“The time is not only right for electric cars – in fact, it is critical!”
It is almost universally accepted that auto rickshaws are, at the same time, the best and the worst thing that has ever happened to the average Indian. Yes, we all admire the easily navigable vehicle that weaves through stretches of immobile cars stuck in traffic. But we’re also confronted with acrid fumes and a deafening roar of the engine. However, in my last visit to the countryside, I was pleasantly surprised to find something different. The auto rickshaws had been replaced! Instead choosing of the decrepit auto rickshaws, I found people settling for beautiful and spacious vehicles of a similar built. These vehicles run by electricity!
The “electric auto rickshaw”, developed by the IIT KGP, is a one-of-a-kind innovation. It is sustainable and at the same time meets the Indian requirement. The low-cost electric three-wheeler is cheap to operate. It carries enough people to generate a decent income. It does not cause air or noise pollution. Simply saying, it is perfectly suited for narrow streets. A ride in these beautiful vehicles made me realize that sooner or later, we all will have to switch to clean energy sources.
How do these electric cars operate?
An electric car is propelled by one or more electric motors. Instead of combustible fuel, the car runs on electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries or other energy storage devices. An electric motor replaces the gasoline engine. The electric motor gets its power from a controller. The controller, in turn, gets its power from an array of rechargeable batteries.
Why use an electric car?
The benefits of using an electric car may be enlisted as follows:
- It is good for the environment. Since the car doesn’t burn any fuel, it does not emit tailpipe pollutants. This leads to a large reduction of local air pollution. And also a significant reduction in total greenhouse gas and other emissions.
- It is low maintenance. This car does not need a lot of fluid changes, and does not have cooling problems. It also saves a lot of money by way of fuel. Although the batteries of the car must be replaced if they become defective; however, the batteries often last for many years.
- The noise and heat is less. These cars produce only a fraction of the heat and noise generated by oil-based vehicles because they do not have the pounding pistons that cause noise, especially at high speeds. Also, since these cars use their energy more efficiently, they do not generate a lot of heat as waste.
- The process of driving is smoother. An electric car has fewer moving parts than a gasoline car, therefore gives 100% of torque from the get go. When accelerating, there is a noticeable difference since these cars lack a transmission. These cars also employ regenerative braking, which means when you let off the accelerator, the car brakes as it recaptures the energy into the battery. So, unless you need to brake very sharply, you don’t need to touch the brake pedal.
Electric cars that are presently available in India are:
- Mahindra e2o
- Mahindra e-Verito
- Toyota Prius
- Toyota Camry Hybrid
- BMW i8
- Mahindra Scorpio Micro Hybrid
Happy ‘Safe and Healthy Driving’!
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