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Sunday, 21 July 2019

Electric Vehicles in India: we are at a cusp of change

For some years now, one has been spotting electric cars on Delhi’s roads. These instances were very few earlier but the frequency is improving. 

What is more, earlier we would see only one type, the Reva. This company which was bought by Mahindra in 2010 and a new model of this car the e2o was now the one we would see of and on. Now we see more cars, the Tata Tigor EV and Mahindra eVerito.  

It is always an exciting moment when you see an electric car. The car not having an exhaust pipe is an oddly delightful sight. The immediate thoughts are of appreciation of the pioneering people who have bought these vehicles. Then the possibility of buying one as the next car. 

The range of the electric car and delay in charging are the two issues which come to mind. The decision of buying a car would be easier if these issues are solved for the lay customer. One buys a car for the feeling of comfort, of being able to use it at the spur of the moment. Somehow electric cars are unable to give such a comfort level as of now.

The performance and ease of use of electric cars must become similar to internal combustion engine cars in order to make major inroads into this market. 

This is not, however, a need in the case of eRickshaws. These eRickshaws use normal lead acid batteries and simple electric motors. Their top speed is about 30 kmph. But they have proliferated in large numbers on our roads in Delhi National Capital Region.

Here the owner is looking at the vehicle earning him a livelihood. So it doesn’t matter. Passengers are always looking for short rides in these eRicksaws. So it is a simple cycle of charging the battery and earning money. The ‘charge and earn cycle’

eRickshaws being low tech vehicles are easy to build at very reasonable cost. 

Here we have a success story of electric vehicles in India.

With many more electric cars now being planned for Indian roads and with the incentives being given by the government, the day is not far when many more electric cars will be seen on Delhi’s roads. 

My guess is it will start with low cost cars. 


PS: also see my blog posts 
My take on the future of EVs
E rickshaw the ubiquitous vehicle: grass route technology is improving lives of people,
E Rickshaw shows the way: an electric vehicle success story



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