“Adani” vehicles? Co gets brand approval

MUMBAI/CHENNAI: After planning a foray into the steel industry, Gautam Adani, India’s second-richest person and head of the eponymous Adani Group, appears to be looking to enter the automotive sector. Group entity SB Adani Trust has received trademark approval to use the name “Adani” for vehicles operating on land and in water.
This decision is part of the broader framework of the ports-to-power conglomerate in green projects. The plan is to enter the electric mobility space, sources said. It will look at electric utility vehicles – coaches, buses and trucks – to start with. It will initially use them for its internal needs at airports, ports and for other logistical purposes. It also plans to manufacture electric vehicle batteries and install charging stations across the country.
Recently, the government, in an effort to strengthen the electric vehicle charging ecosystem, decided to offer land to private entities to install charging stations on the basis of revenue sharing.
The infrastructure conglomerate also plans to establish an R&D center in its Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Mundra, Gujarat, for its proposed play in electric mobility. The move pits the Ahmedabad-based conglomerate against Tata Group and Reliance Industries, which also have ambitious plans in low-carbon projects.
Auto industry watchers said Adani’s entry into electric utility vehicles will shake the scene. “I’m not aware of Adani’s plans, but it’s great to see big conglomerates getting into electric vehicles,” said Chetan Maini, co-founder and vice president of Sun Mobility. Currently, Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland control the last mile and first mile connectivity segment with the Ace and Dost brands. Light and medium freight carriers are electrifying fast as the running cost per kilometer of an e-LCV (light commercial vehicle) is 80 paise compared to Rs 4 for a diesel vehicle.
State subsidies and “Fame 2” have also lowered the cost of capital. The other big bang segment is buses, in particular with Convergence Energy Services which launched a combined tender for 5,450 single-decker electric buses and 130 double-decker electric buses for cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Surat, Hyderabad and Kolkata. With battery prices expected to drop below $100 in 12-18 months, the game will become more competitive. The price of batteries has risen from $1,300 to $1,400 per kilowatt hour nearly 18 years ago to $110 to $120 today.

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