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Odds Never Come Singly

We were just about beginning to regain normality following the widespread disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and looking forward to a slow recovery in the economy when Russia waged a war against Ukraine. The resultant disruption in Europe has led to further shortage of automobile components because a number of European manufacturers source components from Ukraine.

The war has also had a major impact on oil prices globally and this has resulted into fuel prices going through the roof in India. Incidentally, one cannot help wishing that we had elections being held throughout the year in our country, so that the price of fuel would remain steady. It may be recalled that there was no price rise for over three months during the run-up to the hustings. Once the results were out, fuel price began a northward trend almost on a daily basis. The price of petrol and diesel has gone up by Rs 10 per litre within a fortnight.

Thus, the best incentive the government has given to the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers indirectly is by increasing the cost of fuel. As the price goes up, more and more people begin exploring other options, including electric mobility.

Last month I drove the Volvo XC40 Recharge from Aero City in Delhi to Fort Nimrana in Rajasthan and back. I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the car. On the way out, there was a lot of traffic and the car consumed 30 per cent of the charge over a distance of 105 kilometres. On the return journey, there were some open stretches and the speedometer needle nudged the 180-km/h mark. After this round trip of over 220 km the car still had 30 per cent charge left. This gives the XC40 Recharge a real-world range of over 300 km.


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