Bharat Forge expects rapid growth in e-mobility

New Delhi: Bharat Forge expects the company’s electric mobility and aerospace businesses to grow to several hundred million dollars on the back of rapid electrification in the automobile sector and a strong order book from the aerospace business, said its deputy managing director Amit Kalyani.

“Today, we have three large verticals – components, defence and industrial. We have two other smaller ones – aerospace and EV (electric vehicles). Over the next five years, these will become significant multi $100 million verticals,” Kalyani told ET.

On Thursday, Kalyani Powertrain Limited, the e-mobility arm of Bharat Forge unveiled a 12.9T GVW electric truck powered by a retrofitted electric drive-train. According to the company, it can be retrofitted to any of the existing diesel powered or compressed natural gas-powered light commercial vehicles (trucks and buses) at half the cost of a new electric truck and bus made by an automaker.

“There has been a significant scale-up in Bharat Forge’s defence business over the last one and a half years on the back of strong order flow from domestic and export customers. The scale-up of e-mobility and aerospace, however, has been slower than expected,” said an analyst at a domestic brokerage, who did not wish to be identified.

In the July-September quarter last year, Bharat Forge won Rs 500 crore worth of new business in industrial and commercial vehicle segments, including e-mobility business worth Rs 300 crore, the company said in an earnings call after its second quarter results.

Elaborating on the retrofitting business Kalyani said, “We believe that converting a vehicle from diesel to electric is a very good step before moving to a full electric vehicle as it lowers the entry costs and is also a greener solution as you are reusing 60-70% of the vehicle.”

The price of a retrofitted truck is twice that of a new internal combustion engine powered truck and is expected to reduce to one and a half times over the next couple of years with the lowering of battery prices, said Kalyani. Even at the current level, the price is much lesser when compared to a new electric truck, he said.

He said the company expects to sell a few thousand retrofitted units a year as the application will be confined to some niche segments.

The other businesses of Kalyani Powertrain include components and subsystems, such as chargers, traction drives, e-axles and traction motors. It is engaged in contract manufacturing electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers for other companies such as the Pune-based Tork Motors.

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