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Lessons Learned from India, Europe and Japan

1.

Battery-powered equipment is on an incredible global rise.

Regions across the globe are dealing with the electrification trend in unique ways, and their experiences offer lessons for the rest of the world.

2.

India, Europe and Japan are three places to watch closely.

India is experiencing an electrification boom in 3-wheelers, Japan in AI-powered farming equipment, and Europe in electric lawnmowers and outdoor and agricultural power equipment.

 

3.

The SBS®X-75A connector offers a smart battery connector solution.

With combined power and signaling and customizable options, the SBSX-75A is perfectly suited to handle the requirements of tomorrow’s power equipment.

 

Battery-Powered Equipment: Lessons from Around the World

 

Battery-powered equipment is on the rise, and places as varied as Japan, India and Europe are each seeing their own unique electrification booms. For example:

 

As the electrification trend evolves, what lessons can we learn from other countries at the forefront of this battery-power revolution? This article will examine electric equipment from across the world, shedding light on new global innovations and emphasizing the crucial power and signaling capabilities that companies should keep in mind.

 

Electric Mobility: India’s 3-Wheeler Revolution

 

When most people hear ‘electric vehicle’, they typically conjure up images of sleek electric cars. But that’s not the case in India. The prevailing electric vehicle trend in India centers not on cars but on 3-wheelers, also known as tuk-tuks or rickshaws. These unassuming, small vehicles serve as a popular mode of public transportation throughout the country.

 

Fueled by concerns over air pollution levels and high oil import costs, Indian authorities have taken steps to steer the nation toward an electric future. While the state does subsidize the sale of electric cars, the average Indian citizen cannot afford these expensive vehicles. In response, the government has promoted a more accessible solution: the electrification of 3-wheelers. These everyday vehicles, equipped with small, affordable batteries, can easily be charged using a normal residential electrical socket. Owners on-the-go can also simply swap out a dead battery with a freshly charged battery.

 

line of Tuktuks on a street in India

To promote tuk-tuk electrification, the Indian government has:

  • Offered subsidies for electric 3-wheelers so they are less expensive to buy.
  • Financed the installation of additional battery-charging stations and battery-swapping stations.
  • Promised $6 billion to local companies to build electric vehicles and produce batteries.

 

The support appears to be working. Indian automakers reported sales of 430,000 electric vehicles between March 2021 and March 2022, a three-fold increase from the previous year. Notably, the vast majority (96%) consisted of 2- and 3-wheeled vehicles, rather than cars.

 

 

Anderson Power Connectors in India

 

When India’s electrification wave first started, the country’s 3-wheeler manufacturers faced a problem: very few battery connectors on the Indian market offered both power and signaling in one package. Since tuk-tuks are small vehicles, with limited space to put battery connectors, this posed a serious challenge.

 

In 2018, Anderson Power emerged as the answer to this pressing need. Ajay Agrawal, the General Manager of IDEAL® Industries India, recalls the pivotal role played by Anderson Power connectors. “Our customers sought batteries that could not only deliver power, but also communicate with their vehicles about charging progress and provide operational intelligence,” said Ajay. “That’s where we stepped in with an Anderson Power connector that offered two power contacts, four signals and an impressive 10,000 mating cycles in one compact package.”

 

Ajay also attributes the team’s success to a simple yet powerful philosophy: understanding and addressing customer’s 3-wheeler needs. “What truly matters to my team is understanding the customer pain points and crafting practical solutions,” said Ajay. “We prioritize engaging with our customers and designing products tailored to their specific requirements, which builds strong relationships and a sustainable business.”

 

 

Addressing Customer Needs in India

 

Ajay recalls one instance that underscored the value of a customer-centric approach. One of his customers had reported that their Anderson Power connectors were not mating properly while charging the batteries at their battery stations. Ajay and his team offered to inspect the customer’s facility to determine why the issue was occurring.

 

Upon arrival, the India team quickly pinpointed the cause of the issue. Instead of using the designated Anderson Power crimping tools, the charging station personnel were employing hammers to crimp the copper connector barrel. This incorrect method caused damage to the barrel, leading to mating issues.

 

“We took a picture of the improper crimping technique and shared it with the customer’s team,” said Ajay. “They were blown away that this was occurring in their own facility.”

 

The India team took it upon themselves to personally train the customer’s team in the proper crimping techniques. The results were remarkable – the mating issues quickly stopped, leaving the customer extremely pleased.

 

 

Upcoming Developments in India

 

As the battery-power revolution continues in India, the local Anderson Power team remains optimistic about the country’s electrified future. Currently, they are working hard to develop even better connector types to meet the unique needs of the Indian market.

 

Designing a waterproof connector is first on their agenda. India experiences an annual monsoon season that unleashes significant rains in the summer months, transforming some streets into flooded waterways. 3-wheelers navigating waterlogged roads need secure connectors that can handle damp conditions. The Anderson Power engineering team is tackling this challenge, and they are actively developing a waterproof connector that will launch soon.

 

Whatever the future holds, the India team is confident they can respond to India’s unique 3-wheeler electrification trend with high-quality, compact battery connectors.

Europe and Electrified Lawnmowers

 

Halfway around the globe, the European Union (EU) is emphasizing very different equipment in its electrification trend. Instead of 3-wheelers, it’s electric cars, green infrastructure and noise emissions that take center stage in Europe. A prime example of this focus is the recent enactment of an EU law that bans the sale of most new gasoline and diesel cars beyond 2035.

 

However, cars are not the only electric equipment on the table. New models of electric, automated lawnmowers are being developed to adhere to European noise pollution initiatives. In Germany, for example, mowing a lawn during quiet hours on Sundays, holidays or between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. can incur a fee. Customers are gravitating towards quieter, electric models in response.

 

Cheryl Mailloux, a Global Product Manager at Anderson Power, described another unique mowing challenge faced by European countries.

 
“Europe’s hilly terrain can make lawnmowing a challenging and even dangerous task for the people operating the mowers,” said Cheryl. “In light of this, Europeans are more inclined to use autonomous lawnmowers to address this challenge and prioritize safety.”

 

Aerial view of tractor


Electric lawnmower models in Europe are diverse in size and capabilities. European homes often have compact yards and gardens, making them perfectly suited to small, autonomous electric mowers. On the other hand, Europe accounts for 24% of new golf course development worldwide, increasing demand for large, electric ride-on mowers to cover their expansive grounds.

 

With such a wide variety of applications, the future appears bright for Europe’s electric lawnmower market. Market research agency Cision predicts that the market will surge from $2.4 billion in 2021 to $4.2 billion by 2027.

 

The United States is not far behind. Companies are working overtime to develop new electric lawnmower models, pressured by a recent California law that bans the sale of new gasoline-powered tools in the state starting in 2024.

 

Whether in the U.S. or in Europe, the electric power equipment industry needs efficient battery connector solutions capable of handling enhanced power and signaling demands. The SBSX-75A connector from Anderson Power provides a proven solution; the connectors are already integrated with many models of zero-turn mowers.

 

Artificial Intelligence and Japan’s Smart Agriculture

 

In Japan, the electrification trend looks a bit different than in Europe. One of Japan’s distinct challenges involves agricultural labor shortages due to an aging farming community. The average age of a farmer in Japan is 68 years old, and the total number of Japanese farmers dropped from 1.86 million in 2011 to 1.04 million in 2021.

 

The Japanese government is tackling this issue by promoting the development of electric robots, tractors and drones to support farmers in their agricultural work. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is encouraging ‘smart agriculture’ to be taught in Japan’s universities and collecting additional data on the benefits of the tech. The government is also forming “Smart Support Teams” that include industry experts and academics to promote electrification and increase farmers’ awareness of the latest equipment advancements.

 

drone quad copter on green corn field

Japan’s government is especially focused on implementing artificial intelligence (AI) into agriculture equipment. Self-driving farm equipment can run with minimal human invention, alleviating the work burden on the country’s dwindling number of farmers. High-tech applications of AI within electrified equipment in Japan include:

  • Autonomous Drones: Drones are used to spray pesticides or fertilizer in highly precise operations, reducing the hours spent on pest control by 78%.
  • Fertilizer-Spreading Robots: Farmers use small, AI-powered robots that can apply fertilizer precisely and can detect disease or insect damage.
  • AI-Powered Harvesting Machines: Harvester machines that use AI to automatically harvest crops are being developed. In cabbage harvesting, this machine reduced the number of people required to harvest the same area from 6 to 1.

 

Japan’s strides in smart agriculture highlight the potential of electrification, AI and automation to address labor shortages and promote sustainable farming practices.

 

However, the AI revolution is not just confined to Japan. The U.S. agricultural sector is mirroring Japanese advancements in many ways. Many companies are working on integrating AI with agricultural equipment, such as an autonomous tractor model that uses advanced AI processing and neural networks to navigate, avoid obstacles and plow the soil on its own. Another interesting U.S. innovation involves crop sprayers that use machine learning to analyze individual plants, determining which is a weed to spray with herbicides.

 

Anderson Power is ready for an AI-powered and electric future. According to Allied Market Research, the global market for lithium-ion batteries is projected to grow by $143.2 billion in the next ten years. The four or six signaling capabilities of Anderson Power connectors can handle the increasing demands of electric equipment, playing a vital role in managing the lifespan of the batteries within.

 

Anderson Power Products June 2022

An Efficient Connector Solution for the Future:

 

Whether it’s the electrification of three-wheelers in India, lawnmowers in Europe or agriculture equipment in Japan, it’s clear that capable battery connector solutions are needed worldwide. The electric equipment of the future requires powerful connectors with advanced power and signaling capabilities, especially when it comes to autonomous machinery.

 

In response to this need, the Anderson Power SBSX-75A connector comes in multiple configurations that offer:

  • Power and signaling rated up to 140A with up to six-signal capabilities.
  • Durability of up to 5,000 mating cycles.
  • An IP68 weatherproof rating.

 

“The SBSX-75A battery connector is perfectly suited for smaller electric equipment like lawnmowers, tractors or agricultural drones that feed and spread,” said Cheryl Mailloux. “We’ve already seen a lot of success with zero-turn mowers.”

 

Additionally, Anderson Power is committed to crafting custom connectors that meet specific customer needs. For example, recent additions to the SBSX-75A family include:

  1. SBSX-75A Plug Kit Green: Designed for two power contacts, power wire sizes up to 6 AWG and includes a ground center contact.
  2. SBSX-75A 6 Position Auxiliary Panel Mount Plug Kit White: Designed for up to 6 auxiliary signals, two power contacts and accepts wire sizes from 12-4 AWG.

 

Customers who would like additional features or specific power and signaling capabilities can contact Anderson Power to design a custom connector that fits their needs.

 

The battery-powered equipment trend is only going to grow across the world. As regions like India, Japan, Europe and the U.S. innovate in this exciting field, Anderson Power will continue to develop and provide the high-quality connector solutions that companies need to prepare for an electrified future.

 

 


 

Anderson Power serves a variety of industries and can help you find Your Best Connection.

 

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Commercial & Industrial

From high-capacity HVAC systems to autonomous robotics charging, Anderson Power provides the performance and reliability your infrastructure depends upon. Learn more about how we support the Commercial and Industrial industry.

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Material Handling

Anderson Power offers a wide array of products suited for Material Handling applications. Products are offered from 25A up to 550A at 600 volts. Learn more about how we support the Material Handling industry.

 

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Con Ag

Whether it's to charge light-duty lawn equipment at home or a heavy-duty excavator in the field, Anderson Power provides the performance, durability, and weatherproof solutions that support consistent and reliable operation of your equipment. Learn more about how we support the Con Ag industry.

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