Rimac Automobili is a Croatian car manufacturer that develops and produces high-performance electric cars, drivetrain and battery systems, headquartered at Sveta Nedelja, Croatia. Rimac Automobili’s first model, the Concept One, is known as the world’s fastest production electric vehicle. While Rimac sells high-performance vehicles under their own brand, the company develops and produces drivetrain systems and full vehicles for other companies. Greyp Bikes is a sister company that makes electric bikes.
In an interview with TOI, Kenichi Ayukawa, MD & CEO of Maruti Suzuki, admitted that the company needs to upgrade Alto. He also said that the company is planning to introduce a new-generation of Alto. He didn’t mention about the time-frame or what we can expect in the new gen Alto.
Though Alto is the top selling car in its segment(overall top seller too), numbers are constantly declining these days. If the trend continues further it may lose its top position. Maruti nowadays started concentrating on premium segment, but by paying no heed to Alto’s decline, cannot afford to lose its throne to Renault’s Kwid. Kwid aside, Datsun introduced redi-GO and competition in the segment is becoming intense day by day. Entry level segment is a tough nut to crack but then came the Renault Kwid with a superb design which is changing the segment dynamics like never before in India.
“Originally entry cars had big volumes, but now people expect a little more premium cars. We have to prepare and respond to all these expectations,” Ayukawa told TOI . “The Indian customer is upgrading and expecting more premium vehicles.”
Though he didn’t mention about what we can expect in the new gen Alto, we can safely expect the new version to be more premium than the present model.Expect the engines and other mechanicals to remain same, the changes to expect are interiors, exteriors & features. We can expect a much stronger structure to meet the proposed Bharat New Car Assessment Program standards.
ChargePoint, the world’s largest and most open electric vehicle (EV) charging network, today announced the activation of the 30,000th charging spot on its network. The leader in the EV charging market, ChargePoint is building the infrastructure for the future of transportation and changing the way drivers think about refueling by allowing EV drivers to charge…
Ather Energy is an Indian e-Scooter startup company founded in 2013 by two friends Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain who were alumni of IIT Madras.They are headquartered at Bangalore.Their first product offering is electric scooter S340 is unveiled on 23 February 2016 at Surge Conference Bangalore. They will commence production by the end of this year.The company got investments from Tiger Global($12 million) and Flipkart founders($1 million).
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology(MIIT) want to send out a strong signal to the existing and upcoming startups that it is very serious about their quality. Only 10 out of 200 fledgling automakers have a chance to get the necessary permits.
Planning to phase out subsidies after 2020. Generous subsidies created a gold-rush-mentality which encouraged the startups with little to zero technical know-how to enter the auto industry.
The country is grappling with air pollution which pressurized the govt to look for and encourage zero emission vehicle technologies. And thus, China Govt heavily subsidized the industry to accelerate the faster adoption of these vehicles by manufacturers and consumers.
Now comes the problem of striking balance between many inversely proportional entities, that is between growth & quality.
Rapid growth and its outcomes and new challenges
China to curb the ever increasing air pollution from its cities started enacting various measures, of which control of vehicular emissions by promoting EV manufacturers is one.
With an intention to reduce urban pollution & oil dependence, and to promote rapid growth of technology-development, production & consumption of electric vehicles, the government adopted a plan in 2009 to incentivize the industry. Under the plan, government will provide incentives up to 60000 yuan on private purchase of new battery-electric-vehicles and up to 50000 yuan for plug-in-hybrids.The subsidies are paid directly to the manufacturers rather than to the consumers. Subsidies to the particular companies which sold more than 50000 units will be reduced. Adding to the incentives,from 1st January 2012, government started exempting these vehicles from annual taxes. Pure electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles & plug in hybrids will have 100% exemption whereas non plug in hybrids will have 50% exemption.
As a positive outcome of all these heavy incentives and subsidies, China’s fleet size of New Energy Vehicles(i.e. bevs,fcvs,hybrids&plug-ins) became the second largest in the world after US. As of May 2016 Chinese plug in stock represented 26% of global stock. With a record of 176,627 plug-in passenger cars sold in 2015, China became the world’s best-selling plug-in electric car country market that year, with 34.2% of 2015 global sales.The stock of new energy vehicles sold in China since 2011 passed the 500,000 unit milestone in March 2016. Backed by heavy subsidies, China went on to reach to many milestones.
Parallel to positive outcomes, many new challenges also cropped up. Paying no heed(towards quality,proper technology,…etc) while devising policies led to the birth of many new problems. Attracted by the size of incentives(~60% of sticker price!) many new companies started entering the sector with little to no technical know-how. They started making making low-technology, low-quality, cheaper and unreliable products.
And few companies are producing wrong invoices to government for incentives. The government is investigating reports that two sellers of electric buses doctored invoices to inflate their EV subsidies. In one case, a company called Suzhou King Long claimed to have sold 12,003 electric buses last year, an improbable sixfold year-on-year sales increase. Amid recriminations, a general manager at the company jumped to his death. Local media portrayed the suicide as an admission of guilt, though the company denied any wrongdoing.
New measures to address new challenges
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is considering restricting the number of startup EV makers to a maximum of 10, said Dong, who meets regularly with its officials. That count won’t include traditional carmakers such as SAIC Motor Corp. and BYD Co. that are developing NEVs.
Yet even those startups getting permits have more mandates to meet before switching on their assembly lines, as the government introduces stricter quality-control measures.
In a draft policy document posted for public feedback this month, the MIIT listed 17 technologies that companies intending to sell electric cars must possess in order to ensure “healthy” development of the industry. Those include a control system that determines the performance and stability of the NEV, an information system that tracks the sources and conditions of key parts, and a process for recycling or reusing batteries.
The government also plans to phase out subsidies after 2020, removing an incentive for startups depending on them to achieve profitability.The government is now moving from subsidizing production to rewarding companies that devise new technologies and hit sales goals, in the face of widespread media reports of companies taking government money without focusing efforts on the expensive process of EV technology development.
“There’s definitely a bubble,” said Yale Zhang, a managing director and researcher at Autoforesight Shanghai Co. “If you don’t own the core technology and can’t build up the brand, it’s ‘game over’ very quickly once you burn through the cash.”
Cult Indian motorcycling brand, Royal Enfield has been around for years. The Chennai based two-wheeler maker has stayed true to its roots and has been making its iconic motorcycles for decades. In this article, we get a glimpse of what goes into making different Royal Enfield motorcycles that make them so special. First up are the Madras Stripes. Later about chestnut color and about chrome.
Here is how they do it and what the company says about its products:
Car2Go is a car sharing service which gives you all the conveniences of owning a car without owning one. It takes away from you all the burdens of owning a car like refueling, servicing, cleaning and insuring etc. Car2Go vehicles are available all over the cities they serve, you have just hop into the car, drive to your desired destination and hop out. For further details about the company visit the website.
Car2Go is a subsidiary of Daimler AG (parent company of Mercedes-Benz) providing carsharing services in European and North American cities. The company offers exclusively Smart Fortwo and Mercedes-Benz vehicles and features one-way point-to-point rentals. Users are charged by the minute, with hourly and daily rates available.The service forgoes the typical centralized rental office, and cars are user-accessed wherever parked via a downloadable smartphone app. As of May 2015, Car2Go is the largest carsharing company in the world with over 1,000,000 members.
Zoomcar is the first company in India to focus on self-drive car rental, in contrast to earlier companies in India that focused on chauffeur-driven rentals. Zoomcar was founded by David Back and Greg Moran in February 2013 in Bangalore, India. As of July 2016, the company operates a fleet of over 2,000 vehiclesin 9 cities across the country including Bangalore, New Delhi, Gurgaon,Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Chandigarh.
BMW motorcycles are known for their reliability, quality, performance and safety. This is not achieved by chance, however. BMW’s motorcycle plant in Berlin, Germany, uses a variety of tools to create numerous key components on-site, from frames and valve shafts to connecting rods and cylinder heads.
Among the tools used are Grob’s horizontal five-axis G550 machining centers featuring Siemens’ Sinumerik 840D controllers, used to manufacture cylinder heads for flat and four-cylinder engines.
When BMW invests in new machining centers, it compares among various suppliers to ensure that the machining center will enable the company to manufacture components more cost-effectively than external contractors.
One of BMW’s primary reasons for choosing the G550 was because it was equipped with a Siemens CNC. Thanks to previous positive experience with Siemens, the manufacturing specialists in Berlin already employed the company’s CNCs for 90 percent of their controllers. This offered both operators and tool setters the flexibility to work on practically any of the machines in the plant. Other key machine spec requirements included adequate space for manufacturing all relevant components, high levels of precision and surface finish, compliance with predefined cycle times, and the ability to reuse all current tools and equipment.
Before committing to the new investment, BMW production engineers worked to investigate the effectiveness of the Grob machines in cylinder head production. Initially, it was the G550’s near-identical sibling, the G350, that was under consideration. However, the working space available was deemed too small to accommodate all the required processing tasks. The G550, on the other hand, satisfied that requirement. Among other factors, the horizontal design of the G550, which has both rotary axes in the work area, contributes significantly to its high rigidity. As a result, axial deviation remains under 10 micrometers. The level of precision that can be achieved is correspondingly high, even when processing hard materials such as those used for valve seat inserts. The machine also produces a high-quality surface finish, with roughness ranging to 2 micrometers.
According to Christian Heib, applications engineer at Grob, another benefit of the horizontal design was that “tool life can be increased by approximately 30 percent compared with that of vertical machining centers. The problem of jammed slivers is almost completely eliminated because they are not able to fall onto the workpiece in the first place, but instead fall right through to the ground.”
One of the G550’s strengths is its compact footprint of 3,800 × 6,300 mm. Despite its size, the machining center features a Z-axis stroke of 1,020 mm, meaning that tools as long as 500 mm can be retracted completely out of the work area and into the spindle tunnel. The swivel-mounted shuttle table is another feature that helps deliver high levels of productivity. While one workpiece is being processed, the next can be clamped and set, minimizing downtime.
Thanks to its usability and intuitive operation through various technology cycles, measurement cycles and setting functionality, G550 machines can be set up for new batches quicker than what BMW used before. According to Heib, setups that would have previously taken several hours can now be accomplished in a matter of minutes.
Along with the tools and equipment from the current machines, the German motorcycle manufacturer was able to reuse all its existing programs as well. It took a single employee only two days to upgrade these programs to be compatible with the latest software, which can be loaded onto the relevant machine as required either over the network or from a USB flash drive. The modern Windows Explorer-style program manager means that complex programs can be managed either on the Compact Flash (CF) card or directly on the CNC.
If problems arise while the machine is operational, BMW Production Engineer Taner and his colleagues use the network-based remote maintenance functionality provided by Grob. Although Ögretmen reports that it has rarely been required so far, the process has proved to be extremely smooth and efficient.
Grob can also perform minor optimizations together with Siemens using the teleservice. This is usually done automatically and without any disruption to ongoing production.
The Sinumerik-controlled Grob machines have met every expectation in full, which is why BMW has already ordered an additional four G550s.
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