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Power Transportation

Ola Wants a Million Electric Rides on India's Roads by 2021 (bloomberg.com) 28

Ride-hailing company Ola, Uber's fiercest Indian competitor, wants to roll out 10,000 electric three-wheeled rickshaws within a year and a million battery-powered vehicles by 2021. From a report: The startup run by ANI Technologies said it's in policy discussions with several state governments, and is talking with potential partners from automakers to battery producers. It aims to build out an existing pilot project in the central Indian city of Nagpur, where Ola's first EVs have already traveled more than 4 million kilometers. Ola's ambitions dovetail with the Indian government's objectives. Prime Minster Narendra Modi plans to significantly increase the number of new energy vehicles on the road. The power ministry in March said Modi had directed senior ministers to ensure that by 2030 most vehicles in India would be powered by electricity.

Ola Wants a Million Electric Rides on India's Roads by 2021

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    What will be your priority?

    Making as much money as you could, or giving up 10 hours per day not driving your vehicle (which means no income) while you try recharging it?

    Add to that, India's power supply is notoriously unstable

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      Normally I'd write a rebuttal concerning charge times - but in the case of India, honestly, you're spot on. India has been doing this "We want a ton of electric vehicles.... but we're not going to do anything to prepare for them or encourage them" game. I mean, they added a subsidy, but it's very small, and only applies to local manufacturers, which are way behind the game on EV tech investments. The country has put way too little into charging infrastructure, and their anticompetitive trade policies (such

  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Monday April 16, 2018 @02:56AM (#56444435)

    https://in.reuters.com/article... [reuters.com]

    Insight: Ola's sputtering India electric vehicle trial a red flag for Modi plan

    Clean energy stories on Slashdot aren't dog whistles, they're electrodes planted in the pleasure centers of the gullible.

    • From the article linked in parent:

      Getting infrastructure built in the world's biggest democracy where a not-in-my-backyard culture proliferates is a barrier for a lot of businesses in India. And it is proving to be the same for charging stations - Ola was forced to close one in Nagpur last year after protests by residents angered by traffic jams caused by drivers. It took more than five months to get government clearances to begin operating another station.

      Seems they want to blame this on democracy. Well, what's the solution then? Remove just "a little bit" of democracy? I have a problem with that. It's never "a little bit".

      Maybe what they need is a government that can properly plan the roads and other infrastructure so the people won't complain. This is not something that can be forced by government. People have to want the electric cars. Paying people to take them, when there isn't sufficient infrastructure to support them, is going to create a distaste for them in the future. Traffic jams around charging stations is a symptom of a problem, not the problem itself. Had they allowed this to develop more naturally with market forces then this would not have happened. What they have now is perhaps an entire generation with a bad experience with electric vehicles, because they forced them on the market too soon.

      The electric car industry may have just shot itself in the foot, and it may take decades before people lose the memory of this experience.

      Good job! You may have just stalled the electric car industry in India by 20 years!

      • Seems they want to blame this on democracy.

        There is a lot of truth in that. Infrastructure projects in China happen amazingly fast, and their ability to bulldoze through any local opposition is a big reason for that.

        NIMBYism doesn't scale. Sure, you don't want the new sewage plant in your neighborhood, but neither does anyone else, and if it doesn't get built your toilet doesn't flush. Someone has to have the authority to make hard unpopular decisions, with decisiveness and finality. Very few democracies do that well.

        • Seems they want to blame this on democracy.

          There is a lot of truth in that. Infrastructure projects in China happen amazingly fast, and their ability to bulldoze through any local opposition is a big reason for that.

          NIMBYism doesn't scale. Sure, you don't want the new sewage plant in your neighborhood, but neither does anyone else, and if it doesn't get built your toilet doesn't flush. Someone has to have the authority to make hard unpopular decisions, with decisiveness and finality. Very few democracies d

          • Fortunately, there's always someone willing to be the "President-For-LIfe", or "Der Fuhrer", or whatever.

            That often doesn't solve the problem. It is often said of the Fascists in Italy, that "At least Mussolini made the trains run on time" ... but that was a lie. It was just propaganda. Italian trans actually continued to be unreliable.

            Snopes: Mussolini made the trains run on time. False [snopes.com]

      • Democracy is the problem, there's a reason China is shooting ahead whilst India fails. Letting every selfish idiot have a say leads to ruin. There's a reason all the progress in the West right now comes from corporations run by dictatorship models rather than the democratic state.

  • If they're electric why do they sound like a misfiring 2-stroke? Oh wait, it was the driver talking.

  • If the powers that be want more people to buy electric vehicles then build an electric vehicle that people would want to buy. It's really that simple.

    But it's not that simple, is it? Because building an electric vehicle that people would want to buy is hard.

    People don't burn petroleum because they want to pollute the air. They burn this stuff because that's how we get the lifestyle we all enjoy. There's no easy answer to this. Providing subsidies to buy electric vehicles are great for the people that g

    • Synthesizing hydrocarbons closes the carbon loop on burning those hydrocarbons, we won't be releasing more carbon into the environment from long separated off reservoirs deep in the earth. We can take the carbon from the air and water, make fuel from it, and when it's burned it goes into the air again for more fuel later. It's as carbon neutral as any electric car.

      making hydrocarbons from electricity and then burning them in a car is horribly inefficient. (burning fuel only puts about 20% of its energy in

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Also, the combustion produces nitrogen oxides, particulates, and so on, depositing this pollution right in the populated places where the cars are driven.

        Also, extracting CO2 from the air is pain because it is so dilute. One must do work against entropy.
        Obviously it can be done. Plants do it, for example, but they don't do it cheap - they require lots of freshwater, and trace minerals.

        If you can just as easily use a wind turbine or hydro dam or solar panel to charge an electric car and never burn anything

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Shh, it's about this quarters profits. That is as far as they see. They know the truth, they do not care, they want to keep fossil fuellers share prices up and sell fossil fuels for as long as they can, as fast as they can, they do not care, honestly really, they get more of a kick getting away with lying to everyone, then they do about creating a better future for humanity. For them humanity is the person they see in the mirror and the rest of us, we are just furniture to be used.

        Electric vehicles will do

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      You are looking at it from a developed world perspective.

      I was in China earlier this year. Millions of electric scooters everywhere. It was actually quite scary - silent, often in a poor state of repair, people don't use their lights or seem to have any concept of how to drive safely, often rode them on the pavement... All electric, and extremely popular.

      Makes sense for China. They are mostly lead acid batteries, which are very cheap. Limited range is fine for going to work etc. People have strong family ti

  • And I want to live in a luxurious high rise in Tokyo, so what?

  • It looks like this is the electric rickshaw [mahindrasmallcv.com] they're talking about.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Monday April 16, 2018 @08:48AM (#56445231) Journal
    There is a reason India leads the world in UPS and battery backups.

    Indian homes use truck batteries and inverters to power their home during their periodic, regular, announced and un announced power cuts. Indian grid is woefully inadequate to handle charging loads of so many battery cars.

    I read a piece on Karachi, Pakistan, (I know Pakistan is a different country, not a province of India) where families gets into their air-conditioned cars and drive around aimlessly to escape the mid day heat when the scheduled power cut kicks in. I am sure that is common in India too.

    It could take a while for battery cars to take hold in India. Capital is very expensive in India. But the government is likely to encourage it. India is self sufficient in dirty coal, but needs to import oil for petrol and diesel. From balance of trade and foreign exchange perspectives, they really would like pure electric cars to take hold.

    • At least a little while ago, the farmers got free electricity. That meant that if you were downstream of a farm and they were pumping water, there was no electricity left, they could literally send a boy up the poll to wrap the stripped ends of a wire around the distribution cables and use it to power an electric drill that barely even spun. There must have been no more than a couple of dozen volts available.

      I guess now the farms will all become vehicle recharging lots

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      Interestingly enough, rapid chargers would actually be more reliable in India than "destination chargers" / level 1/2. The higher-end of rapid chargers are starting to use battery packs to buffer from the grid (in order to deliver power faster than the grid can provide at a reasonable price). So random, unannounced power cuts don't phase them, so long as they're not excessively long.

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