In April 2019, PPG completed the acquisition of Hemmelrath, an automotive coatings manufacturer.
Topics: Automotive and Transportation
To promote EVs in India on a larger scale, the Indian government in its Union budget today (5th July 2019) announced a reduction in GST from 12% to 5% for the electric vehicles sold in India. To make EVs more affordable for Indian consumers, the Indian government will also provide an additional income tax deduction of Rs. 1.5 lakh on the interest paid on the loans taken to purchase EVs.
Maruti Suzuki – an Indian car manufacturer giant, recently announced to phase out production of diesel cars by next year i.e. April 2020. This announcement from Maruti Suzuki is in sync with the implementation of BS6 norms in India and mirrors emerging global trends. The company’s decision is anticipated to be majorly driven by high cost of upgrading diesel engines to BS6 norms. However, to fill this void, the company aims to shift its focus towards hybrid technology driven vehicles and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz Cars, in association with telecommunications company Telefónica Deutschland and network supplier Ericsson, is setting up the world’s first 5G network for automobile production in its Factory 56 in Sindelfingen, Germany. This is the first time the 5G mobile communications standard is being implemented into the running production. The 5G technology can rapidly process huge data sets. The 5G standard allows fast data transmission rates, with extremely low latency and a high level of reliability. Mercedes-Benz Cars is planning to implement such innovation in its other plants as well.
On 4th June 2019, Cohda Wireless (Australia) and Sasken Technologies (India) announced a strategic technology partnership to accelerate the adoption of V2X (vehicle-to-anything) in the connected vehicles space. The companies plan to utilize cellular or DSRC (dedicated short-range communication) technologies. Cohda Wireless is a global leader in connected autonomous vehicles technologies, whereas Sasken Technologies is a leading product engineering and digital transformation services provider. The partnership will help create a complete TCU (Telematics Control Unit) software reference design that would include Sasken's TCU software and middleware coupled with Cohda Wireless' DSRC/C-V2X (cellular V2X) stack and applications.
On April 23, 2019, Google announced that it has partnered with American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc., to repurpose an existing facility that was most recently used as a sequencing center for a local parts supplier. The site is a facility owned by American Axle in Hamtramck, Michigan, Detroit. The goal is to begin moving into the facility by mid-2019 and prepare the site for manufacturing Level 4 (L4) autonomous vehicles. The company has planned to invest USD 13.6 million to retrofit this facility.
On 3rd March 2019, Volvo Electric Buses and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) launched Volvo 7900, the world’s first full size, autonomous electric bus. The single deck electric bus is 12 meters long and has a full capacity of 80 passengers. The autonomous electric bus is equipped with Global Positioning System, numerous sensors, stereo video cameras for recording the surround view, and navigation controls managed by a comprehensive artificial intelligence.
On 4th March 2019, Sono Motors, a German electric vehicle start-up, unveiled an updated production design of the Sion, an electric car with full-surface integrated solar cells. These solar cells are embedded in hard-wearing and resilient polymer, which also contribute to the vehicle’s design aesthetic. The Sion is aimed at the European market. Sono Motors started registering pre-orders for Sion and has successfully recorded registrations for more than 9,000 units. The company declared that it would initiate the production of Sion in Sweden by mid-2020.
The pressing need of the transportation industry to produce lightweight vehicles with superior functional capabilities is driving the lightweight metal alloys penetration in the industry. CAFÉ regulations and growing demand for electric vehicles are pushing the automakers to adopt lightweight solutions. Aluminum and magnesium alloys are the most commonly used lightweight metals, followed by titanium and beryllium. Lightweight material can drastically reduce the overall weight of the vehicle, reduce CO2 emissions, improve fuel consumption, and are completely recyclable.