Interplex is a world-class design and manufacturing company, pioneering interconnect, and mechanical products for a wide range of markets such as Mobility, Medical and Information & Communications Technology. They solve complex customer challenges and bring imaginative ideas to life. They create value by helping customers reduce their Total Cost of Ownership leveraging their unique multi-disciplinary skill-set from both electro-mechanical and mechanical disciplines.
Electronics Era: Could you please tell us more about Cell PLX by Interplex, its features and characteristics?
Ms. Varsha Kadam: Cell PLX is a solution that goes into the battery interconnect system of four-wheeler, two- wheeler or any electric vehicle. This connects the battery cells regardless of the cell type, cylindrical, pouch, blade, or prismatic. By serving as a current collector assembly, Cell PLX efficiently transfers the current and distributes it to the respective systems within the vehicle.
Electronics Era: As a global battery interconnect manufacturer, what challenges are you facing in a rapidly changing technological era to fulfill customer demands?
Ms. Varsha Kadam: We are facing new challenges every day due to new specifications; legislations changes and evolving customer design and technology. We need to be agile and closely aligned with our customers in this dynamic environment. We must understand what technologies they are considering and what raw materials they are interested in. Additionally, we must proactively conduct trials and stay ahead of the curve to sustain the market changes. For example, within the battery interconnect system we started with mechanical interconnects. Initially these were manufactured with copper, followed by aluminum, nickel and tin plating. Now we are already talking of sigma clad material. We maintain a close collaboration with OEMs to stay updated on the changes within the ecosystem and take the necessary actions.
Electronics Era: What are your market strategies for the year 2023-2024?
Ms. Varsha Kadam: In India, we are experiencing a growth rate twice that of the market. For example, the CAGR of two-wheeler is 50% for coming years. At the moment, we are gaining momentum in the market as we are collaborating/engaging with the majority of OEMs in two-wheeler, three-wheeler and four-wheeler segments.
The India government announced that by 2023 the average of EV needs to be at least 30%. National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP): The NEMMP sets a target to achieve 30% electric vehicle penetration in new vehicle sales by 2030. It focuses on promoting hybrid and electric mobility across various vehicle segments, including two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and public transportation.
To achieve this all OEMs are benefiting from initiatives such as the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles), the PLI (Production Linked Incentives) scheme, and the battery swapping policy, which have been implemented by the government.
FAME provides a government incentive of $1.3 billion to the OEMs for faster adoption and manufacturing. The PLI scheme, also called PLI ACC, amounts approximately $2.45 billion and is specifically aimed at key players and any battery manufacturers who are committed to reach a certain gigawatts capacity for the government of India. We are actively working and engaging with them to be part of their battery pack system.
On the other side there are key players who are working on swappable batteries, Interplex is one of those key players working in this space. With respect to revenue, Interplex is growing 2x faster than CAGR. For context, overall CAGR is around 36% with two-wheeler CAGR at 50% and four-wheeler little lower than both 2W & 3W.
Electronics Era: According to you what are the e-mobility trends we will see in India in the coming year?
Ms. Varsha Kadam: In the EV industry, there are several upcoming trends concerning two-wheelers. For example, safety introductions mandated by the ARAI and government bodies are making the vehicles more robust. As a result, all vehicle parts must meet the ruggedness requirements and comply with AIS 152 standard, which were implemented in April of this year. This implementation has led to a 7% increase in vehicle prices and overall components. In the case of three-wheelers and four-wheelers, different technologies and cell types are being used by OEMs.
For instance, some OEMs use cylindrical cells, while others use pouch cells, prismatic cells, etc. in different vehicles. Currently all two-wheelers’ OEMs are using cylindrical cells. However, a few two-wheeler OEMs are starting to think of using pouch cells due to the market trend of achieving an extra mileage on a single charge. If a current player, for example, gives 250 kilometers range, it becomes challenging to use the vehicle on long distance rides. Nevertheless, the trends are changing, with many f players introducing swappable battery technologies.
The government is also pressuring the development of charging infrastructure, resulting in numerous players participating in bidding and investment, we see a lot of traction in this area, but it may take longer for four wheelers, especially vehicles from key OEMs. On the other hand, two-wheelers are expected to experience substantial success, a which is already evident in the market. Compared to last year, the two-wheeler segment has already seen more than a 100% increase, and the key players have tripled their volumes.
Electronics Era: As you know that government is doing lots of initiatives and policies for e-mobility environment. Various PLI’s also announced. Would you suggest some further measures according to you?
Ms. Varsha Kadam: Having the reliable battery system, complete battery pack, the Cell PLX, or a battery interconnect system, along with the robust BMS that helps prevent fire incidents, the total vibration tests and the temperature analysis needs to be done. Interplex can provide those services to the OEMs. We can help the OEMs, the Tier1 or Tier 2 to do that. In fact, we have been doing so for many of our OEMs to ensure compliance with the AIS 152 safety standards in India.
We have already implemented it with our customers, and it has been successfully running in the field for the past two years. We can help startups or any OEMs to develop stable and safe solutions to be compliant with the schemes.
Initiatives like FAME, PLI scheme for advanced battery chemistry and the battery swapping policy valid 2025, are helping OEMs today as the government allocates substantial funding. But once that is out, OEMs will need to bring more local content.
In such in cases, companies like Interplex will help them with the localization efforts. Because many larger OEMs, especially in four-wheeler segment to avail FAME scheme must reach a minimum localization content spelled out by government of India. We can help them in localizing designs but also manufacturing and delivering products locally.
They must reach a minimum localization rate of 45%. We can help them in localizing designs but also manufacturing and delivering products locally.