ABB eyes big chance in electric vehicles

"We have a number of interests, mainly in setting up charging infrastructure, creating energy storage (systems) and supplying power electronics," Bazmi Husain, managing director, ABB India told Hindustan Times.

ABB, which built electric vehicle prototypes in late 90s, now sets up charge stations that claim recharge range above 100 km in less than 10 minutes.

And Husain believes such technologies will be quiet helpful for India. "In countries like India where range anxiety is high, such technologies will be helpful."

ABB has forged partnerships with General Motors and Nissan for projects on the re-use of lithium-ion battery packs from their electric cars Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf for energy storage.

About prospects of partnerships with Indian automobile manufacturers or government for charging infrastructure or electric component supply, Husain said: "We have had some discussions. I cannot comment on that."

Electric vehicle business , at present, is buzzing in India as well. Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra have interests in electric vehicle business. After acquiring Norway-based electric vehicle company Miljo Grenland, Tata developed electric versions of its Indica small car and Ace van. Mahindra Reva has a formidable presence in electric car space. Meanwhile, government had announced setting up of a national mission to promote hybrid and electric vehicles.

"Right now, I would say electric car industry in India is in early stage," said Husain. "It requires better electrical infrastructure than we have today. We first have to keep our light bulbs on. But I am sure electric vehicle industry will develop."