IndianAutosBlog.com has been invited by Renault to drive some of their electric vehicles in Portugal tomorrow. There is hardly any market for such cars in India but over the next few decades, manufacturers will be forced to look at smarter mobility solutions.
Its not hard to imagine petrol selling at over 100 rupees in the near future and the government passing a rule to roll back the benefits of diesel fuel for personal transpiration. This could be serve as the tipping point for car manufacturers to speed up development of road-going vehicles that depend less on petroleum fuels. There is a feeling that unless there is a need, development will not take place.
There's also the roadblock with battery technology. They have not evolved to a point where they can challenge a tanked-up petrol or diesel car. The range available, even on B Segment cars is under 200km. The smaller Nano EV prototype, a practical solution for our crowded cities for instance has a range of 160km even with L-Ion batteries on board. The REVAi has a shorter range thanks to the age-old Lead Acid battery pack.
Like how batteries on our mobile phones became powerful with each passing year, car batteries are also expected to take the same route. They will not evolve the same way, but they will evolve to reach a commanding position.
Governments have to cooperate with auto makers to develop the infrastructure to charge these cars. Positioning charging points around the city is an encouraging sign for the electric vehicle market. Its been done in London that prompted many to buy a G-Wiz (Reva electric car).
IAB will keep you posted on the drive from Lisbon. If you have any questions (on Renault electric vehicles) you'd like us to ask, please put them in the comment box below.