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The 14th edition of Auto Expo will focus on green technology.

Story by: Ashish Bhatia

Opening its doors to the stakeholders of the Indian automotive industry from February 08, 2018, the 14th edition of the Auto Expo will focus on vehicles and technologies in the area of bio-fuels and electricity. The biennial event organised by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (SIAM) in association with the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), will have the vehicle display part at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida, between February 09 and February 14, 2018. The auto components part of the show will be held at Pragati Maidan between February 08 and February 11, 2018.

Coming at a time when the regulatory pressures on the Indian auto industry are rising, the premier show will witness 24 launches and roughly 100 unveilings. Many new or improved passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and two-wheelers will be unveiled at the Auto Expo 2018. With the implementation of CAFE norms scheduled for April, the new launches will stress upon the commitment by OEMs to build environmentally friendly automobiles. With technologies that hold the potential to bring down hazardous pollution levels, many Indian cities have come to face, the 2018 edition of Auto Expo will promote technologies that will influence future of mobility. Expressed Arun Malhotra, Chairman, SIAM Trade Fair, that the show will serve as a platform for the best mobility and technology offerings. “Auto Expo has emerged as a global platform for automotive manufacturers to showcase their products, technologies and vision. This edition, we are confident, will set new benchmarks in terms of mobility solutions,” he mentioned.

Enjoying the participation of automotive OEMs Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Mahindra & Mahindra, SML Isuzu, Renault India, Hyundai, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Ashok Leyland, Piaggio, BMW, and JBM Auto among others, the premier fair will also witness the participation of new entrants like Kia Motors. The Tata Motors pavilion, under the ‘smart mobility, smart cities’ theme will have 26 smart mobility solutions on display. These would support the Government’s smart cities vision by providing end-to-end integrated mobility solutions spanning commercial vehicles as well as passenger vehicles. In the case of CVs, Tata Motors will a new design language. Keen to bring global innovations to meet the mobility needs of customers, Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors, mentioned that they are the only Indian automotive manufacturer with an end-to-end product portfolio.

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Unveiling a 9 m electric trolley bus in association with Solaris, and with an overhead charging infrastructure by ABB, at Auto Expo 2016, JBM is expected to launch the EcoLife electric bus. Claimed to have been developed by the joint venture JBM Auto inked with Solaris Bus & Coach S.A., the EcoLife electric bus has been subjected to rigorous testing in India and is said to have been engineered, designed and manufactured at JBM’s Kosi (Uttar Pradesh) plant. Using Solaris technology, the bus is claimed to have its body built at JBM’s Ballabhgarh plant. JBM is said to be investing Rs.300 crore in the public transport space spanning the next three years. A large chunk of this investment would go to boost the electric bus portfolio.

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Mahindra Trucks and Buses will showcase the BSIV Blazo range of medium and heavy CVs. The company will also display the new Comfio wide body bus based on the LCV platform. It is aimed at staff and tourist segments where the requirement of space and comfort are paramount. Mahindra Trucks and Buses is also expected to unveil a range of new ICVs. The ICVs will feature a new 3.5-litre engine. Maruti Suzuki is expected to highlight hybrid technology and its salient features at the show. It will display hybrid vehicle cutaways to highlight the working of a hybrid system in an automobile. Maruti Suzuki is also expected to showcase the Super Carry SCV at the premier fair. The small pick-up truck is available in diesel and CNG. Cummins India will reiterate its transition from supplying engines to offering complete powertrain solutions. The company will showcase energy diversity in terms of electrification of commercial vehicles, components and readiness for different fuel systems. It will display the new BSVI compliant engines at its booth

Marking a departure from conventional ways of the static display of motor vehicles, the 14th edition of Auto Expo, under the ‘Entire Mobility Eco-system’ theme will have a dynamic display. There will be multiple zones for different activities keeping in tune with the theme of the expo according to Sugato Sen, Deputy Director General, SIAM. “The focus would be on new technologies and innovation,” he mentioned. Said to be a part of the efforts by the organisers to add more excitement to the fair, a kaleidoscopic journey of the automobile industry will be a part of the theme. The organisers of Auto Expo will also have special zones. These will provide visitors a holistic view of the industry. The Motorsports Club of India, for example, will display rally vehicles and a host of memorabilia. At the auto gaming arena, the e-gaming society will organise an all-India auto gaming championship for the first time. A future decoded (VR Zone) zone will provide a virtual reality experience of driving connected and autonomous electric vehicles. Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence, the premier fair will also have a special zone. The fair will display vintage (heritage) and supercars. To make it more engaging, the organisers, as part of several initiatives, will display commercial vehicles like milk vans, army trucks, school buses, postal vehicles, fire tenders and refrigerated vans at the fair.

MG Group e-three wheeler

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MG Group will showcase an electric three-wheeler concept at the Auto Expo 208. It is engineered to meet the growing demand for transport and employs electric propulsion system and a composite body. Addressing the needs for last mile transportation, the electric three-wheeler concept, called E3, has been engineered in association with Greaves Cotton. Touted as a new age concept, the E3 is battery operated. The fully-electric drivetrain package from Greaves Cotton is claimed to help the concept deliver high performance and low cost of ownership. A zero emission vehicle, the E3 boasts of a superior power to weight ratio. The composite body helps to keep the weight down. It also does away with the threat of corrosion a conventional metal body of a vehicle would be subject to. Free of noise, the E3 is said to offer superior driveability and driver comfort. Also said to offer high passenger comfort, the E3, reflecting upon the capability of the various MG Group companies, could drive a distinct change in the three-wheelers segment. Indigenously developed, the E3 was conceptualised and engineered by MG Group’s in-house design team at MG West & Deccan. The E3 body is said to have been engineered with composite panels using VPI (closed moulding infusion technology). MG Composites worked on the body. It is a fully integrated composites producer with in-house design capability, pattern making, toolings and mass production facilities.

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