Indo Italian Chamber of Commerce & ACMA conduct Automotive seminar
Written by Pankaj C   
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
"Innovative Eco-Technologies & Designs for the Automotive Sector - An Italian perspective"

Mumbai: The Indo Italian Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s flagship event Festa Italiana 2008 saw a series of conferences, seminars, and business meetings arranged for various sectors. During this event, an automotive seminar in collaboration with the Automotive Components Manufacturers Association (ACMA) titled, "Innovative Eco-Technologies & Designs for the Automotive Sector - An Italian perspective" was held on Thursday, 6th November, 2008 at the Hall of Harmony, Nehru Center, Worli, Mumbai.

With the Mayor of Torino (Turin), Mr. Sergio Chiamparino, present as Chief Guest, the seminar discussed the new and emerging environmental technologies, which are now better able to marry development and environmental objectives together. The round-table discussed hybrid, electrical, hydrogen and other fuel cell technologies and means of cleaner energies. The audience for this seminar consisted of automotive manufacturers, component manufacturers and other relevant people and organizations from this industry. Some Environment and Educational institutions were also invited for this event.

The welcome address was provided by Mr. Ramanna Anand, Vice President of the Indo Italian Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Chairman of Eastern Engineering Company followed by introductory remarks by Mr. Surinder P. Kanwar, the Chairman of ACMA (Western Region) and Chairman & MD – Bharat Gears Ltd. providing information on ACMA and its services and the Secretary General of the Turin Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Guido Bolatto providing insights into the various public-private partnerships present in Turin in its efforts to build on cleaner transportation and eco-friendly vehicles of the future.

Pertaining to the theme, Piaggio Vehicles’ Mr. Rajesh Gupta, Director – Marketing, provided information on the history of the company and how Piaggio had changed the logistic scene with the launch of their Piaggio Ape in India. Piaggio’s Mr. Luca Carmignani gave the example of the new quieter three wheel scooter, MP3-125 and 250. The 125 cc is powered by carburetor and develops 15 hp (top speed: 103 kph/64 mph). The MP3 250 is powered by electronic injection and develops 22.5 hp (top speed: 125 kph/77.6 mph). Average fuel consumption of the 125 is 5 l/100 km, 6 l/100 km for the 250. The respective fuel ranges, before hitting the reserve (1.8 l), are 200 and 170 km (124 and 105.5 miles). 

FIAT India’s Mauro Mollo, Powertrain Division & Plant Head and Mr. Roberto Dalmasso enlightened the audience on the new Euro 6 engines for the future and how FIAT’s new plant at Ranjangaon has used the latest machinery in the making of its plant.

One of the most interesting speakers for the day was Mr. Marzio Bianchi, Sr. Consultant & Technical Coordinator with ‘From Concept to Car’, an automotive project in Turin. Mr. Bianchi spoke on the new Hydrogen Scooter; H – Due – the vehicle, a dynamic, clean, conscientious and harmonious mate had been presented for the first time at the SAE World Congress 2008. With the financial aid provided by the Turin Chamber of Commerce, the third largest Chamber of Commerce in Italy after Rome and Milan. Various companies and institutes from the region of Piemonte participated in making the Hydrogen Scooter. H – Due ecological, void of harmful emission, H-Due   can be used in historical areas, parks and areas closed to traffic and is aimed for public and private use, with a low manufacturing cost. H-due was created to fulfill a sustainable request for urban mobility. Compact and ergonomic, it combines desired styles of appealing forms with unusually simple design.

Mr. Darius Lam, Assistant Editor – Autocar Professional was the moderator chosen for the round-table who concluded that the urgent need to make vehicles more environment-friendly was without a doubt the most significant and costly challenge facing the global and Indian automotive industry. This trend has been given an additional impetus by the recent increases in fuel prices and growing concerns over global warming which are leading to tighter emission norms around the world.  

While companies like Toyota were pushing hybrid technology with their Prius model, others like GM were planning to launch plug-in hybrids like the Volt in 2010. Here in India, Mahindra and Mahindra also had recently launched the micro hybrid versions of its Scorpio and Bolero models which use Start-Stop technology that has been jointly developed by Bosch. Meanwhile, Tata Motors too had just bought a 50 percent share in a Norway based electric vehicle company and planned to launch an electric version of its Indica in 2009. 

Mr. Lam added that it was clear that the electric motors would supplement and then increasingly replace the internal combustion engine as the prime mover in vehicles over the coming years. While batteries would provide the energy source for these electric motors in the medium term, the longer term source of power was likely to be hydrogen powered fuel cells. All these developments would certainly help minimize the environmental impact of vehicles and make them significantly more energy efficient.

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