VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh is likely to become the first state in South India to have an International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT), which will have facilities for homologation and testing of newly-manufactured automobiles.
Currently, the other two locations where these centres are set up are Gurugram and Pune. Speaking to TNIE on Monday, New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) vice-chairman and managing director S Ramana Reddy said on invitation, a team from ICAT-New Delhi convened a meeting with representatives of leading automobile manufacturing companies such as Ashok Leyland and KIA Motors, and Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Limited (APIIC) in Vijayawada a few days ago.
During the course of the meeting, ICAT representatives expressed their interest in setting up a laboratory in the state to extend facilities such as certification and homologation, design and engineering, research and development, testing and validation, consultancy, power train development, training and calibration to South India.
The ICAT representatives have asked the APIIC to facilitate enough land for setting up the research centre and assured of providing investments for the project. They are expected to come back during the second week of March and convene another round of discussions with the automobile manufacturing companies in Vijayawada or Anantapur, to consider their requirements and steps to be taken to set up the facilities in the proposed research centre, he said.
Asked about the role of the NREDCAP in the proposed project, Reddy said the corporation was the nodal agency for electric vehicles and mobility policy. As part of it, all the electric vehicles, newly manufactured, should get certified from agencies such as ICAT before they are sold it in the market. "At present, the certification procedure of newly-manufactured vehicles is taking at least three-to-four months. We have requested the ICAT to establish a research centre in the state," he said, adding the centre has sought a 250-acre land for the purpose.
Elaborating further, NREDCAP VC and MD said of the total 250 acre land sought by the ICAT representatives, around 10 acres would be allocated for building and testing laboratory and the remaining 240 acre land for vehicle, engine and component testing, vehicle evaluation, electromagnetic compatibility test, noise, and vibration, harshness and tyre tests. Apart from that, they also specified a 2 km long track
with 800 metres width for materialization of the project, he said.
"We have enough land banks in the state and the ICAT representatives are asking for a huge land bank near KIA Motors in Anantapur or in Sri City near Nellore. In case of land scarcity in Anantapur and Nellore districts, we are ready to provide such land in and around Vijayawada," Reddy said.