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Looking To Piggyback On Safety Standards And BSVI Emission Norms In India, Says Dr. Volkmar Denner, Bosch Group CEO

During his recent visit to India, Dr. Volkmar Denner, Bosch CEO stated, “Leapfrogging from Bharat Stage IV to VI emission norms is a huge opportunity for Bosch because we (the auto industry) needs hi-technology in order to do this

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Robert Bosch GmbH, a leading global multinational engineering and electronics company, stated that the upcoming safety and emission norms in India will not open up new vistas for the company but will also be for the betterment of society. The Indian arm of the German auto component giant has already started developing some products and solutions that its customers (automakers) will need when such norms kick in. The Gerlingen, near Stuttgart-based firm has also announced its plans to invest Rs. 1,700 crore in India in the next three years with the majority of the amount being deployed towards Bosch's smart campus in Adugodi as well as for the modernisation of its manufacturing facilities in the country.
During his recent visit to India, Dr. Volkmar Denner, Bosch CEO stated, “Leapfrogging from Bharat Stage IV to VI emission norms is a huge opportunity for Bosch because we (the auto industry) needs hi-technology in order to do this. We are happy that the government keeps pushing for safety as a mandatory feature for vehicles. The introduction of ABS in two-wheelers for 125cc and above is a huge push for Bosch’s business because we have very good products for the local requirements. I do say (that) not only because Bosch profits from it but because they are necessary to meet the fatalities on the roads. According to official numbers, (there are) 150,000 (road) fatalities in India every year.”

When asked about govt’s push towards electric vehicles, he affirmed, “We do not hold (anything) against electric mobility. On the contrary, we believe in the electric vehicle future. We have been keeping investments very high on EV technology (globally).  For example, we are already the market leader in the world's largest electric market which is China. Of course, we will do everything to prepare the company for this electrified future and we believe in EV future. We also entered completely new markets with electrification schemes. For example- In the Two wheelers space i.e. bicycles to scooters Bosch is very active for many years. We believe in electric future. But we are (also) of the opinion that as an industry, we need (an) adequate transfer period. That is in the interest of the whole industry and not just Bosch. So, there should be a balance in this shift so that we can also ensure enough employment in the industry. If the shift is happening too fast, then this is, of course, going create a problem. But if this is taken into account and if we have a transition phase; we have a possibility to adjust. I think for Bosch as a technology leader, it offers more chances than challenges.”

When quizzed on the product lines that Bosch will make for EVs in India, he maintained, “If you look at the various components that we need for electrical vehicles, we have made enormous cost progress on the motors, power electronics, and gearbox. The recent development that Bosch has shown to the public, where we have combined all, has already again driven costs down additionally. We have also seen a lot of cost progress of battery in recent years. This has to go on at that rate for that breakthrough to happen.”

When asked to shed some light on the current challenges towards 100% e-mobility in India, he maintained, “First of all, if you want to have e-vehicles on the road, you have to empower your electric grids and second, you have to build the charging infrastructure for all these vehicles. That is also sometimes lacking in the public discussion (and) it is a complicated system optimization. So you need to look at the whole value chain. In this case, how do you create electricity? It is the grid and it is basically the last mile grid (that is) able to sustain a large number of e-vehicles. As I said, somebody has to build up and pay for the charging infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, Bosch Group is also planning to integrate breakthrough mobility services and AI in India. Apart from Sunnyvale(US) and Renningel (Germany), India is also one of the three key locations for the company globally in terms of driving innovation in artificial intelligence space. In 2017, the company had invested 300 million pounds in its Bosch Centre for Artificial Intelligence, one of which is located in Bangalore. Around 18,000 out of Bosch’s 31,000 associates in India work in research and development (R&D).