EV: Let’s Be Prag­matic

Car India - - WELCOME - ASPI BHATHENA ED­I­TOR

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.

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