We have mentioned or rather kept it that there are some electric cars are the future of the Indian car industry. Not only do they flash their eco-conscious thing but also are better in terms of the savings in the long term. While the Indian car industry has been a laggard as far as introduction of electric cars is concerned, there doesn’t seem to be a dearth of all those petrol as also diesel fuelled cars. In perspective, things aren’t so bad and here are the few electric cars which would make their way into the Indian car industry very soon.
Volvo C30 electric :
While most of the manufacturers would rather bring in their hatchback version of their popular selling vehicles, the world’s safest car manufacturer, Volvo Motors, are bringing in the Volvo C30 Electric. It is an electric version of their popular selling C30 compact car. Needless to say, it is one of the safest electric cars that can be driven across the planet. It is available on a lease as of now in Europe and the price commanded is a steep 1,500 Euros each month. The first time one would step inside this Swede car, they would be overwhelmed by the cramped interiors coz it is just a 2+2 seating configuration. However the driving experience of this car is a class apart from other electric cars. An 84 kW motor sits in the engine bay of this funky car and with 4 decently sized people on board, it can race from 0-100 kmph in only 12.3 seconds. This is one big hatchback, almost to the size of the Honda Jazz but with less complying interior space. It also feels solid in its build quality just like any other Volvo car.
Moreover, some of the crash safety videos that Volvo proudly displays on Youtube would make one believe that this is the world’s safest car as far as the electric brigade goes. The only fly or rather two in the ointment seems to be the cramped quarters as also the high lease price. Full charging time for this car is 8 hours whereas the cost of it is still unknown.
Nissan Leaf :
After the Toyota Prius, this is one of the electric cars that has been given the maximum number of awards. To quote the best award it has won so far, it would be the “Car of the Year Award” and that is can well be quoted as a milestone in the car’s relatively short term on the road. The car is simply cutting edge both in terms of the technology and also the looks, space quotient, to the point of saying almost everything. It is a shift from the cramped quarters of many cars including the Mahindra Reva. The main point here was that the Leaf was never thought to be configured in for any other type of motor. On the road, the instant power delivery of this car would amaze one and all. Its said to be better than the one in the C30. However, there is a sedateness to the overall power delivery of this car and it doesn’t put a strain on the driver and has a more of relaxing effect. There is an equally good impression about the technology that goes into the making of this car. Moreover, you get a real time driving feedback, the car can also be remotely controlled, the nearest charging point can also be located easily and also there is a host of entertainment options. Also, this seems to be the future of family hatchbacks. If this is the case, then the Indian public would definitely lap it up. The range promised on this one by Nissan is a good 175 kms and it takes 8 hours to get charged on the whole plus with a fast charge option, 30 minutes is what it would take for a 80 percent charge. Its price comes to $33,930 and that translates roughly to INR 15,044,86. Stiff price for a technology.
Peugeot iON, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Citroen CO :
If you are wondering, why we included the names of three cars here, then the reason is that all the three cars are based on the same platform except for their brand names. Moreover, there are a few tweaks and chirps to the design language here and there. If there is one car which would suit the Indian customer to the T, this has to be it. It has got the shape of the current Estilo and the entire design is based on space efficiency and being nimble and sprightly on the road. 4 doors and 4 seats is what it has to offer to the Indian customer or even the ones abroad. It is more like a golf buggy and will have one grinning from ear to ear when the car is chucked into a corner and since it is an all electric car, all the torque is available from as low as 0 rpm. All the three companies quote a range of 150 kms, which is well below the one quoted by Nissan for the Leaf, but would suffice for everyday use. Only Peugeot has claimed that the 30-60 kmph barrier is breached even better than a 150 Bhp hatchback. Well, we wouldn’t buy the claim nor try to test it. However, in Europe, this car is available only for a lease and the lease amount is 450 Euros each month. Well, the service is also included in this. The entire charging time is only 6 hours with no fast charge option thrown in as of now. The Indian price before all the taxes and stuff would be close to INR 28 lakhs. Once again, a steep price. The 110 percent import duty would only drive the prices on the higher side of things.
Al the cars here would definitely be priced way above what the average Indian can afford and much in the same ballpark as the Toyota Prius or even much more than that. Also, the Prius is a proper sedan while the others here are hatchbacks. Would really be a long time for the manufacturers to think of even localizing things to bring down the costs. We wouldn’t be able to even quote a definite time frame as to when these machines would make it to the Indian market. A hint would be 2015.