The future is electric?

Big Daddy

Super User
I find this article hilarious. American car companies are betting on Indian, European and Chinese government policies, and are manufacturing electric cars like crazy when no one in America wants to buy them. Foolish Obama saved these companies and they are still run by fools believing that foreign governments will enforce what they say. The American electric cars are expensive to begin with and with exports they will be even more expensive.

In the past year, the following has happened: India, with its 1.4 billion people and a vast car market, has set an admittedly ambitious goal of having all new cars be electrified by 2030. In July, both France and the U.K., the ninth and sixth largest economies in the world, respectively, said they would effectively ban the sale of gasoline-driven vehicles by 2040. Last week, China, which represents the largest auto market in the world, said that in 2019, 10 percent of the cars sold by large automakers in the country would have to be electric. In California, which effectively has its own emissions policy, activists are making noises about banning the combustion engine entirely.

It Doesn’t Matter How Much Trump, Pruitt, and America Love Gas Guzzlers

Cars are going electric.
By Daniel Gross

The structure of the global auto market is changing.

It’s been a big week for the electrification of cars in the U.S. On Monday, General Motors announced it was embracing an electric future. “General Motors believes the future is all-electric,” said GM head of product Mark Reuss. As the first steps, GM plans to introduce two new all-electric models next year and 18 more in the next five years. For its part, Ford announced it was starting a new internal unit, dubbed Team Edison, to accelerate the company’s electric car efforts.

This is a surprising direction for Detroit’s big two. For one thing, they’re not responding to actual consumer demand. Despite a lot of activity, discussion, and incentives, the market for plug-ins and all-electric vehicles remains quite small in the U.S. In September, GM sold just 2,632 all-electric Bolts and 1,453 plug-in hybrid Volts. Together, they accounted for just 2 percent of GM’s sales. Tesla is laboring to ramp up production of its Model 3 to a mere trickle. In the recently completed quarter, it produced just … 260.

The tastes of the American consumer and the desires of the American government don’t control global markets.

Second, the development of even this small number of electric and electrified cars in the U.S. has so far been heavily spurred by government incentives and standards. Car companies have been laboring to improve efficiency—via electrification, but also through the development of stop-start engines, more efficient gears, and using different materials—because the Obama administration set aggressive mileage standards: By 2025, the typical car is supposed to get 54.5 miles per gallon. But the Trump administration, which has never met a fossil fuel it didn’t like or an Obama-era regulation it did, is considering lowering that standard. (Make America Guzzle Again?) The arrival of Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency could have been taken as a signal to automakers that they can go on producing the gas-guzzling SUVs and pickups—the ones in high demand and that carry fat margins—without fear that the government would punish them for doing so.

Instead the heads of automakers are echoing Al Gore. What gives?

Well, the tastes of the American consumer and the desires of the American government don’t control global markets. And as a result, they don’t necessarily control the strategies that global companies like GM and Ford pursue. They need to be maximally active and present in every foreign market. And increasingly, foreign countries are deciding they want significantly fewer combustion engines spewing emissions in their streets.

In the past year, the following has happened: India, with its 1.4 billion people and a vast car market, has set an admittedly ambitious goal of having all new cars be electrified by 2030. In July, both France and the U.K., the ninth and sixth largest economies in the world, respectively, said they would effectively ban the sale of gasoline-driven vehicles by 2040. Last week, China, which represents the largest auto market in the world, said that in 2019, 10 percent of the cars sold by large automakers in the country would have to be electric. In California, which effectively has its own emissions policy, activists are making noises about banning the combustion engine entirely.

It’s premature to call time on the combustion engine for a host of reasons. Many of these proposed bans are two decades in the future, and many of the goals promulgated are unrealistic, particularly since the electric car industry is still very much in its infancy. But when you take all these actions into consideration, it is clear that the structure of the global auto market is changing. Whether the instrument of implementation is a sales quota, higher emission standards, an outright ban, a tax credit, or a sales incentive may still be unknown, but the writing is on the wall. In the coming years, it won’t just be nice for automakers to be able to produce fuel-cell, all-electric, plug-in electrics and hybrids in large quantities; it will be necessary. Companies won’t just produce them to burnish their green credentials or give off the impression that they’re forward-thinking. They will do so because in a rising number of markets, offering such vehicles will be the price of entry.

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Leh'd and how!
The government already discourages use of Gasoline in India by applying disproportionate taxes. Part of the reason petrol and diesel are expensive in India is that the government wants to keep it that way. Oil burns a big hole in trade deficit and cheaper oil will only fuel the demand. But take examples of regions like Nordic which have committed to moving to electric automotive in 3-5 years. These countries are rich and their infrastructure is probably the best in the world and that's why they are setting the trend. Other nations will follow and achieve maybe 50% of it but that is a significant move too especially in a country like that buy about 2.5million cars a year.

Then look at big OEMs like JLL and Toyota who are on the verge of launching all-electric variants of their flagships cars. We've had golf carts in India too and these are cars like Reva and e20 which make sense only to an accountant. But when Maruti started selling the same Swift with a CNG engine, there were takers, and there will be more for an electric variant.
Indian Consumers like to spend on savings mostly.
Means you can produce a viable electric car that can run on other type of fuel and is cheaper than CNG / diesel / petrol will be the market.
Make electricity by another fuel / way to charge battery (Store Energy) is good.
But where is such fuel / technology ?
Big Power vehicles are need of commercial sector and there also reliability with cost means much.
Those who can develop such thing will win in Indian Market.
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Big Daddy

Super User
I did some reading and I am not very optimistic about electric car future. The two things that bothered me the most is that 20% of charge is nearly useless. First, I read that to lower charge holding degradation of car batteries, most cars companies have programmed their software to stop charging once charge level reaches 90%. Furthermore, once charge level drops to 10%, the car is in "limp mode" where you should drop all activities and head towards charging station. Tesla recommends charging at 100% only if you are traveling long distances.

There were other concerns as well. For example, people who bought cars in the US had to spend an average of $1000 to setup 40 amp charging station. A typical plug is 10-20 amp plug. A 40 amp plug is needed to avoid electric fires.

There were also minor debates where high voltage charging stations that charge batteries quickly may lower battery life spans, and hot weather lowering driving ranges.

From a purely American point of view, it is better to spend money elsewhere like hydrogen fuel cells. This plug and drive thing is dead. For 8 years companies have manufactured electric cars and despite $7,500 government tax subsidy, there are no takers.

From an International point of view, I believe there are serious challenges. Trump pulled out of Paris climate deal. The US was supposed to commit $1.6 billion and most of that money was supposed to go towards subsidies. Many US, European and perhaps Indian companies were banking on this gravy train to jump start the green industry. Some companies like solar panel manufacturing may survive, but others will face challanges.

From an Indian point of view, I am not optimistic at all. The Indian government is not going to provide the infrastructure because it has a history of incompetence. Imagine that car is in limp mode and you are stuck in traffic jam. What would be worse is car loses its charge before it gets to charging station. The few fast-charging stations that government actually provides will be battlegrounds because queues are going to accumulate given 30 min fast charging time per car. The real-estate requirements of these stations will be much larger than a typical gas/patrol station (to accomodate more cars that will return to refill at higher frequencies than traditional cars). What most people miss is that charging is a daily requirement. If you have to go to fuel pump on daily basis then people will reconsider driving their gasoline power vehicles as well.
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Mediocre me
My Take for Indian scenario:

Solar is not going to be mainstream. It will Not be a individual thing. Companies, Grids will operate solar. Govt will not loose control over people.

Electric cars will be sold at huge premium. Rich will buy some. Common people would not. Electric is best suited to Commercials, Fraught, Cargo, Bus operators, Call centre cabs etc. Else you cannot recover cost of vehicle.

Until Maruti starts building Electric cars, Govt will not bring legislation to reduce tax/subsidise Electric. Right now Tax on Electric (E2O) is same as on say Swift (43%). Maruti controls lobbying in Govt. Suzuki as a global company is doomed, also has no tech skills in Electric. So Indian future is delayed.
Players in commercial segment are different. Taxation there is different.

Eventually US is tilting to electric, so are many countries including China big time. India will follow them when it comes to cars.

At the end of the day everything is Porfit driven and Politics driven. Feasibility, need, right/wrong do not matter.

Big Daddy

Super User
BTW, in the US, given low range of these cars, people tried intra-city sharing model to get these cars popular. The idea behind sharing model is that no one owns these cars. You use them to go from one place to another and park it at charging station. Via the Intenet, you locate the nearest pickup location from your origin and parking station at the destination. After that, you pick to go and park.

These sharing models are not new. Most cities have bike-sharing models that help tourists travel cheaply inside a city. I have seen these bike sharing models in many Canadian cities (

The car-sharing model was not that successful. Part of the reason is competition for transportation options that are available. If you are successful, you may take a cab. If you are a tourist, you may pick a bike, bus, or subway. I believe that availability of charging station may require you to do the limited walking and many people may not find that attractive. Finally, I do not know how much did it cost to use a car using this model. The cost may be prohibitive for most.

Big Daddy

Super User
Tesla as a company is focusing more on battery technology as opposed to car manufacturing. It is important to separate between the two. As people turn to renewables such as solar and wind, power generated from these renewables need to be stored into batteries so that it can be released when it is needed.

Tesla has built the world's biggest battery in Australia
by Sherisse Pham @Sherisse November 23, 2017: 6:07 AM ET

Inside Tesla's enormous battery factory
Elon Musk is making good on his promise to help solve an energy crisis in Australia.
Tesla (TSLA) has "fully installed" the world's largest lithium ion battery in South Australia, the state government said in a statement on Thursday.

Tesla teamed up with a French renewable energy firm and the local government to install the battery, which Musk promised to deliver within 100 days of signing a contract -- or it would be free.

The battery needs to be operational by early December for Musk to meet his own deadline.

"Congratulations to the Tesla crew and South Australian authorities who worked so hard to get this manufactured and installed in record time!" Musk tweeted Thursday.

The battery should help ease frequent power outages in South Australia, which has suffered recently from energy shortages.

The battery will store power generated by a wind farm in South Australia, releasing it during times of increased demand.

It is slated to be three times more powerful than its nearest competitor, and is now being tested to ensure it meets federal and state requirements.

The project "sends the clearest message that South Australia will be a leader [in] renewable energy with battery storage," state premier Jay Weatherill said in a statement. "An enormous amount of work has gone in to delivering this project in such a short time."

The ambitious timeline dates back to a bet made in March, when billionaire entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes threw down the gauntlet to Musk, asking if Tesla was serious when it claimed it could quickly end blackouts in South Australia.

South Australia's population of 1.7 million people suffer regular power cuts and energy shortages. Late last year, much of the state was left without power after a storm damaged crucial transmission lines. Another major blackout occurred in February when a heat wave caused demand to spike.


Well-Known Member
The future and success of any Electric Vehicle depends on Infrastructure and without Government Support, its not possible!
The vehicle lobby and petrochemical lobby is just too strong to make way for any alternative sources of transportation.

EV's future is very dicey and high stakes - IMHO.


Well-Known Member
“Most Of our predictions are based on a very linear thinking and hence most likely to go wrong. Because technology moves in exponential curves” : Vinod Khosla

Despite all reasons, electric is here to stay.
Market economics will ensure prices become affordable. When the first motor cars came out the middle classes couldn’t buy them. Today s9meone working in McDonalds in USA can afford a car.

Electric cars will become cheaper. Range will increase. Every gas station existing today will offer charging. So will motels, Highway rest stop hotels and so on. All of these places are already covered with electricity. They just need to install chargers.

The Tesla Model S already has a 300 mile charge radius. That’s enough for me to go to Pune and come back from a,mumbai on the same day. Plus when I take a one hour lunch break I can again charge my car at the parking lot. Or when I go for a client meeting I can do the same. Do we not do the same with our cell phones? Request friends, waiters, business associates if we could charge our phones at their premises? Except for cars we will have to pay for it. Which we already do with our Petrol/diesel cars. Only, electric is cheaper.

Electric engines already offer far more torque than internal combustion ones, from the base low rpm. (In trains, the diesel locomotive actually just powers a generator with diesel fuel, but it’s the electricity which moves the train). They are more fun to drive. You miss the engine sound but you will get used to it. Just like we got used to first the sharp digital sound of CDs and then the inferior sound of mp3. Or just like we got used to the inferior Video quality onYouTube c9mpared to traditional TV or Cinema DVD etc. We get used to things.

With electric vehicles we will charge them overnight, every night, just like we do our cell phones. Most of our private cars are not driving around 24x7. They stay parked at home or office of resort or wherever. Ample scope to recharge.

With solar power already cheaper than coal, with the rising pollution levels worldwide, it’s a no brainier.
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Indian 2 wheelers manufacturers are bullish now:

E-scooter wars: Twenty Two Motors to launch smart e-scooter for Rs 60K in February

Jan 8, 2018 12:51 PM

It's nearest rival - Flipkart founders and Hero MotoCorp-backed Ather Energy also plans to launch its e-scooter for over Rs 1 lakh in 2018.

In direct competition to Ather Energy, a Gurgaon-based start-up Twenty Two Motors is all set to launch its smart electric scooter for nearly half the price at the Auto Expo in February.

The company which showcased its prototype vehicle last year will be launching the scooter for nearly Rs 60,000. It's nearest rival - Flipkart founders and Hero MotoCorp-backed Ather Energy also plans to launch its e-scooter for over Rs 1 lakh in 2018.

Twenty Two Motors plans to roll out around 50,000 vehicles that will require an investment of about USD 150 million over a period of 2.5 years. "It includes 2.5 years of total expense," Parveen Kharb, co-founder of Twenty Two Motors said in an interaction with Moneycontrol.

The company is also in advanced stages to raise fund from the investors. Kharb, however, declined to share details of the amount being raised or the investors.

"We haven't closed it but we are in discussion. Should possibly close in the next one month," Kharb said.

It raised USD 1.6 million in a round led by Ishwar Singh, CEO, Haryana Industries in April 2017. Farhaan Shabbir, former director of Harley-Davidson also participated in the round.

Founded in August 2016 by Kharb and Vijay Chandrawat, the company has named the scooter, Flow. The vehicle will be fully IOT compliant having things like GPS, GPRS, gyroscope, accelerometer among other features. With the use of data mining, it will be able to determine the riding behaviour of the user.

The company also allows a user to control the scooter remotely with the help of its mobile application.

While the company is building its own batteries, electronics, and software, it has tied up with third-party vendors for ancillary components such as lights and plastic parts.

Since all the information will be accessible on the server through the cloud system, it will allow remote troubleshooting as well.

"The real challenge is to educate the customers," said Kharb. For the same, the company plans to set up about 20 experience centres across the top 10 cities. The users can come to these centres and book their vehicles.

The vehicle will have space for two batteries. In a single charge, the batteries will have the capacity to go almost 80 kilometers.

According to Kharb, batteries are costly components. So in order to reduce the burden of the customers, the company will offer them an option to lease the second battery on a need basis. The amount hasn't been decided yet but it should be lower than Rs 50 on a daily basis, Kharb said, adding that it will be delivered on the doorstep.

The company claims that the current electric motors have a speed of less than 25 kilometers per hour. Flow, on the other hand, will offer a speed of 60 kilometers per hour.

The company refrains from calling the conventional two-wheelers as its competitors.

"It is not going to replace that... the two-wheeler market for electric is very small.. so the first thing is to educate the customers and make them feel that this is the right product," Kharb said