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Commendable Concern

The Indian automobile industry is taking safety seriously with more and more manufacturers striving for five-star NCAP safety ratings for their cars. Last month, Tata Motors demonstrated a crash-test with one of their cars and also conducted an in-depth tour of their safety R&D lab. You may read a detailed report of both in this issue.

The romance with electric cars seems to be coming to an end sooner than expected. In the United States of America, Ford have stopped the production of their F-150 electric pick-up trucks for want of sales. The biggest car manufacturer in the world is betting on alternative fuels, saying that electric is not the future of mobility. There are still a lot of question-marks with regard to electric vehicles. If we continue to be dependent on lithium-ion batteries, then the future does not look very promising. On the other hand, if solid-state batteries can be used in EVs, there are a lot of challenges going forward such as range, charging time, charging infrastructure, and, last but not least, how we generate electricity. If we burn coal to generate electricity, the whole purpose of EVs is defeated, because then we are shifting the source of pollution from one place to another. At the moment, most of the buses are being charged by diesel generators.

Last month Škoda India held a press conference to share their plans for the coming year. After the press conference, we had a word with their new brand director and he said that they were looking at bringing diesel engines in the Škoda Superb. This is good news for all of us because the VW Group’s TDI engine is one of the best diesel engines around. If this happens, we might see diesel engines back in the Group’s other brands as well.



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