Charging infrastructure, higher vehicle costs and less-than-desired single-charge range estimates are among the hurdles to more plug-in vehicles in the US – having the necessary juice from the grid is pretty much a foregone conclusion. Not so in India, apparently.

Recent power shortages have given India-based vehicle makers like electric-bicycle producer Ampere, e-scooter maker Hero Electric and electric-car producer Mahindra reasons for concern because of consumers' lack of confidence that the country will be able to consistently provide the necessary electricity for dependable transportation, the New York Times reports.

Specifically, a May 2012 power shortage cut average daily electricity supply in the Indian state of Tamil Dadu by about 40 percent. Two months later, 600 million people faced blackouts for about two days because of power mismanagement.

Despite these potential issues, the Indian government is pushing for broader plug-in vehicle adoption as away to curb pollution, with a goal of having six million plug-ins on India's roads by the end of the decade. As for existing electric-car production, Mahindra has sold about 2,500 of its all-electric Reva vehicles since 1994, and more recently tagged the next generation (pictured) of the vehicle as the E20. The company says it will be able to produce as many as 30,000 EVs a year out of its Bangalore plant.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      Unni
      • 1 Year Ago
      India is market for very high fuel efficiency diesel hybrids. Again electric motors also should be non rare earth materials and should be cheap. No power hungry, you need a total power of 65 - 90 hp only for a car.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      To expand a little on solar power in India, here are the graphs by month for solar insolation in kwh/metre square per day for Delhi and St Louis: http://www.gaisma.com/en/location/delhi.html http://www.gaisma.com/en/location/saint-louis-missouri.html It can be seen from those charts that in St Louis, fairly central in the US and hence the reason I have chosen it, they only get 1.57 kwh a day/square metre in December against 6.08 in July, around a 4:1 ratio. That makes solar a tough way to fuel your car in Missouri, as you need to fuel it all the year, not some of it. In contrast Delhi gets a low of 3.31 in Dec, and a high as early as May of 7.0, with later months moderated by the monsoon. It is low annular variance that makes solar far, far more practical in India than in the US as a major source of power, although I am not putting any bets on many cars running on it. If you want to run an electric bicycle or scooter though, then it should be fine with their lower power draw.
        SVX pearlie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        Tuscon, AZ goes from 2.8 to 7.3, and they don't have to deal with monsoons. IMO, solar is highly viable anywhere in Arizona.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          I used the figures for St Louis as I was talking about the US rather than Arizona, where the figures are about the most favourable in for solar. I used Delhi even though it is towards the north of India even though the figures further south would be even more favourable to solar, as the northern plains are heavily populated. As I indicated in the discussion, the monsoon does not really affect the viability of solar, as it occurs when insolation would otherwise be highest and so reduces the differential between peak and minimum. Even compared to Arizona the ratios are more favourable in Delhi, at 2.1:1 compared to 2.6:1 Other factors though make solar far more easily viable in India than even Arizona. They are: Winters can sometimes be cold in Arizona, so when that happens draw in the winter is heavy when solar is at its minimum. Use per household is anyway many times as much as in India, a 200 watt array is not going to help much there. Cheap labour means that both installation and maintenance cost a fraction as much in India. Arizona has a working and effective grid. Most of rural India has no grid at all, so solar avoids the expense of building one. Even in areas which have the grid, it is very unreliable in India. I don't have the details of Arizona electricity rates to hand, which may be higher than they otherwise would be due to political decisions, but potentially at least the competition to solar is from very cheap and fairly clean burning gas. India has no such option. Its alternative is coal. So whilst I would not write off Arizona for solar, far from it, ex-subsidy India is a far more attractive solar market for a host of reasons.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Of course, solar in Arizona might mean that less people annoy the neighbours by burning cow dung to cook! :-)
          SVX pearlie
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          @Dave: "less people annoy the neighbours by burning cow dung to cook! :-)" Hey, India! If that's the part of the cow you're using to make your meals, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!
      Pandabear
      • 1 Year Ago
      Their grids aren't even ready for daily use.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      If only there were a way to generate clean power using the massive amount of human and animal biowaste... Realistically, this is why India is working so hard to develop nuclear power. It is their best alternative for reliable power in the quantities that they need to bring their economy up.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        @LTAW: That is fine for a rich country investing in frontier technology. There are a lot cheaper and lower tech ways of utilising biowaste though, which in my view are more appropriate for India, certainly in the rural areas. All sorts of biodigester and waste treatment techniques are available at very low cost, and could produce fuels for cooking, for instance, ameliorating the health issues caused by dung and wood burning indoors. I'm a big fan of solar for rural India too.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          "All sorts of biodigester and waste treatment techniques are available at very low cost, and could produce fuels for cooking, for instance, ameliorating the health issues caused by dung and wood burning indoors." Agreed. You introduce a valid point - the health and environmental pollution created by burning dung and wood.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Here is a link on agricultural waste to methanol for Denmark. Care must be taken not to degrade the soil by taking too much, and from the figures the quantities although helpful couldn't even provide all the transport fuel requirements for their modest population of ~5 million. http://www.starch.dk/methanol/energy/img/TM01-02e.pdf India is bigger, but it also one heck of a lot more populous. Solar though while it won't be powering India's cars anytime soon could comfortably power electric bicycles etc using modest arrays. India has more constant sunshine through the year than anywhere in the US.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        I was thinking along the line of the biowaste-to-electricty plant in Orange Co. CA. Hydrogen is also produced, but it might be more valuable in India as a feedstock for clean drinking water. http://energy.gov/articles/energy-department-applauds-world-s-first-fuel-cell-and-hydrogen-energy-station-orange The amount of human waste in India that is left untreated and simply discharged into the natural environment is a health and environmental catastrophe, and one that must be addressed. Turning that waste into power and clean water would be a very positive use of energy, even more so than simply setting up PV and windmills. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/keyword/human-waste
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      It has become more profitable for US Coal producers to ship coal overseas than to try and compete with natural gas and subsidized wind power on price here in the US. The higher profit margin from shipping coal overseas will keep coal from retaking its former market share in generating electricity in the US.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Google : "Indian Electrical Wiring" and you'll understand.....
      • 1 Year Ago
      Necessity is the mother of invention. India will one day adapt to solar powered cars- Thanks for the post- from http://www.thesolarindia.com team
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just to throw this out there for those still using outdated information to sneer EVs: U.S. Electricity Grid mix for Coal is down to 37% and dropping. There was a month where Natural Gas and Coal were even at 34% each. http://tinyurl.com/DOE-EPM We will see what happens.. but I think Natural Gas will be providing the biggest piece of our grid fairly soon. :)
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Unfortunately, coal is probably going to make a bit of a come-back since the natural gas frackers have been reducing the amount of drilling they do because they've been losing their shirts. I'm glad the wind production tax-credit got renewed so that can keep growing. And I plan on installing solar this year.
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Year Ago
      India is cursed with the tradition of an incompetent, corrupt, and highly inefficient bureaucracy. This existed before the British Raj, and made a spectacular reappearance after the British departed. A faction in the Indian Government wants to build more Hydro-electric, but building dams is politically incredibly difficult. While India has some nuclear capacity, most of the new power stations planned are coal fired. India's power generation capacity is not too bad, but the distribution infrastructure is antiquated, and chaotic.
        SVX pearlie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marco Polo
        "India is cursed with the tradition of an incompetent, corrupt, and highly inefficient bureaucracy. This existed before the British Raj, and made a spectacular reappearance after the British departed. " Indeed. While Chinese corruption gets a lot of news, particularly in the US, it's interesting to note that China is rated noticeably less corrupt than India, and has been some time. Better than Russia, too. Perhaps, India could learn from the Chinese and start executing people for graft that results in death. Executing a few people isn't perfect, doesn't change things overnight, and doesn't bring back the dead. But at least it demonstrates some actual commitment with real consequences.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          SVX pearlie Executing a few people ! The Peoples Republic of China executes tens of thousands each year ! Executing a 'few people' is not only not perfect, but should be abhorrent to any civilized society ! It's also inefficient, effective and expensive. You really do have a strong streak of authoritarian, puritan vengeance in your character don't you?
      brotherkenny4
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hand them a set of solar panels with each car.
        SVX pearlie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        Unless the solar panel is the size of a carport, it won't be enough.
      mustang_sallad
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tamil *Nadu
      kEiThZ
      • 1 Year Ago
      If there's a place that needs to go electric, it's India. Pollution is utterly disgusting. And while the grid is terrible, EV will do well in India. Range isn't as much of a concern. And Indians tend to look at value (and consider operating costs) more than purchase price.
        SVX pearlie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @kEiThZ
        "If there's a place that needs to go electric, it's India. Pollution is utterly disgusting." India is a third world country - of course it's disgusting. But the idea that a country which can barely afford $10k cars among the relatively well-to-do will suddenly afford cars with much more expensive and complex drivetrains makes little sense. It's like when Ann Arbor sent a garbage truck to Nicaragua... http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1987/08/17/1987_08_17_015_TNY_CARDS_000345910
    • Load More Comments