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EESL to procure 250 EVs from Tata Motors, Hyundai Motor India

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New Delhi: Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) on Thursday said it will procure 250 electric vehicles from Tata Motors and Hyundai Motor India.

Tata Motors Limited won a tender to supply 150 Nexon electric compact SUVs while Hyundai Motor India Ltd will supply 100 Kona electric SUVs for government use, an official statement said.

EESL will procure Tata Nexon at Rs 14.86 lakh each, Rs 13,000 cheaper than its ex-showroom price of Rs 14.99 lakh whereas, Hyundai Kona, which offers a higher range, will be procured at 11% lower price band of Rs 21.36 lakh and with a standard three-year warranty.

These electric vehicles will replace the existing fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles of the Central and State Governments. EESL has already received an order for 300 Long Range EVs from The Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT), Kerala to be supplied in initial phase.

The letter of award for the procurement was presented to the two companies, in the presence of Tata Motors CEO & MD Guenter Butschek, Tata Motors President Passenger Vehicle Business Unit Shailesh Chandra and Hyundai Motor India Ltd Director – Sales, Marketing & Service Tarun Garg.

This procurement will utilise $5 million from the recent grant provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). EESL has received financing from ADB towards the cost of scaling up and financing high priority areas like Demand Side Energy Efficiency Sector Projects.

EESL Executive Vice Chairperson Saurabh Kumar said a shift to EVs will reduce dependence on oil imports and promote power capacity addition in India. This will greatly enhance the energy security of the country and will also lead to reduction in GHG emissions from the transport sector. “We are also working on rapid establishment of EV charging stations, which will give a fillip to the electric vehicle sales, going forward,” he said.

Hyundai Motor India MD & CEO Seon Seob Kim said, “As a caring and responsible brand, it is our privilege to align with the government’s goal for clean energy and collaborate with all stakeholders to create a sustainable ecosystem for electric mobility. Hyundai will continue to bring world class eco-friendly products and technologies for Indian market contributing towards the cleaner and greener environment.”

Chandra said electric mobility is gaining ground in the country and partnerships such as these are pivotal for building the requisite momentum.

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Maruti Suzuki’s premium hatchback Swift India’s ‘best-selling’ car model in 2020

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New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki India on Saturday said its hatchback Swift has emerged as the best selling car model in India in 2020 with 1,60,700 units. In 2020, the model has also crossed the cumulative sales milestone of 23 lakh units since its launch in 2005. It crossed the 5 lakh milestone in 2010, 10 lakh in 2013 and 15 lakh in 2016, the company said in a statement.

Commenting on the milestone, Maruti Suzuki India Executive Director (Marketing & Sales) Shashank Srivastava claimed that “Swift has been the best-selling premium hatchback in the country for the past 15 years with over 2.3 million delighted customers.”

He further said, “Despite the adverse impact of COVID-19, brand Swift sold over 1,60,700 units in CY 2020, emerging as the top brand in the pecking order.”

The company said more than 53 per cent of Swift customers are below the age of 35 years, thus establishing the model as “the ‘coming of the age’ car with its tech-savvy features, value-for-money offerings and sporty design”.


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Tata Motors launches i-Turbo petrol variant of premium hatchback Altroz

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New Delhi: Tata Motors on Saturday launched the i-Turbo petrol variant of its premium hatchback Altroz at an introductory price increment of Rs 60,000 above the existing petrol variants of the model. The company has also added a new top of the line XZ+ variant in petrol and diesel fuel options to the Altroz range. It is priced at Rs 8.26 lakh for the petrol variant and Rs 9.46 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the diesel option.

The Altroz i-Turbo is launched at an introductory ex-showroom price increment of Rs 60,000 above the Altroz Revotron petrol variants, the company said in a statement.

At present, the petrol variants of the Altroz are priced between Rs 5.7 lakh and Rs 8.86 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

The i-Turbo variant of the Altroz comes with iRA-connected car technology which has 27 connected car features along with natural voice tech, through which the car understands commands not only in English or Hindi, but also in Hinglish, Tata Motors said.

The car is powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged BS-VI petrol engine delivering power of 110 PS at 5,500 rpm.

Commenting on the launch, Shailesh Chandra, Tata Motors President – Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, said since the launch in January 2020, in FY21, the company’s market share in the hatchback category has increased by 5.4 per cent compared to last fiscal.

“…we have captured 17 per cent market share in the premium hatchback segment. We are confident that the new Altroz range will cater to the evolving needs of the Indian customer, all while creating benchmarks in the segment,” he added.

The Altroz is the first product on the ALFA architecture and the company has sold more than 50,000 Altroz within its first year of launch.


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Tesla sues former employee for allegedly stealing software code

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Vehicles pass the Tesla Inc. assembly plant in Fremont, California, U.S., on Monday, May 11, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Tesla is suing a former employee and software engineer named Alex Khatilov, alleging trade secret theft and breach of contract.

In the complaint, the company accuses Khatilov of grabbing code and files from WARP Drive, a back-end software system that Tesla developed to automate a range of business processes involved in manufacturing and selling its cars. They also accuse him of deleting possible evidence when security teams confronted him.

Khatilov was hired to help Tesla’s Quality Assurance team create software that could automate tasks or business processes related to Environment, Health and Safety.

The complaint says he began working for Tesla on December 28, 2020, and almost immediately began uploading files and scripts (written in a programming language called Python) to his Dropbox account. Tesla confronted him about his alleged theft on January 6th.

The code is of concern to Tesla because it could reveal to competitors “which systems Tesla believes are important and valuable to automate and how to automate them – providing a roadmap to copy Tesla’s innovation,” the complaint says.

This isn’t the first time that Tesla has sued or accused ex-employees of trade theft. Tesla sued Guangzhi Cao for copying Autopilot source code to his personal accounts and devices in late 2018. That case is still ongoing.

The company also sued former employees who wound up at other electric and autonomous vehicle businesses, Rivian and Zoox, over alleged theft of intellectual property.

Tesla revealed in the new complaint on Friday that only 40 people of about 50,000 total employees work on the company’s Quality Assurance team that hired Khatilov. The company also says it has spent an estimated “200 man-years of work” to develop the code in question.

The case is here:


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