Saturday, September 09, 2017

Electric Cars In India

Just a couple of days back , there was a comment from the concerned Minister that there will be a strong push for the Electric Cars In India. I must say that, its a good move, and given the level of emission related issues in big cities and others too, it is quite a need of the hour.

But I do feel there is a lot of bottlenecks for reaching the usability which the Petrol or Diesel cars have reached as of today. And more importantly the cost of these cars.

If I go back a few years , November 2011, I was invited for the Launch of Chevrolet Beat Electric here in Bangalore. I had taken a few pictures too.

Those days the only Electric Car was Reva, and for me it was way too small a car. Smaller than Nano if I can say. And the cost, quite high. The reason for the high cost was right from their end, as the numbers were and are still quite less. What one spends on buying, would be made up on the spending less on Fuel.

But this Car , Chevy Beat was good and quite big, Infact its the same body of the regular Chevy Beat.
I did ask this person, (sorry forgot his name) as to when it will be launched in India. He calmly said, that they will not be launching in India anytime soon, Because it was not feasible due to the costs and the battery life. Had this car launched, I am quite sure, there would have been many who would have bought it, instead of the Reva(now, Mahindra Reva).

Coming back on the reform mandated by the Government of India that, we would need to change. I still have the same questions which were open when I had seen this Chevy Beat.

  1. The Battery Life and the charging capacity needs to be increased to give more mileage per charge. Yes, they have improved, but not really there.
  2. Where do we charge these cars ? We don't have enough charging points to charge them, Let alone outside home, even in our apartment complexes, we would almost need one per car park if we will all have electric cars
  3. We need sufficient charging points outside home. Yes, few malls in Bangalore,like Forum Mall do have special parking for electric cars and free charging, but we need a lot of them. Yes, the airport parking also has them in Bangalore :)
  4. Since there are not sufficient charging points, there have been talks of providing batteries on exchange at the so called charging points.
  5. This would mean, it would almost be imperative to have similar or same batter configurations required for all the cars, or maybe just a couple of categories to make them easily exchangeable.
  6. If there is still considerable charge left in the Battery, and still needs to be replaced, then we might be almost giving back considerably charged batteries during exchange. That will be another business of its own then.
  7. If we plan for long drives, then we would need such Battery Exchange Points. How would one really know, how good those batteries are and how far will they push the vehicle ?? We have already have lot of cheating while filling petrol or diesel. Will this not take it to another level ?
  8. Even if we have charging stations, and the speed of charging does go up quite high, like in the case of today's mobile's, but it wouldnt be too less a time. Not to mention the queues. We already have lot of queues at Fuel Stations for the given number of cars today. 
  9. Though we are trying to fix an environmental problem of air pollution, will there not be more batteries disposed with Electric Cars coming in ? and I dont think that these batteries are anything of less polluting, though much lesser than petrol and diesel, but the waste material of the batteries would be another thing to take care, especially the lead nodes and the acid in them.
It is indeed the future of cars and there is no doubt in them, more so considering the fossil fuels getting consumed at alarming rate. But there is an urgent need to take care of lot of things, when all the cars get into the Electric Mode.

But yes, the air would be better to breath and there would be no noise pollution from the Petrol and Diesel Engines. That would be something to look forward to.

I just hope that they come up, charging of these batteries with solar power also , which will make it a lot convenient, while driving , the batteries get charged on their own :P