Chennai-based engineering company, Tube Investments of India Ltd, is strategically positioning itself to seize a significant opportunity in the electric tractors for agriculture and e-trucks for commercial vehicles. With a focus on expanding its presence in the electric vehicle sector, the company, which is a part of the diversified Murugappa Group, is actively involved in the production of e-tractors at its Apex Park facility in Chennai and e-trucks in Manesar, Haryana, as revealed by M.A.M. Arunachalam, the Executive Chairman.
“The automotive industry in India is experiencing a significant shift towards sustainable mobility,” stated the senior official.
He highlighted that environmental regulations aimed at reducing CO2 emissions are compelling countries to embrace cleaner and non-polluting modes of transportation. Electric vehicles have emerged as the frontrunners in this mission for clean and green transportation, enjoying widespread global adoption.
Tube Investments of India has made its entry into the electric vehicle market by acquiring a 65.2 percent stake in IPLTech Electric Pvt Ltd. This move positions the company as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of zero-emission vehicles and enables its active participation across the entire spectrum of electric vehicles. IPLTech Electric Pvt Ltd specializes in manufacturing electric-medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.
Tube Investments of India has successfully introduced its Montra brand of electric three-wheelers for the passenger segment, which has received a positive response from users, as mentioned by the company. The manufacturing facilities for e-tractors in the agricultural segment and e-trucks in the commercial segment are currently under development at Apex Park in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, and Manesar in Haryana, respectively. This information was highlighted in the company’s annual report. The company foresees a significant opportunity for tractors in the country, supported by favorable government policies on farm mechanization and green energy initiatives, as stated by the company official.
Highlighting the country’s significance as one of the largest tractor manufacturers globally, the official mentioned the robust retail tractor sales during the FY 2022-23 period. Additionally, he emphasized the immense untapped potential in the electric-medium and heavy commercial vehicle segment, with technology and mass adoption still in their early stages.
Regarding EV battery production, he addressed the challenges of import dependency on lithium for lithium-ion EV batteries. However, he expressed optimism as substantial lithium deposits have been discovered in Jammu and Kashmir and Degana in Rajasthan. These findings are estimated to be extensive enough to make India self-sufficient in lithium, potentially resolving the import-related hurdles.
Stating the potential benefits, he commented:
“This development will significantly reduce the cost of EV batteries, providing a strong boost to the EV industry.”
Mukesh Ahuja, the Managing Director of Tube Investments of India Ltd, emphasized that the company’s primary focus is on the EV segment, which offers substantial growth opportunities. He expressed their vision to operate across multiple platforms within the productive sector of the EV spectrum.
Ahuja also highlighted the significant stage of disruption in India’s EV industry, unveiling immense untapped possibilities. Furthermore, he expressed confidence in India’s significant role in the future of electric vehicles, citing supportive government policies as favorable indicators for the industry.
Referring to a report by the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), he highlighted that the EV market in India is projected to reach USD 7.09 billion by 2025. To fulfill the country’s EV aspirations, there is a requirement for a cumulative investment of USD 180 billion in vehicle production and charging infrastructure until 2030.
Discussing the plans for tractors, he revealed the intention to introduce three distinct variants with four-wheel drives catering to various user segments. The company is currently progressing with the development of production facilities for these tractors, which are expected to be launched during the FY23-24 period.
Regarding the electric-commercial vehicle segment, he highlighted that through the acquisition of a 65.2 percent stake in IPLTech Electric Pvt Ltd by TI Clean Mobility Private Limited (TICMPL), they have gained entry into the EV-medium and heavy commercial vehicle market. Specifically, they have decided to focus on manufacturing a 55-tonne truck, targeting short haulage operations within the iron and steel, cement, and construction industries.
Work has already commenced on establishing a manufacturing facility in Manesar, Haryana, dedicated to producing these e-trucks. Additionally, they plan to develop separate distribution networks specifically tailored to cater to the EV platforms.