Saturday, June 9, 2012

Electric Cars, A distant Reality in India

 The petrol price are consistently rising and are discovering new levels in our country. Recent record increase in its prices has made it even more difficult to keep driving your vehicles on it. All of this made me plunge into an online search for alternatives, the alternative of electric vehicles available in India.
Specially for crude oil deficient country like India,Electric, Hybrid, fuel cell powered and biodiesel powered engines seem to be good alternative. Can these alternatives offer some relief to people of India and help get away from the heavily crude oil dependent system? I have tried to find out and specifically tried to focus on electric cars in India.

 Electric cars are almost maintenance free. It has no gears, zero emission, no pollution, electronic start and accelerator. Besides all these luxuries the vehicles are  exempted from the Central Vehicles registration act by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). Meaning they do not require any registration or license.
The major players in the Indian EV sector are Mahindra Reva, Hero Electric Limited, Electrotherm Motor Limited and BSA Motors Limited. Most of these operate in the electric two wheeler segment which indeed dominate EVs in India. An increasing number of joint ventures and mergers are taking place between Indian and international car manufacturers.


electric cars-reva green modal
This vehicle is manufactured by Reva.Reva has a top speed of 65km/h.It is said to have a range of about 60 kilometers. No registration or license is required to drive this vehicle in India. Mahindra & Mahindra took over the Bangalore based Reva Electric Car Company which manufactured India’s and the world’s first mass produced electric car. The technical specifications are- 
  • Top speed:       65km/h
  • Weight:            750kg
  • Motor:              52 NM torque, 3 Phase AC Induction Motor
  • Controllers:      350 Amp microprocessor based with regenerative braking
  • Charge Time:   80% charge in 2.5 hour      
For more details and technical details visitors can go to Reva official page.

Tara Tiny

The vehicle is manufactured by Tara International at Palta, a few kilometer from Kolkata. This car has a top speed of 50km/h and can travel up to 120kms in one single charge.This car requires registration and license. There are for variants available in the market. The price range of these variants is between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakhs. Some key specifications
tara tiny white modal electric car
  • Range/Autonomy:     120 km in single charge
  • Top Speed:                50 km
  • Weight:                      850 kg
  • Motor:                        3 kw
  • Batteries:                   6v*10,200 AH
  • charge time:               8 hours


bavia black modal electric car
  Bavina is another Electric car available in India and is a lot similar to the two above except for its design. The vehicle is manufactured by Bavina. It has got  a top speed of 55km/h and is reportd to have a maximum range of 130 km in a single charge. This car also requires you to register it and acquire a license before you get going. Some of the technical details are-
  • Range/Autonomy:          130 km in single charge
  • Top speed:                     55 km/h
  • Weight:                          850 kg
  • Controller:                      72 v
  • Batteries:                       12V/200AH*6 lead acid
  • Voltage:                         72V
  I have tried to include some of the EVs in India, surely this post is not comprehensive and I may have missed out on any major updates. Please let me know if there was any such issue or if you wanted to know about other products, that you think are worth a discussion.I shall update the post as soon as I find new information regarding the subject.

 Infrastructure for green vehicles, including charging stations, is virtually non-existent, and industry insiders say it will take a while before hybrid electric or alternative-fuel vehicles gain popularity in India. Mahindra Reva, the only Indian company to make electric vehicles, is not doing too well with its electric cars either. It is said to be selling barely 40-45 units a month.

Govt. of Maharashtra has recently announced two policy changes related to vehicles registration in the state. First and the most important one is complete tax exemption on electric vehicles from Motor Vehicle tax in Maharashtra state. This exemption is also applicable on the electric vehicles from other states re-registered in Maharashtra.The sales of electric vehicles is expected to increase in the state after this tax rebate. May be this is very little as compared to what India requires on a National level, but I should say it is a good beginning for EV enthusiasts. One can hope for further advancements not only in the technology but also in the approach towards this promising sector.
 The government has set up a National Mission for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles to encourage the manufacturing and selling of eco-friendly vehicles and is seeking to promote cleaner gasoline substitutes like compressed natural gas. It is expected to formulate a policy by the end of the current financial year.
 In the 2011-12 budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced a plan to promote the use of electric and hybrid vehicles and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Earlier, a committee set up by India’s Planning Commission recommended a Rs 50 billion allocation for R&D under the current 12th Five-Year Plan.
 But as far as electric vehicles are concerned, there are challenges in terms of availability of electricity and making electric vehicles a cost-effective proposition for consumers.So it is still some time before the Indian market is ready for electric vehicles.

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