The story of the great struggle behind sales promotion of the DU012 for two-wheel EV in India

Kento Zaitsu
Car Electronics Div. Group Senior Sales Executive
Joined Shindengen in 2016: He worked on expanding sales for the Chinese market, and then became involved with products for two-wheel EV from 2018 onward. He has made repeated visits to China, India, and other regions; travelling all over the world to work towards promoting Shindengen products locally.

Koji Terashima
Car Electronics Div. Group Senior Engineer
Joined Shindengen in 2008: He held a successive series of posts in development of power management electronics software for two-wheel vehicle and general purposes products. He has been responsible for development of Power Control Units (PCU) since 2017. In 2022, he transferred to a department which was newly established in the Car Electronics Component Div. and is specialized in electrification, and has been active on the front lines of development in that area since.

There has been an acceleration in global discussions on achieving carbon neutrality in order to resolve climate change issues. India surpassed China to become the world's most populous country and is forecasted to have the world's 3rd highest gross domestic product (GDP) by 2027, however the country is also facing increasingly serious air pollution issues in contract to its accelerating economic growth. The Indian government has established a successive series of environmental policies, including BS6 (Bharat Stage 6, applicable from April 2020), and is promoting the shift to EV through a variety of initiatives including offering incentives for purchase of electric vehicles even in the two-wheel vehicle market, which has a demand of over 20 million units per year in India.

Shindengen is carrying out sales promotion activities in India as the Indian government has set a target for EV to make up 30% of all new vehicles sold in the country by 2030. In this section we will share the success story of the staff who carried out our new entry into the market of two-wheel EV PCU (Power Control Units) for local Indian manufacturers.



Exhibiting at a trade show in India approximately 5,800 kilometers away, and the decision to carry out joint development

The Auto Expo Component 2020 show was held in New Delhi in February 2020. The Car Electronics Div. Group took notice of the popularization of two-wheel EV in a country approximately 5,800 kilometers from Japan and decided that the division would exhibit independently for the first time with a booth at a trade show held in India.

  • Shindengen's booth at Auto Expo Component 2020

Zaitsu: Two-wheel EV had begun to garner more attention in India, little by little, and even though we carried out studies beforehand, we were uncertain whether or not there would be interest before actually participating in the exhibition.

Terashima: We carried out preparations based on market surveys and other company trends. We had confidence in our products, however we were not sure if they were what Indian customers were looking for or not, or if there was any deviation until we saw the local reaction.

Once the exhibition started, we had a constant stream of visitors interested in EV visit the booth. We received a lot of attention for our demonstrations of customizing and tuning software on-the-spot with a vehicle on display. This resulted in us being approached by one local manufacturer, with whom we hastily arranged a separate set of talks after the exhibition, and eventually decided to carry out joint development with.

The trial and error of building relationships of mutual trust during the COVID-19 pandemic

However, after the exhibition ended and we returned to Japan, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to grow day after day. We ended up in a situation where we had to use unfamiliar online tools for communication even within the development team, let alone being able to make business trips overseas.

Zaitsu: For Indian companies, the general style of business is for people to meet face-to-face and conduct business. We knew from the start that this would be a hurdle coming from Japan and having to deal with not just the distance but also time differences, however the circumstances made it so we could no longer visit directly in person, making it much more difficult to understand what the actual local conditions were.
Even communicating via email, because there is a 3.5 hour time difference between Japan and India, even if we sent email early in the morning, we would not always receive a reply immediately. This time lag made it difficult to grasp what they were thinking and determine what they wanted, and what the local opinions were, which all contributed to making it difficult to determine what our next steps should be.

Zaitsu and Terashima immediately made a visit to India as soon as conditions permitted, while continuing to monitor the COVID-19 circumstances.

Zaitsu: Being in Japan, we couldn't really fully determine what type of development style would be required when we were finally able to directly work on development together. Being able to communicate more directly immediately got development back on track.

Terashima: In India, they tend to use a development style where they build each individual function through trial and error, which differs from the style used in Japan where normally the specifications coordinated beforehand and then we move on to design. We had to have them explain exactly what they were looking for, and then actually physically work together in order to carry out development.

Repeated testing aimed at achieving goals

Terashima: When we visited India, we would exchange opinions based on our mutual experiences, and then repeatedly carry out tests. At one point, we received a request similar to what would be asked of a manufacturer for finished vehicles regarding how many kilometers the vehicle should be able to travel on a single charge. This was not something we could respond to on our own, but it was important and valuable to go through the process of listening to what it was they "wanted to do". At that time, we carried out what tuning we could locally from PCU side of things, such as switching up the DU012 parameters, and repeatedly carried out tests. Happily, we had multiple test vehicles there, which made the environment well suited to easily swapping out vehicles to carry out different trials, which helped us clarify what could be done from the PCU side of things, and what required coordination and adjustment from the side of the components with which the PCU would be combined. Even if it took more time, it was necessary to first actually try out things, and even if we felt this was a roundabout way of doing things, it served as a means and opportunity for communication and brought us closer to our goal.

Zaitsu: Directly listening to what their needs were, then responding, and then repeating this process over and over gradually helped us build those relationships of mutual trust. When we first met, it felt like our company was being tested to see how much we could achieve. I think I probably spent about a quarter of the year in 2021 in India. During my business trips, I would spend the entire day from morning to night together at their development locations working together on the vehicles and often having disputes. We repeated this process over and over, until one time on the last day of a trip when I was to return to Japan, they asked "When will you be able to back next?", showing that they were interested in having me return. It really showed me how their responses and approach to us changed thanks to our continued commitment.

Shipping of the first mass produced lot and working on new developments

This development began in another country, went through numerous repeated trials and errors, and was compounded by the complications and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic; but then in October of 2023, approximately 3 and half years after we first began, the development was finally declared complete. The client's continued and unshaking positivity, even in the face of the uncertain future, was also a driving factor which led to the first lots of mass produced DU012 being shipped by Shindengen India in May 2023.
Our company has also been asked to cooperate in the development of the next model, for which development has already begun. Development is being carried out mainly by members to whom the baton was passed by the DU012 development team.

Editor's postscript

This development had to start by overcoming language and time differences, the COVID-19 pandemic, and environments and circumstances which we had never experienced before, but we were able to achieve our goal by constantly staying in touch with customer opinions and thoughts despite the unclear future. The DU012 is the fruit of the determination and enthusiasm of the teams which repeatedly moved between the differing environments of Japan and India, and will likely become a product that will serve as a key point in power management electronics as we have entered an age in which the continued growth of two-wheel EV has come to be seen as an inevitability.

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