Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari recently announced plans to make India a fully electric car market by 2030. Maintaining that this was the future, he urged manufacturers to immediately look at manufacturing electric cars instead of continuing with the current fossil-fuel use models, which lead to environmental pollution.
Here is what you should know about electric cars and hybrid cars
- Electric cars have been around for longer than one would imagine – the first such battery-operated vehicles were made over a century ago, in the 1880s and 1890s.
- Many auto manufacturers subsequently came out with electric vehicles, including models that were popular as taxis and delivery vehicles travelling short distances.
- Electric cars were most popular in the United States, likely due to greater access to power connections and charging ports in public places. Their popularity, however, dipped with the arrival of the less expensive internal combustion, gasoline-powered cars in the early 1900s.
- Interest in electric vehicles saw an immediate spike after Tesla, founded in 2003, announced that it would launch electric vehicles, including luxury cars.
- Hybrid cars are vehicles that run on conventional fuel but are assisted by an electric motor powered by a battery. These vehicles have lower emissions and higher fuel efficiency.
- Mahindra is the only Indian auto manufacturer selling electric cars in the country. Toyota, Honda and Volvo sell hybrid cars.
- Volvo plans to roll out only electric and hybrid cars in India from 2019 onwards while Mahindra will launch three more models of electric cars by 2019-20.
- Nitin Gadkari has said that the government was working on a plan to establish charging stations for electric vehicles across the country. He has also asked auto manufacturers to conduct research on alternative fuel.
- Earlier this year, Nagpur became the first city in India with an electric mass mobility system. The city has a fleet of electric vehicles, including buses, taxis, autos and e-rickshaws, for public transport.
- While it is all for electric vehicles, the government is firm in its view that driverless cars will not be allowed in India.