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Coimbatore group to help MSMEs shift to e-vehicle sector

Society formed to organise B2B meetings, set up facilities and share knowledge

With e-mobility getting a push through government schemes and policies and manufacturers working on e-vehicles, thousands of Micro, Small, and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the State that supply components to the automobile sector need to look at opportunities in the e-vehicle sector, as domestic e-vehicle manufacturers are importing a lot of components, mainly from China.

To drive indigenisation of components, handhold MSMEs and create the required infrastructure, a group of industries, institutions, and professionals in Coimbatore have formed Society for Smart E-Mobility. The society will launch Chennai and Bengaluru chapters too.

According to S. Chandrasekar, corporate director of Roots Group of Companies, to start with, the society plans to appoint a consultant to come out with a White Paper on e-mobility, with focus on Coimbatore.

While a regular automobile will need about 2,000 parts, an e-vehicle might require just 100. It will be a very focused sector. Some of the MSMEs can use the existing facilities and start production for e-vehicles.

G.R. Mohan, society secretary, said Tamil Nadu, especially Coimbatore, have some basic strengths. These can be leveraged to produce locally the components that are imported.

“We need to orient the manufacturers towards this area. Some facilities such as testing laboratories need to be set up in the south. It requires government support. Currently, vehicle manufacturers go to Pune and it involves a lot of time and money.”

There are at least a dozen companies in Coimbatore that are into e-vehicles at different levels.

The e-vehicle sector will open up opportunities for startups. However, it is one area that needs collaborative approach to bring in technologies, indigenise, and develop.

“The China story is a completely a small-scale story. It has 400 e-vehicle manufacturers.” SMEs here too can tap the opportunities. There are many who are looking at moving to EV engines. The society will look at organising business-to-business meetings, help in setting up of facilities and encourage knowledge sharing, he said.

R. Ramamurthy, president of Coimbatore District Small Industries Association, said a few SMEs were already vendors to e-vehicle manufacturers. “We are capable of making the technology shift and will invest too when orders start coming in.”

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