INTERVIEW: India is at the start of electric mobility S Curve – ABB CEO

INTERVIEW: India is at the start of electric mobility S Curve – ABB CEO

Power and automation major ABB is upbeat about the e-mobility market in India and plans to expand its manufacturing facilities here to add fast battery charging solutions to its portfolio. In an interview to Nishtha Saluja and Sarita Singh, global chief executive Ulrich Spiesshofer talks about the Swiss company’s localisation plans and focus areas.

India is going very big on e-mobility. How well are you placed to deliver the charging infrastructure?
For e-mobility to happen, you need four building blocks. In India, we have a very strong local value end. In the renewables integration, more than 50% of the solar power is powered up with ABB technology. So, I think we are the ideal partner for India to really drive e-mobility going forward. We are also the ideal partner for car OEMs, to make sure that cars are rolling with the right charging infrastructure that we have.

Would you be delivering all of this out of India?
We will do this as we have done in all the new businesses that we brought in India. First, we will have the pilots and then we will localise the technology, put it into our local value chain, and have full local value and have job creation. Look at solar, we brought in global technology, we localised the technology, we set up a local value chain, invested in manufacturing, and today we are fully integrated. In the rail sector, we have done the same.

How much time does it take for you to set up a base or localise here?
Typically between the first pilot and starting manufacturing efforts is about six months’ time. We already have a very strong electronic supply chain in India, we do a lot of drives, power converters, solar inverters, which is a similar technology as being used in the EV charging side. It will not be difficult for us to add the fast-charger solution to existing electronics portfolio.

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How much have you invested in the e-mobility sector in India?
We have already invested in the first pilots, we have invested in sales people training and local engineering. And that story will continue as the ramp up of demand comes. We will localise manufacturing, expand existing manufacturing facilities to make sure we have enough capacity and then we will drive that growth going forward.

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