Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Superb Show India! Now When Will These Cars be Available to Indians?

The Geneva Auto Show is the world's biggest and the most important in terms of new car models that come to be displayed every year. So why am I celebrating during a time of gloom? India's Tata Motors have managed to hog a considerable portion of the limelight with their Euro spec Tata Nano (a car that many so-called "experts" said could never be built - the same "experts" who gave AAA+ ratings to crappy Wall Street Banks, I'm sure) and, more importantly, since this is a blog meant to show Fossil Fuels the Fist, because of Tata's new Norwegian engineered Indica Electric car: When a prestigious website like Autoblog Green raves about this, there is something for everyone to cheer.

This is a good beginning, no doubt, but there is competition that is certain to come. Several Chinese manufacturers have started working on electric cars and countries as diverse as South Africa and the UK have designed commercial vehicles that work on electricity. But I do think that if Tata have made it this far, there is no reason why they would not go further - a lot further in fact. And yes, I am rooting for them to succeed - and rooting for every other designer of electric vehicles to succeed as well. This means YOU Aptera, Tesla and all other creative companies out there. All the very best and may you all win!


Mohanakrishnan B said...

Well designed electric cars will have a market in India.To help promote sales it would be a good idea for the government to provide charging points in all metros and major cities.In fact I remember remember reading somewhere that auto majors are waiting for a decision on that.It would then be a breeze for them to sell electric cars here.But I certainly believe that the manufacturers of fossil fuel cars will lobby hard to block that.In fact there was an exhortation by leftist leader Sitaram Yechury on wednesday asking the government to invest Rs.38000 crore more to help state transport corporations ugrade their fleet of buses.His intention according to his letter to the finance minister is to bail out the auto industry while strengthening public transport.While his suggestion is admirable I wonder why he did not suggest investing in battery operated buses or ask the government to tell the auto majors to come up with buses running on alternative energy.I personally think reintroducing trams would be a good idea in the Indian metros.

Mehul Kamdar said...


The tragedy in India is that our politicians are more interested in silly politicking than they are in improving the country. Unfortunately, anyone can become a politician and there is no major newspaper chain that is also interested in talking about renewable energy. Just imagine - Dr Rajendra Pachauri won a Nobel Prize for his work in this area but how many newspaper articles have focused upon him? How many times has he been interviewed for his expert views on renewable energy? Isn't this very sad? We also have the Society of Energy Engineers of India who do a brilliant job but I doubt that 99.9% of Indian journalists even know that these people exist. Imagine a television programme featuring the latest developments - many of which are being worked upon by Indian engineers in different parts of the world - wouldn't that be useful?

There are several van designs that have come out of Britaiin and South Africa which are completely electric and which one or another of our companies - Tata, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra etc could easily license and build. I personally think that there is potential for electric cars themselves - most of the ones available have a 150 mile range on an overnight charge. This is more than anyone in Indian cities drives in a day. For going from home to the office and back, these would be perfect ways of travelling and of reducing the horrible pollution in our cities.

And of course, we have the best conditions of sunlight and wind and tidal power as we are a peninsula and surrounded by the sea on three sides as a country, we have lovely warm weather which is ideal for generating electricity and we have amazing sea breezes all along our coasts. This is a great country with so much potential and nothing is still done. That is what exasperates me and makes me angry sometimes. AT the same time, when something positive comes out, I feel strongly compelled to get up and applaud as I have done with this post.