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CI_Oct17EV: Let’s Be Pragmatic

THE TRANSPORT MINISTER MADE A STATEMENT AT the SIAM annual conference last month that he wants only electric vehicles (EV) to be sold in India from 2030 and phase out petrol and diesel cars. It is very easy to say ‘go electric’ but how practicable is it? If you own one car, as most Indians do, you cannot travel out of city limits due to the limited range on a single charge. Moreover, if you don’t have a proper parking of your own and have to park your car by the roadside, how do you charge it? We will require charging points all over the cities and the highways.

We only talk of the big cities when we discuss electric cars, but what about the rural areas where you don’t even have electricity in their homes, forget charging their cars? Fifty per cent of our electricity is produced by diesel generators and coal-fired thermal power stations. The other day there was a notice in the newspapers to the effect that there would be power cuts in Maharashtra due to short supply of coal.

A study in the UK has revealed that you need the equivalent of eight households’ power consumption to charge one car

The other evening I was having dinner with Roland Folger, MD, Mercedes-Benz India. I asked him about the feasibility of electric cars and he gave me a telling example: when they wanted to create eight parking slots to charge EVs, their power consumption shot up from dealership level to industrial level. A study in the UK has revealed that you need the equivalent of eight households’ power consumption to charge one car.

The real option to fossil fuel cars is fuel cell cars.

EDITOR – ASPI BHATHENA

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