Mr. Girish Kamala – Director & Country Head for Automotive Sales at Infineon Technologies India, talks about development of the EV ecosystem in India so far and how Infineon’s industry leading semiconductor solutions are making EV’s more efficient.
Q 1. ) How Infineon, as a leading semiconductor manufacturer, has been helping the automobile industry in making their vehicles better, faster, smarter, more efficient and less expensive?
Mr. Girish Kamala: A conventional electric car is designed to replace a combustion engine car. As such, range becomes a major design issue. This affects the on-board battery size and therefore the cost. Every cubic inch of the battery needs to be maximized for energy storage and retrieval, and every electrical conversion loss has to be minimized for all battery topologies.
This involves semiconductor solutions that can sense, control and actuate with high efficiency – an area of strength for Infineon. We are already delivering market-leading electric vehicle solutions for two – and three-wheeler segments; supporting our local 2-wheeler customers with Proof of Concepts enabling shorter R&D cycle time, fast ramp to production and time to market. We are working on battery management system, motor control, low and high voltage inverter solutions, battery cut-off switch, and DC-DC converter solutions to name a few.
On the infrastructure, Infineon offers fast charging technologies that will not only reduce idle time but also the number of charging stations, making various business models more appealing to public and private investors alike.
Q 2.) How do you see the automobile industry evolving in India and where does it stand as compared to more developed markets in the US, Western Europe or even Japan and South Korea?
Mr. Girish Kamala: India is an evolving and dynamic market. The affordability index and the availability of credit for purchase of automobiles are trending up. Cost and value for money being the main driver in India, people prefer small sized SUV’s and cars, but with premium value comfort features and offerings.
Safety and emission applications in India are driven more by legislation and less by customer demand. The emphasis is still on internal combustion engines because the infrastructure to support EV needs to be developed.
Q 3. ) How the increasing adoption of electric mobility will expand the role of semiconductor companies like Infineon?
Mr. Girish Kamala: Increased usage of electronics is definitely a positive for Infineon. It will drive investments in newer and energy efficient technologies including on-board and off-board charging, electric drive train components, inverters, DC-DC, battery management systems to name a few. Higher volumes and use will lead to reduction in prices. It will help in development of modules rather than components. Eg. Hybrid pack. New development centres and CoC in India would be established to support 2W and 3W customers.
Q 4. ) How far we are ready in terms of technology to realise the ambitious vision of seeing complete electrification of passenger mobility in India by 2030? What challenges and opportunities do you see here?
Mr. Girish Kamala: Full electrification by 2030 will be a significant challenge for India, as we stand today. This will require an out of the box thinking on how to meet the technology and infrastructure requirements while still maintaining the social harmony and balance.
There are various issues such as infrastructure, eco-system, cost of technology, availability of raw material – cobalt, Lithium, system know-how, serviceability of vehicles, reliance on import for technology and products, that could pose serious challenges to the vision of 100% electrification in India by 2030. In terms of opportunities, India’s EV drive will help to develop our home grown technology, cost effective and value add solutions, create sustenance for start-ups and give a boost to the “make in India” program.