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Government The Almighty Buck Transportation Technology

India Aims To Become 100% Electric Vehicle Nation By 2030 (ndtv.com) 150

An anonymous reader quotes a report on NDTV: The Indian government is working on a scheme to provide electric cars on zero down payment for which people can pay out of their savings on expensive fossil fuels, for becoming 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030. "India can become the first country of its size which will run 100 per cent of electric vehicles. We are trying to make this program self-financing," said Piyush Goyal, Power Minister. That's forward thinking. However, it's not clear whether the Indian government is also committing to 100% renewable energy -- because if the electricity comes from coal, it might not help with curtailing the pollution level.
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India Aims To Become 100% Electric Vehicle Nation By 2030

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  • Well okay (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Slugster ( 635830 )
    "We know electric vehicles cost much and many people are poor, but we will pass laws to make them be rich"
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      They are obviously expecting prices to fall fast, as is everyone. Tesla are due to announce their $35k (before tax breaks etc) model in a few days. Nissan and Renault are expected to announce 200 mile range models in the same or lower price bracket this year.

      2030 is ambitious but not unreasonable. There will be a lot of used battery packs with hundreds of miles range in them by then too.

      • Tesla are due to announce their $35k (before tax breaks etc) model in a few days.

        Does the battery pack have long enough service life that the vehicle will enter the used cars market eventually? Because it won't make much of an impact otherwise, in India or anywhere else.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          The Panasonic cells used by Tesla are rated for 3000 cycles before they reach 80% capacity. That's 900,000 miles.

    • We know electric vehicles cost much and many people are poor,

      And just where did you get that idea? Do you magically think that suddenly everyone will buy a Tesla? In my recent travels to China I asked some of the locals about something I thought was strange, there was a HUGE number of electric motorbikes on the road. The answer was simple, the government limited vehicles with internal combustion engines, but people still needed to get around. Buying a moped and converting it to electric not only got around this ruling but was dirt cheap which was important given the

    • Electric vehicles do not need to be expensive.

      Most of your basic consumers in India and China will not care if the car cannot do 0-100 in 5 seconds. They also won't be put off by range being 100 miles.
      As long as they can get to/from neighboring villages and cities in a reasonable time for work. Then there is also the bonus of it requiring far less maintenance etc.

      I'm sure that the auto industry could knock up a super cheap EV for these situations.

    • "We know electric vehicles cost much and many people are poor, but we will pass laws to make them be rich"

      The people's car doesn't have to be a Tesla --- it only has to be affordable.

      Henry Ford didn't begin with a luxury car, he began with basic transportation and branched out from there. It is a strategy that works even when your up-market competitors have deep pockets and technical sophistication.

  • by JeffTL ( 667728 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @02:45PM (#51782873)
    Coal power might not be much cleaner than internal combustion engines in the long run (though possibly more efficient due to economies of scale), but it's easier N faster to replace a power plant as better generation technologies become available or economically feasible than to replace everyone's car. Once the cars are electric, they automatically benefit from any changes in how the electricity is made without any action or investment by the end user.
    • Easier replacement (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @02:55PM (#51782921) Homepage

      Once the cars are electric, they automatically benefit from any changes in how the electricity is made without any action or investment by the end user.

      Yes. I totally agree.

      Compare this with the logistics complexities to introduce new types of fuels (either deploying biofuel alternative, or something more fundamentally different like hydrogen).

      Deployment of electric car make subsequently moving to greener power plant easier than moving to greener fuels.

      And that's neglecting even slight advantages of fossil power-plant over cars:
      Power plants only need to be efficient, they don't need to compromise on size and weight to be put inside a travelling car, unlike an internal combustion engine.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@worl d 3 . net> on Saturday March 26, 2016 @03:03PM (#51782943) Homepage

        Having a huge number of batteries connected to the grid also helps smooth out renewables and provide backup where the grid itself is unreliable.

        Also, India is trying to build up its car industry. This should help get new technologies developed. I think people are looking at Tesla and thinking that for the first time in decades a new manufacturer can be successful.

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          That's a very lossy way to do things. Instead of thinking in base load and storage terms consider how we now have lots of tiny little units that can be brought online to follow demand. You don't need to "smooth out renewables", you just need to distribute them all over the place and use them as needed as is happening in many places.
        • Having a huge number of batteries connected to the grid also helps smooth out renewables and provide backup where the grid itself is unreliable.

          No, it doesn't, because the very first accessory I'll get for any electric car I might own will be a grid smarts stripper which ensures it starts loading batteries as soon as I plug it in, and keeps them full. I'm not going to subsidy the electric company by either paying for a bigger battery pack than I need, nor replacing it more often due to the extra wear and t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "India's National Solar Mission was approved "in principal" last week by the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change.
      The solar mega-project, aimed at expanding India's solar capacity from the current 3 megawatts (MW) to a reported 20 gigawatts (GW) by 2020 and 200 GW by 2050, will form the centerpiece of a National Climate Change Strategy and cost an estimated US$20 billion to implement.

      They are not looking to bring more coal online. In fact, this plan is being coupled with solar power generation and win

    • by MacTO ( 1161105 )

      The other consideration is air quality within urban centres. A lot of people seem to forget that emissions standards were implemented due to air quality within cities, rather than the state of the environment globally. I suspect that is what India is trying to accomplish: shifting electricity production outside of the city through the use of electric vehicles shifts much of the pollutants outside of highly populated areas. Given the high population densities in parts of India, it is a larger consideratio

    • Also, running an electric car on coal generated electricity still makes less pollution than a gas car.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How about 100% indoor plumbing first?

    Toilets? Starvation?

    Worse. Government. Ever.

    North Korea has a higher GDP per capita!

  • Don't they have drivers of small motorcycle-like taxis in India that can't even afford the taxi they're driving? How the heck are those going to all be converted to electric? There must me tens of thousands of them.
    • Re:India taxi (Score:4, Interesting)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @03:06PM (#51782955)
      They're called Auto rickshaws [wikipedia.org] and they're actually pretty damned handy. India has something more like traffic loose guidelines more than they have traffic laws, and these make it work. They're a lot more simple in terms of design so it wouldn't be too difficult to build an electric motor and replace the existing one. They're fun as well and far more economical as a short range taxi than European or American cabs. I wouldn't mind seeing them adopted in more American cities where it makes sense, especially in the parts of California where it's typically pleasant.

      The big problem is that India's grid is already over stressed and has problems keeping up as is, and this is in a country where a lot of people live in poverty and don't have any access to power. Putting all of the countries vehicles on that grid isn't going to work without a massive overhaul of the infrastructure. Maybe this plan or goal is the impetus to make that happen as well, but as things currently stand it's utterly impossible even if they could make the electric vehicles inexpensively.
      • Define 'wouldn't be more difficult', keeping in mind we're talking about a profit of pennies an hour running one of these things.
      • I was going to say Rickshaw, but I thought that was Chinese. Thank for for that information.

        What I'm trying to say is, Auto Rickshaws don't look well maintained to me. I know the driver makes pennies an hour. So either the owner is keeping all the profit, or there is no profit because they must pay someone to do business in that area. How do you get them to 'invest' in a brand new electric engine for their Rickshaw? They would rather go back to the days before the motor.
      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        The big problem is that India's grid is already over stressed and has problems keeping up as is

        Another way to look at it is because they have to expand it anyway why not consider doing a bit more than meeting current demand. That's the way we used to do things in the west, and while we don't do it any more there is no reason to be critical of another place doing what we used to do when we had the will to succeed in the long term instead of just get a good balance sheet this quarter.

    • Rentals

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      China has already converted a large proportion of its 2-stroke motorcycle fleet to electric, so it isn't inconceivable. It's not like the Tesla Model S is the only choice they have.
  • How much "new" electricity is coming from coal? The coal is being burned anyway, with or without electric cars. It seems to me that the conversion will make a big difference, at least on the street level.

    • And I would imagine the noise levels will go way down. All those little two stroke putt-putts make a lot of racket, in addition to all that smoke.

      • by jrumney ( 197329 )

        And I would imagine the noise levels will go way down.

        Most of the noise from Indian traffic comes from horns, not engines, so I can't see it having any effect until they get self driving cars that can actually drive in an orderly fashion.

    • Unlike oil, we have enough coal for centuries. "Peak Coal" won't occur until long after the ecological costs have become devastating.

      • Unlike oil, we have enough coal for centuries. "Peak Coal" won't occur until long after the ecological costs have become devastating.

        Yea, people say that, but I don't think it is as true as you suspect it is...

        According to the 1970s, we were supposed to be running out of oil by now, except, we're not...

        Coal is in a lot of places, but we burn a crap ton of it and it doesn't have the endless reserves many people think it does. Not the cheap kind anyway.

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          According to the 1970s, we were supposed to be running out of oil by now, except, we're not...

          Oil got redefined since to stuff from shale and liquid oil from places we had no hope of getting to in the 1970s (eg. under very deep water).

          but we burn a crap ton of it and it doesn't have the endless reserves many people think it does. Not the cheap kind anyway.

          There is that. For example there's a project in Mongolia to have a very deep pit to get to what would have been done before as underground mining but wou

        • We had some dramatic advances in oil extraction technology since then, boosting the average maximum amount of oil that could actually be extracted from, I think, around 20% to closer to 80%. Provided you're willing to do geological damage likely to cause earthquakes and contaminate water supplies. There' not really an option to do that again though - the last 20% might be extractable with enough effort, but it won't make anywhere near the difference that that 60% increase had. By the end of the century we

    • How much "new" electricity is coming from coal?

      All the electricity generated by the coal plants every day, of course.

      You don't think they are running their light bulbs on old electricity, do you?

    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      I actually think in the beginning you might see a surge in street corner Honda generator charging stations.

  • How about getting some toilets first so people stop shitting on the streets?
  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @02:56PM (#51782923)

    "India can become the first country of its size which will run 100 per cent of electric vehicles. We are trying to make this program self-financing,"

    They've got a LOT of electrical infrastructure to fix before this is anything more than a pipe dream. Electric outages in India aren't terribly rare in large parts of the country as of the last time I checked. Not to mention the challenges of installing all the charging infrastructure.

    • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

      Having a battery powered vehicle attached to your electrical supply would actually help get you through the glitchy power. Although the extra load will make the problem worse in the short run, it will make a mild degree of unreliability easier to tolerate in the long run.

      • by sjbe ( 173966 )

        Having a battery powered vehicle attached to your electrical supply would actually help get you through the glitchy power.

        So does having a tank of gasoline and a generator and that's a lot easier to do.

        If you are suggesting talking about having the car power your little portion of the grid during an outage that is a bad idea on several levels. First off it would require substantial upgrades and clever controls to be put into a grid that is barely functional as it is. If India can't even get the basic transmission right I think that fancy distributed power routing is going to be beyond their abilities on any sort of wide scal

        • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

          I didn't mean to imply the car's owner would power anything but their own residence in an outage, and I don't think anyone could reasonably be expecting them to do so. Obviously they'd want to power down major draws like air conditioning or appliances during such an event as well.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      The dream appears to be to fix a LOT of electrical infrastructure and add more.
    • which by moving to EVs, they fix 2 things at once with 1 solution: EV and Building electric.
      Note that given the choice of bringing in more gas stations, or bringing their electric up to a decent level, you can guess which is better for the nation.
  • That's not forward thinking, that is naïve. Replacing all cars by electric ones just means the energy is produced elsewhere. Like in coal powerplants. It just moves the exhaust elsewhere. The energy then needs to be transported (huge in comparison with regular household connections), then stored in batteries. Those batteries are not exactly clean to produce or recycle.

    Don't get me wrong, there's a place for electric cars, but tossing fossil fuel lock stock and barrel is incredibly expensive and frankly

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 26, 2016 @03:22PM (#51783001)

      That's not forward thinking, that is naïve. Replacing all cars by electric ones just means the energy is produced elsewhere. Like in coal powerplants. It just moves the exhaust elsewhere. The energy then needs to be transported (huge in comparison with regular household connections), then stored in batteries. Those batteries are not exactly clean to produce or recycle.

      Don't get me wrong, there's a place for electric cars, but tossing fossil fuel lock stock and barrel is incredibly expensive and frankly just naïve.

      For U.S. maybe. It's got Texas, and fracking oil. Imagine a country needing three times the oil that U.S. requires, without any production of petroleum in the country.

      Now, imagine, all of the petroleum is being purchased at incredibly high prices, and all of the foreign exchange reserves you have are spent on oil. So you must keep exporting everything you make, to meet your oil import bill, instead of promoting consumption led growth in your own country.

      With that kind of an economic structure, replacing all gasoline cars with all electric cars makes imminent sense. And couple that with plans to generate 200GW of solar power, instead of the current 3GW of solar power. It's a radical solution for 1 Billion people, economically, environmentally and in terms of sheer market power. It's going to move the world, instead following the world.

    • by shilly ( 142940 )

      It just moves the exhaust elsewhere.

      Given respiratory disease rates and noise pollution, that "just" is a pretty extraordinary qualifier. A Delhi where cars are all electric would be a shit-ton quieter and less smelly and less bad for your health, even if the fuel supply wasn't decarbonised.

    • Why?
      Seems like a good solution to me.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      It just moves the exhaust elsewhere

      Yes.
      Which is why they want to do it.

      Electric cars are not an energy saving measure. They are a "get the smog out of the city" measure.

    • Still, it's an advantage.

      First, the pollution is now in the cities - right under most people's noses. Moving it out of the cities will improve the air in the cities, the air most people breath in. So that's a win, even if the total amount of pollution remains the same. It is likely that the total amount of pollution can go down very quickly, when moving from millions of poorly maintained two-stroke engines to much better maintained and managed large power plants. Those power plants have not only a clear eco

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Isn't it easier to scrub the nastier stuff from coal plants than it is to make the every shitty old engine isn't emitting? Sure CO2 emissions might be a wash, but I'm talking SOx and NOx and whatever else which are currently causing major air quality issues in the cities. It's also easier to switch those coal plants over to something cleaner like oil or gas, which is what China has been doing, in addition to aiming to the future and solar/wind.


  • But let's not forget current battery production methods being quite toxic...

    As long as existing tech is cheaper that electric India will not be 100% electric. So the thought is unrealistic at best.
  • ... or so says their energy minister [cleantechnica.com].

    Of course, their original plans for massive solar power plant got skuttled because the US threw a snit-fit in the WTO [bbc.com] over India's "source in India first" plan.

    So yeah, as long as the US can gouge India on parts, suppressing development of local industry, they can have all the solar power we can sell them...

  • They worked out a big discount on LEDs, which should help them too.
  • Anyone who makes these types of 100% - anything goals is not serious. Just as an example, electric trucks don't deliver food to stores.

    • There is progress on electric trucks. http://insideevs.com/tevva-mot... [insideevs.com]
      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        2030 isn't "never". Electric trucks aren't impossible, they just don't make much sense practically or economically. 2030 is in 14 years. Many trucks and other vehicles last a lot longer than that.

        Even assuming electric trucks become commonplace in the next 10 years, what are they going to say to the business owner who bought diesel trucks in 2020 or 2025 (because he needed trucks, not hand-wavy promises of some utopian future)? Fuck off? If people thought they might say that, no one would buy any truck

    • I see 100% electric trucks delivering food to Safeway here in California. I suspect the businesses (name brand bakeries, etc) got some tax breaks to justify the capital expense for the EV's, but the logistic or charging time and limited range probably work out very well for their particular business.
      UPS has a few EV trucks as well.

      In the early 20th century, many regions used electric milk trucks. Simple lead acid batteries, but effective when a driver only needs to go door to door at only a few miles per ho

    • Not so long ago I got on a 100% electric minibus, one of a few on that route (the rest uses LPG). It was a trial, but it also means the technology is there and considered reliable enough to do real-world trials with it.

      These 16-passenger minibuses are not much smaller than the typical truck in India, which is used in the city but also for long-distance transport. It's not that much of a jump. The hardest part is probably going to be electrifying long-distance trucking due to the need of a really long range

  • by mdsolar ( 1045926 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @03:41PM (#51783073) Homepage Journal
    Tata, India's largest car maker, is going in for electric vehicles. http://m.carandbike.com/news/t... [carandbike.com]
  • I was walking down the road the other day and there was this Indian in a Tesla, stopped at a red light.

    Damn thing sounded like a misfiring diesel. Then I realised he was talking on his mobile.

  • I helped commission a new building for a JV. The building work was still ongoing when I arrived and the contractor needed electricity to run his drill. Before I arrived he had sent "the boy" up a nearby power pole to wrap wires onto the distribution cables. I was just about to freak out at the recklessness when I saw the drill turning at about 20RPM. There can't have been much more than 12v available.

    I was told that the farmers get free electricity so they use it all for pumping water and there's little to

    • Solar generation is ideal for decentralised supplies. Get all farmers some solar cells and have them run their pumps off of that - optionally have it connected to the main grid as well.

  • because if the electricity comes from coal, it might not help with curtailing the pollution level.

    A coal plant runs at something like 42% efficiency.

    An ICE might be around 20%, half as efficient as a power plant.

    The whole chain of transmission, charging, battery and electric engine is still around 90% if not more efficiency.

    On top of that you have regenerating braking in electric vehicles.

    Then regarding air pollution: coal plants can be surprisingly clean, as german plants are e.g.
    On the other hand gasolin

  • India electric cars pollute CO2 at 20 mpg equivelant [shrinkthatfootprint.com]. I guess it would be good for particulates at street level, but electrics pollute greenhouse gasses 2-2.5x more than fuel efficient diesels or 2.5-3x more than hybrids. If they get off coal by 2030 it would be good, a terrible mistake otherwise.
  • If the pollution is coming out of the top of great big stacks (preferably after going through scrubbers) instead of on crowded streets where people are breathing then means bringing particulate pollution from vehicles down to levels that are not a worry.
    Carbon dioxide is not relevant to such an aim and would have to be solved in a different way.
  • Most cars on the roads in India in 2030 will probably be cars that have already been built today. That's only 14 years from now. Why would everyone in a poor country junk their car within 14 years? Heck, my car is 18 years old and runs great.

    Completely changing the nature of cars on the road is a generational, or even multi-generational project.

  • If India wants to get rid of pollution, maybe they should start first with their sewage problem [theguardian.com].

  • stopping imports of cars and oil, rather than about saving the world. As to their electricity, guaranteed to come from coal. The good news though, is that they run pollution controls, unlike China.
  • So true about the coal-powered electric plants. However, utility-scale electric transmission is a "standard interface" that can allow both consumption and production to be moved to efficient and clean alternatives asynchronously and simultaneously. So with electric cars around, it would be far easier to move both fixed and mobile consumption to renewables than it would be otherwise.

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