Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) today said it has invested Rs 16 crore to install LED lights at 18 manufacturing sites in a tie-up with the state-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL). The two parties signed an agreement towards the project that envisages saving 20 million units of electricity per annum a statement said. M&M and Tata Motors are the only two companies selected by EESL to supply 500 electric cars in the first phase. M&M emphasised the need for bringing down the cost of the e-vehicle to make it financially viable through localisation as well as suitable infrastructure.
"We are delighted to partner EESL in making our manufacturing facilities energy efficient. At Mahindra, we view sustainability as a vital business strategy thereby helping our stakeholders to `Rise'. "As a responsible organisation not only have we adopted energy efficient solutions in our manufacturing facilities but have also encouraged our suppliers, dealer partners, and employees to do so, to reduce carbon emissions for a cleaner, smarter and greener tomorrow," said M&M Ltd Managing Director Pawan Goenka.
He said the paybacks and benefits from sustainability will be much higher for the suppliers than the company itself. Sustainability does not come at a price but it helps make money. "In a way, it (the partnership) is a small, baby step that we are taking towards making the planet more livable, and also a contribution towards a commitment that our Prime Minister made at the COP21 about reducing energy density per unit GDP by one-thirds by 2030 and also about use of renewable energy resources, he said.
According to the company, it has saved as much as Rs 200 crore in the last five years by way of adopting various energy conservation measures. This collaboration is EESL's first private sector engagement to promote energy-efficient appliances in a working space and is aimed at encouraging private sector to adopt energy efficient appliances. While the Mahindra will be investing Rs 16 crore for the project, EESL will render technical assistance, cost efficient procurement and project management services.
"This partnership marks a very significant step towards promoting an energy-efficient lifestyle among corporates and large facilities in India," said EESL managing director Saurabh Kumar. He said the company, a joint venture of state-run companies engaged in the energy space, seeks more such collaborations with the private sector to adopt energy efficient appliances that will help them in reducing operational costs.
"We are talking to other corporates, particularly banks, who have about 2-lakh ATMs, where they use ACs and lights. We have given the proposal to many large banks like HDFC the SBI, Dena Bank, and Union Bank, among others. "In some cases, they want us to do pilot projects, which have already done. In one month or two, we will roll this out in the banking sector as well," Kumar said. He said EESL has already replaced some 27 crore conventional energy bulbs with LED bulb in domestic use, adding, "In terms of public lighting and industrial lighting we have changed 37-lakh light equipment."
Apart from these facilities, energy audits are being undertaken at six other manufacturing facilities to explore further energy saving opportunities like waste heat recovery, energy efficient motors and heating, ventilating and air- conditioning, the statement said. Goenka also said the purpose of energy audit by the EESL is aimed at suggesting M&M ways on "reducing energy consumption by 20-25 percent." Last year, the company had made a commitment to double energy productivity by 2030 and also invest USD 10 per tonne of carbon emitted in technologies to reduce its carbon footprint.
In June this year, Mahindra had tied up with EESL to make the homes of its employees energy efficient, the company said, adding 20,000 staffers have signed up for it. To a question on setting up battery storage facility for e-vehicles, Goenka said it is the next big thing that can happen, adding, 'right now, it is very expensive. The day storage costs come down to Re 1 per km or something like that, then there will be tremendous sort of change that will happen."
Today the biggest cost on the electric vehicle is the cells that go into the battery, he said, adding, "the cells are manufactured by large manufacturers around the world." "Globally, we have Samsung and LG from Korea, Panasonic from Japan and lots of manufacturers from China and small manufacturers in US and Europe.
"But there are no battery cell manufacturers in India. When local manufacturing begins then cost of a battery will come down significantly and electric cars will get more affordable," he said.
He said if the issues of costs and infrastructure along with localisation are addressed, e-vehicle will take-off in a big way. EESL, as part of its EV procurement programme, has proposed to replace at least 10,000 government vehicles, which are currently running on petrol and diesel with e-vehicles.
The orders for supply of nearly 9,500 electric cars in the second phase will be issued after the completion of deliveries of the 500 EVs in the first phase, which will commence from November 15. M&M has stated that it would not supply more than 150 electric cars in the first phase as it would incur losses if it goes beyond that.
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