The 1-lakh car and a problem

Finally! I am so glad to see someone agree with me on the subject! I don’t know if the author got any inspiration from a note I posted here 5 months ago (Tata, please say not to petrol). But I don’t care, for now there is a good chance that people will start looking at TATA’s project from energy perspective.

Road congestion and traffic problems that could result from a mobile-phone like frenzy for Rs 1-lakh car, those can be solved. Those will be solved because the problem will be ‘visible’ to the common man, and we will complain.

But the energy situation is not such an apparent thing to experience. It could sure hit our wallets. But what if we all get rich enough to not mind shelling out 100 rupees for a liter of petrol? We could end up being another giant oil-economy with fortunes tied to the Gulf.

We got to push car makers to move away to alternative energy sources. Want a pie of our small car market? Show me how much you invest in hydrogen vehicles, ethanol engines or electric motors. Or else, here is a 10% energy cess on your product. Is that a bad idea?

Look around the globe and you hear about Honda’s hydrogen vehicle FCX coming up well. Some guys (Tesla Motors) are even planning an electric sports car! When we have such a big need for alternative energy sources, why are we not inviting the automakers to invest in similar but mass-market technologies here!? Its time.

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9 Responses

  1. now that is a perceptive latch.
    meanwhile two interesting developments…
    1. reva recently got recharged with new investor mony.
    2. TVS has been fiddling with an electric 3 auto for a while

  2. I think the reva is doomed. Batteries last for 3 years max, replacing them means old batteries are a environmental hazard. To charge the batteries you need electricity which means you have to burn fuel, hydel plants dont work on dry river beds.
    That leaves us with alternative fuels like biodisel, jatropa, etc. We need to follow the brazil model.
    Honda, toyota, mercedes will not enter the Indian market with their hybrids & technology. It is upto indigeneous manufacturers like tatas to look into alternative energy.

  3. Tarle, who is saying no to 1-lakh car. I am only saying no to petrol.

    Scarlet, exactly, indigenous manufacturers like Tata should be forced to look into alternative energy.

    BTW guys, our government does have this ambitious plan to have 1 million hydrogen vehicles by 2020. 13 more years to go, let us see. If Tata’s 1-lakh car could use hydrogen, this plan may see success by 2012 itself! I know I am dreaming there.

  4. Hydrogen is excellent as a fuel – but the most dangerous for storage. Once the storage issue is solved with new materials like nano-tech etc. Actually other issue is you cannot mine it, like oil, manufacturing would be costly I think.

  5. Readers of the above post might find this interesting as well: Do you know this TATA?

    Objectivity is good thing…

  6. Why is no one talking about what happens to the Indian roads when Tatas, TVS, Tom Dick and Harry come out with cars costing a lakh?

    I don’t expect the governments to do something about it. So I am about to sell my car and bike, quit job and find another one close to home, stop socializing at any place beyond walking distance from home and won’t buy anything that is not available near home.

  7. Arun, we will have greater Bangalore by then. City will spread around, making space for our new wheels and stuff.

    Also, the Gowdas may retire by then. They would make so much money doing land deals and farming out contracts for these satellite towns and ring roads, that they’d not need to do public service anymore :)

  8. It’s a good thing that the Govt is doing for common people by coming out with 1 lakh Rs car, but agian did the Govt think of the traffic problems that would cause hindrance to people reaching their home, offices etc. What about the parking slots in the shopping area , will people find parking out there ? I guess the Govt should make better roads first so people can drive smoothly on these roads and make rules for driving , then only I guess things will work in this country.

  9. […] into another large petrol-thirsty economy like the US? If they do their 37 bhp petrol driven Rs 1 lakh car as they have been saying, that risk is pretty real and […]

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