visualize the product they are building, but also analyze what-if scenarios, and help in modelling the future product while validating the performance in several driving conditions.
Adoption of additive manufacturing, virtualization, IoT and other advanced manufacturing technologies will continue to play a key role in a manufacturer’s ability to bring disruptive products to market. Modern digitalization platforms will also assist OEMs to meet the growing customer demand for unique products and drive mass customization models, and manage increasing product complexity.
OEMs, supply chains, and startups in India can accelerate the future of mobility for a better planet! They can think big, start small and grow fast with our cloud-enabled solution for the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
We help the next generation of innovators to develop new mobility concepts with a comprehensive and collaborative environment, helping them conceptualize, model, simulate and make decisions covering the end-to-end business process from systems engineering to mechanical engineering.
They can build new solutions addressing Indian customers in mind and imagine and validate product performance with simulation to perform cross disciplines optimization thus enabling productivity and efficiency for their newly created teams.
Primarily, there are four areas where virtual twin technology is helping EV manufacturers i.e. Battery engineering, Motor design, power electronics and full vehicle integration to have a high-quality safe vehicle meeting customer as well as regulatory requirements. These technologies will help leaders differentiate themselves with innovative products, improved productivity, and exceptional service.
What are the foreseen challenges?
According to me, there are three challenges that we foresee. Firstly, from an industry perspective, one of the biggest challenges is the collaboration between cross-functional and digital platforms. A single platform enabling different worlds to come together and speak the same language will be the most effective way to integrate engineering disciplines, power collaboration and adapt to requirements in real-time.
Secondly, upskilling the existing talent pool to make them future-ready is also a challenge. Collaborations between government, academia, and industry/corporate can create tremendous opportunities providing much-needed technology exposure to students and practitioners.
Dassault Systèmes is already deeply engaged with this, establishing Centers of Excellence that bring technology exposure and hands-on training to students, startups, and SMEs.
Finally, from a manufacturing perspective, the challenge is to make EVs more affordable; especially by reducing the battery development costs and reducing dependency on imports of batteries.
The government has incentivized cell manufacturing in India, which is attracting more investments in Giga factories, which is key for complete atmanirbharta. This will also enable the battery value chain to develop in India, maybe with alternatives like Sodium-ion batteries, which will help us reduce the dependency on imports.
What are your thoughts on the budget and electrification of the Indian auto fleet?
Encouraging government policies have incentivized leading OEMs and new-age startups alike, to invest and build capacities for EV production in India, while also boosting demand from customers.
We welcome Budget 2022, which accelerates India’s journey to net-zero carbon commitments, and encourages the “Third Age of Enterprise” driven by purpose, especially in transportation and mobility. 2022 will be the year to deliver, and the budget presents an opportunity to encourage OEMs to use digital platforms and virtual simulations to accelerate the development cycles and develop ready-for-market products in a resource, cost, and time-efficient manner, which also makes it affordable for customers.