DRDO chief stresses need for indigenous tech in Defence

The government wants to increase indigenous production in the Defence sector up to 70% and reduce imports, said Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chairman G. Satheesh Reddy.

He, along with NITI Aayog member V.K. Saraswat, launched the EPluto 7G vehicle by Pure EV on the premises of Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H), on Sunday. Addressing the gathering, Mr Reddy said that they are looking for innovations in defence technology and are ready to support them. Many startups have emerged in the past four years, he said while recalling the instance of a young entrepreneur’s material technologies idea.

The DRDO chief also mentioned that a proposal for 1,000 e-buses manufacturing plant near Hyderabad is under active consideration.

Mr. Saraswat said in 2020-2021, five to six 2 GWh battery manufacturing plants would come up and NITI Aayog was ready encourage those who come up with proposals. He said India is also considering getting lease of lithium mines abroad so that manufacturing cells will be easy, which costs 40% of the battery, in India.

‘Join hands with ARCI’

He also advised Pure EV to join hands with International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI).

Pure EV CEO Rohit Vadera said EPluto 7G has a range of 116 km per full charge and runs with a maximum speed of 60 km per hour. Battery warranty is for 40,000 kilometres. He said the company presently has 50 outlets and they are going to increase it to 200 by the end of this year. He added that the vehicle has been designed to suit Indian terrain and weather conditions.

Nishant Dongari, IIT-H associate professor and founder of Pure EV, said the battery technology was patented and they have state-of-the-art facilities for the assembly and testing of lithium battery packs.

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