Thu, Sep 05, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Charging ahead?

India’s electric car revolution faces bumps

By Sujit Chakraborty  /  Thomson Reuters Foundation, New Delhi

For now, a few early electric vehicles are appearing on Delhi’s streets, mainly small electric cars with space for a driver and one passenger.

Satish Gupta, a retired marketing executive, drives one of them and said it suits his lifestyle — but would not work for everyone.

The vehicle is “much slower,” he said. “I can afford this because we are retired and this is perfect for me and my wife visiting friends.”

“But for my son with a family of four, this is of no use. They need a conventional motor car,” said Gupta lives in Noida, a tree-lined satellite city of New Delhi.

CHARGING UP

For potential electric vehicle users, one of the biggest challenges is recharging points.

In 2018, the Ministry of Power set up processes for installing charging stations but only a few are yet in place in the greater Delhi area, which has well over 20 million people.

According to the Web site of Tata Power — an arm of Tata Group — the company plans to install some charging infrastructure in Mumbai and Delhi but only for its own vehicles.

Japan’s Okiniwa Autotech, which manufactures electric motorcycles, similarly notes on its website that it is willing to set up a network of charging points, but only for its motorbikes.

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