Punjab in talks with Japan over electric buses

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2

The Punjab Government is in talks with Japan to launch electric (EV) buses based on the Japanese model of state-of-the-art quick-charge lithium ion batteries, beginning with a pilot of five buses.

The government will take forward the discussions on the Japanese EV corridor during the forthcoming Progressive Punjab Investors Summit 2019, in which Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), a Japanese government-related body, is partnering for the country session. JETRO promotes mutually beneficial trade and investment between Japanese organisations and other countries.

A delegation led by the Japanese Ambassador to India will attend the summit, which will also see participation from key stakeholders from Mitsui, SML Isuzu, Mitsubishi and Yanmar, according to Vini Mahajan, Additional Chief Secretary, Investment Promotion and Additional Chief Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Punjab.

Punjab is also pursuing for a Centre of Excellence in advanced and emerging technologies (AI/IoT) with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEIT), envisaged under the umbrella MoU between METI, Japan and MEIT, India, said Vini.

In recent past, Japan has undertaken significant investment in the state, particularly in the automobile sector. In August, Ludhiana-based Vardhman Special Steels Ltd received a capital infusion of approximately Rs 50 crore from Japan’s Aichi Steel Corp, which acquired 11.4% stake in Indian steel major. In September 2018, Sumitomo Corp., which holds over 50% stake in SML ISUZU, invested Rs 200 crore in technology, product development and expanding production capacity at its Nawanshahr plant in Punjab.

Other Japanese companies that have invested in Punjab’s automobile industry are Yanmar Holding, Toppan Printing and Kansai Nerolac Paints. Kansai Nerolac, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kansai Paint Company Ltd, Japan started commercial operation at their new state-of-the-art plant in Punjab located at Goindwal Sahib near Amritsar. It has a capacity of 38,000 MT per year, which is expandable in phases, at an estimated cost of Rs 180 crore.

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