Thursday, August 14, 2008

Electric Cars: Boon or Bane

We have a guest post by Jyotesh Singh! Here it is explaining the economics of electric cars like Reva ---

With high fuel prices, attractive government incentives, galloping inflation, electric cars are the in thing. BUT ARE THEY?

The REVA Company took out advertisements in the newspapers some weeks ago. They say that the cost per kilometre is 80 paise as compared to approximately Rs. 4 in petrol cars. They also say that their vehicles are less polluting.

But what they fail to inform us citizens about is the fact that their vehicle does not compare to the petrol vehicles in any manner.

Electric Cars have a Range of 80 kilometres and add to that the fact that their battery life is prone to be temperamental. The actual on road range you get depends on condition.

On any incline, the battery starts straining and disappearing extremely fast while rain and other forms of bad weather beat its socks off. Another thing is that REVA seats 2 while most small petrol cars can effectively seat 5.

The cost difference in the 2 forms of vehicles is staggering if you take 2 REVA’s as equivalent to one introductory Maruti 800.

Also, you do not get any good Air Conditioner with the starting REVA due to the fact that it compromises battery power and near zero boot space.

Eco warriors will point out that the car protects the environment, but what I say is that all it does is shift the smokestack from the vehicle to the power plant. What we are effectively doing is use the diesel in power plants and replacing more efficient petrol engines by the less efficient generators in power plants to get lesser outputs.

I am not defending internal combustion engines but I wish people to realise that the financial outlay does not make up for whatever its good effects. It will take eons of driving and that too while ensuring that the cost of power remains the same, for the REVA to justify yourself.

The Final Decision is yours. What do you have to say? Any comments, suggestions or contradictions...... please post them!!

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