India is among the fastest developing countries in the world. Rapid urbanization in India is likely to continue for next few decades. Transportation is one of the essential systems for all round development of the society. With increasing traffic in all modes of transportation comes the main concern – ‘Pollution’. Vehicular pollution in some cities in the world like Beijing, Delhi is already very high and people find it difficult even to breathe during foggy winter days. Therefore, the most viable and alternate solution is the use of the Electric Vehicles (e-vehicles). A few days back NITI Aayog reported that electric vehicles are the future of India’s transportation system. This can reduce consumption of petrol and diesel to a significant amount. As observed, already e-rickshaw has replaced diesel operated three wheelers in most parts of India.
Electric vehicles space is the new trending market space targeted by MNCs. ‘Tesla’ is planning to launch an electric car in India. Home-grown Mahindra is already manufacturing e-cars and is has already found its space as a commercial passenger vehicle. Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors Ltd. are also planning to launch electric cars suitable for Indian terrain in the coming year. Main advantages of those cars are efficiency, cleanliness, and ease of recharging or refueling. However proper business policy with respect to distribution companies, registration authorities are yet to be formulated by Government. But it will not take a long time to formulate policies with this high demand and fast market penetration. A comparative price per km study shows how and why these cars are finding the space among buyers in most developed countries.
In the context of e-vehicles, one question comes to mind. How does an 85 bhp (brake horsepower) petrol engine is replaced by one electric motor? Of course, the power of gasoline car is significantly higher than an electric car but high enough to carry our family to required distance within specified speed limits silently and smoothly. Main components of the electric car are battery array with charger, electric controller and motor which can be DC (Direct current) or AC (Alternating current) depending upon the requirement of speed and acceleration. Electrical energy is stored in the battery bank and the voltage level of the array varies from car to car and their load carrying capacity. For most of the passenger cars, it ranges around 300 V DC. This level is quite low for e-rickshaw as the capacity of the motor is low. That DC voltage is converted to 240 V AC voltages by the converter and sent to the driving motor. Driving motor converts the electrical energy to mechanical displacement and provides the motion to the vehicle, a precision variable potentiometer works between accelerator and converter and modifies the converter output to vary the speed. Regenerative braking method is used in most cars, here when the driver applies the brake the controlled forward momentum is used to charge the battery bank.
It is worthy to note that per km travel cost for a petrol or diesel car lies somewhere between 4-6 INR/km whereas it is as low as 1.0-1.5 INR/km for an electric car. With increasing demand for such cars, Government approved electrical companies are setting up charging stations. One can get their vehicle charged within few minutes but without digging his pocket. Multinational Companies (MNCs) are testing buses and trucks with specified loads for road tests and soon they are likely to hit the market. This is surely going to change the future of transportation system in India.