Electric Cars: The Basics
For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:
- The History Of Electric Cars and Vehicles
- Different Types Of Electric Cars: A Short Guide
- Electric Cars and Vehicles: Pros, Cons And Myths
- What Is Regenerative Braking In Electric Cars
For those keen on an overview of the Indian electric vehicle (EV) market and the benefits of zero-emission electric driving, simply scroll down to the end of the article!
The Tesla Roadster Electric Car
Tesla Inc. (formerly Tesla Motors Inc.) was founded by American engineers, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in 2003. They named the Palo Alto based company, Tesla, as a tribute to the engineer Nikola Tesla. In fact, Elon Musk (Co-Founder, Tesla) become involved with the company post the founding of Tesla Motors. He was the lead investor in the 2004 Series A investment round.
- All-electric Tesla Model X
- All-electric Tesla Model S
- All-electric Tesla Model Y
- All-electric Tesla Model 3
- All-electric Tesla Roadster
- All-electric Tesla Cybertruck
If there is one individual that is knowledgeable about velocity, acceleration, speed and range, it is the founder of Space Exploration Technologies Corp, known simply as Space X, the company that very recently concluded a high-profile mission to space. The founder of Space X, is also a founder of many other innovative companies to include Tesla, Inc., a leading force in the low carbon automotive sector. Yes, it is Elon Musk.
It should be no surprise that Elon Musk has commonality in his aspirations for space and earth travel. The all new Tesla Roadster battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is a case in point. The California based electric vehicle manufacturer claims the new electric Roadster supercar will be the “quickest car in the world, with record-setting acceleration, range and performance.” Yes, the production-series Roadster electric car is set to break a number of records, to include the fastest production car ever built.
|At A Glance|
|EV Type:||Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)|
|0-60 mph:||1.9 seconds|
|0-100 mph:||4.2 seconds|
|Top Speed:||250 mph +|
|Wheel Torque (Nm):||10,000|
|Drive:||All-Wheel Drive (AWD)|
|Available In India:||No|
The zero tailpipe emission electric vehicle can achieve 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, with a top speed of 250 mph. The EV can accelerate 0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds and 1/4 mile in 8.8 seconds. The all-wheel drive (AWD) will have two independent motors powering the front and rear wheels respectively.
But if that alone is not impressive enough, the AWD BEV will have a zero-emission electric range of 620 miles and seat 4! To put the range in perspective, a family of four can drive from London to Inverness (570 miles) with range to spare. Now that is impressive. Of course the EV will be capable of DC charging and expect it to fully charge within an hour! The EV is expected to come with a 200 kWh lithium-ion battery.
The EV also incorporates a light weight and removable glass roof, so that the electric car can be converted into a convertible without much effort.
The New Tesla Roadster EV was unveiled by Elon Musk in November 2017, but this is not the first Roadster developed by the famed electric vehicle manufacturer. The original Roadster was built between 2008 to 2012. The electric sports car was based on the Lotus Elise chassis. The company sold nearly 2,500 electric Roadsters across 30 countries. Among many milestones achieved by the pure electric car, it also holds the distinction of being the only car to be launched into orbit on a test flight in February 2018.
Do not expect to have the new Tesla Roadster on your driveway anytime soon. Production of the EV is expected to commence in 2022 (it was initially set to be available in 2020, but was delayed) and will be first delivered to US customers. The pure electric supercar will be manufactured in California.
India Electric Vehicle (EV) Market
India, like many other countries, is well positioned to benefit from the shift to zero-tailpipe emission electric driving. Road transportation is a major contributor to air pollution (over 30%), choking our towns, cities and villages across India. Diesel vehicles, in particular, diesel trucks and diesel buses, are significant sources for tailpipe emissions. But given the rise in the standard of living, since liberalisation, the demand for privately owned passenger cars has increased at an unprecedented pace, further worsening the air quality. India has more than 3 crores (30 million) cars releasing tailpipe emissions on its roads!
Though we have seen some improvements in air quality during the ongoing pandemic (as a result of lower vehicle traffic), India’s shift to electric driving will be key in achieving long-term higher air quality. Of course, apart from EVs, the continued development of green and renewable energy infrastructure will be key in achieving lower long-term air pollution. India has already demonstrated global leadership in regards to large-scale solar and wind projects! Hopefully, India will replicate the success with zero-emission electric vehicles.
Despite recent announcements and support from local and national government agencies in India, the EV market is still at a nascent stage, well, at least in terms of electric cars and electric vans. Two-wheel electric scooters and three-wheel electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws) have demonstrated a strong uptake, and India is poised to become a global leader in electric scooters and electric rickshaws (e-tuk). In fact, the ubiquitous e-rickshaw commands an impressive 83% of the Indian electric vehicle market. India currently has over 15 lakhs (1.5 million) e-rickshaws, with each EV playing a role in reducing tailpipe emissions on our roads in India.
Sales of passenger electric cars is still at an early stage. In FY2021, though the market witnessed a growth of nearly 110% from the previous year, the absolute volume of cars sold was only 5,905 electric cars. Currently there are less that 15 pure electric car models available on sale in India.
Tata Motors, the biggest automotive manufacturer in India has launched the Tata Nexon electric SUV. Mahindra Electric, another leading Indian automotive manufacturer, has also launched a number of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), to include, the Mahindra eVerito electric car, Mahindra eSupro electric van and Mahindra e2o Plus compact electric car. International manufacturers, like UK based MG Motors, have also launched the MG ZS electric SUV in India. Also available are the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE SUV and the Hyundai Kona electric SUV.
Benefits Of Electric Driving
The benefits of electric driving are many, with significant advantageous over petrol and diesel internal combustion (ICE) engine cars, for all stakeholders. These benefits include:
- Lower to zero-tailpipe emissions
- Lower running costs
- Lower taxes
- Lower maintenance costs
- Lower noise pollution
- Convenience of charging at home
- Smoother drive
- Instant torque for acceleration
- Lower environmental impact
Below we have highlighted three of our favourite benefits of owning and driving an electric car.
Improved Air Quality
Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) or all-electric vehicles do not have tailpipe pollution. In fact, such electric cars do not even have a tailpipe! Zero-emission electric driving has a real and immediate impact on local air quality i.e. improving air quality. While, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have reduced tailpipe pollution compared to traditional petrol and diesel vehicles. The sooner we migrate to electric driving in India, the sooner we can improve air quality for all our cities, towns and villages. Lower air pollution will also result in a reduced number of health issues arising from inhaling toxic pollutants.
Lower Maintenance & Running Costs
Electric vehicles (EVs) are cheaper to maintain and drive. Pure electric cars have far fewer moving parts compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. The fewer the moving parts, the lower the probability of repair and maintenance. Moreover charging an electric car can cost as little Rs 50 per 100 kilometres! A full charge can cost between Rs 100 and Rs 200. Significantly cheaper than filling a tank of petrol or diesel!
Lower Noise Pollution
Yes, we in India are far more resilient to noise pollution than those living in the western world. We have certainly got used to horns blaring and engines roaring, day and night. But that does not mean we enjoy or welcome noise pollution. In fact, quite the opposite!
Though much focus has been on the advantageous of ‘air quality’ with an electric car, just as important, is the benefit of lower noise pollution. In fact, pure electric cars are silent, with an inbuilt ‘sound booster’ to increase road safety for pedestrians. As our cities in India and across the world become densely populated with cars, the significant negative impact on ‘quality of life’ as a result of increased noise pollution from petrol and diesel vehicles, is just as dangerous, as increased air pollution. Battery-electric cars are a perfect solution in reducing noise pollution and increasing the living standards for us all. Of course, one can only hope that the self inflicted ‘horn blaring’ pollution will also reduce!
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