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Technology capabilities in electric, fuel cell, hydrogen ICE vehicles domain rule the roost at Auto Expo 2023

ICICIdirect Research 19 Jan 2023 DISCLAIMER

What’s Buzzing 

At the Auto Expo 2023, key launches in the PV space were SUVs from Maruti Suzuki (MSIL) i.e. FRONX and 5 door JIMNY. Fronx is powered by a 1.2 litre K-Series dual jet engine and 1 litre Turbo booster jet engine. It boasts of all new age tech and safety features. Jimny will be powered by K-series 1.5-litre engine with all grip technology. Other launches include new Hyundai premium EV i.e. Ioniq 5, MG’s Next Gen Hector among others. Key unveilings were MSIL’s first concept EV SUV –eVX, Kia Motor’s EV6, Tata Motors EV variants of Harrier & Sierra and concepts like Avinya and Curvv among others. 

Context 

We recently attended the prestigious biennial event in the domestic auto space of Auto Expo 2023 held in Delhi-NCR. It had various players showcasing their existing product offerings as well as capabilities developed in the new energy space like electrification, fuel cells, hydrogen powered vehicles, CNG, LPG, etc. New model launches by OEMs, however, were limited given the near absence of European players. It had a great mix of existing marquee players as well as new age players both in the listed as well as the unlisted domain. 

Our Perspective 

In the commercial vehicle space at the Auto Expo, players like Tata Motors, Eicher Motors and Ashok Leyland unveiled a range of concept vehicles powered by various technologies like BEV, fuel cell, CNG, hydrogen ICE powered, etc, across vehicle categories viz. trucks, buses and LCVs. Atul Auto’s subsidiary Atul Greentech unveiled EV-3-Ws “Atul Mobili” & “Atul Energie”. Mobili is a passenger 3-W & Energie is Cargo 3-W with driving range of 110 km & 195 km, respectively. In the 2-W space, on display were electric offerings like Bajaj Chetak, Hero Vida V1, motorcycle offerings by Tork Motors (Bharat Forge backed), 2-Ws from Ampere by Greaves Cotton and other new age OEMs. The expo also had an ethanol pavilion wherein existing 2-W OEMs showcased flex fuel prototype vehicle (capable of running on E85 fuel) and also included Maruti Suzuki Wagon R & Toyota Corolla Altis. We were highly impressed by the technological advancement envisaged by the OEM players and their readiness to adopt environment friendly powertrain options along with readiness of the auto ancillary pack helping OEMs traverse this tectonic technological shift. With the underpenetrated PV category domestically, government spend on infrastructure, improved fleet utilisation, strong order book aided by slew of new launches, we expect the PV and CV space, in particular, to witness healthy growth in sales volumes, going forward. We remain positive on the auto sector given the expectation of double digit volume growth coupled with benign commodity price outlook leading to a healthy margin recovery.

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