I WAS ONE OF YOU. I LAUGHED AT THE IDEA OF electric cars. I’m not driving this rubbish was my standard response when the rare occasion to test an electric vehicle arose. But over the past few months, I’ve come to the realisation that the future really is electric. I don’t mean the internal combustion engine will be dead in the next decade, rather, for city mobility as everyday runabouts, electric cars will soon be the default choice.
Where’s the infrastructure, you ask?
I asked the same question when the power minister made his ambitious claim – that India will only sell electric vehicles by 2030. Of course Mr Minister is being over-optimistic. London has a target of 2040! But don’t underestimate the ability of us Indians to get things done when they need getting done!
Infrastructure. What’s the big challenge? You have a designated parking slot, do you not? Do you really think putting a charging station (just a fancy looking plug point) and laying cables to your society meter box will be that big a problem when the Supreme Court says it has to be done?
Power supply. With many of our states becoming power surplus, the real issue is with the power distribution companies that some heavy-handed government intervention can sort out.
The environmental cost of recycling batteries? Umm, I don’t know. The fact that you’re taking pollution out of the cities and putting it in villages where there are coal powered stations? Okay chill, this is a car magazine, not an NGO newsletter!
It is a complicated issue, no doubt, and the real polluters will continue to be the ships and planes criss-crossing the globe. But cars have always been the favourite whipping boys and car companies cannot be seen as adding to respiratory diseases among our children. And that’s why every single car company will have electrics. Proper electrics, not like the ones we have today. With battery technology advancing so rapidly, issues of range and charging times will be non-issues. As volumes go up so do costs, so even if the government can’t make up its mind on incentives, the cost of electric cars will not go anywhere but south. And, as ever, motorsport is at the forefront with tech developed at racetracks filtering down to cars like Renault’s 454bhp electric Zoe (page 120), ensuring we won’t get bored out of our minds driving electric cars.
After all, be honest, do you derive great pleasure out of listening to your diesel engine clattering away in traffic, or do you crank up Apple Music and wish you were someplace else filling your lungs with oxygen?
‘Don’t underestimate the ability of us Indians to get things done when they need getting done’