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View Poll Results: Would the subsidy on electric vehicles be beneficial?
YES 60 81.08%
NO 14 18.92%
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Old 26th December 2013, 16:48   #1
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Default Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

Though, personally I’m a big supporter of “National Electric Mobility Mission” hereinafter referred to as NEMM, but looking at the realities of Indian market, I sincerely believe this mission would do more harm than good, in it’s current avatar.

A big subsidy on electric vehicles would be highly counterproductive in Indian scenario. Reason being - Anything running on electricity is quickly winded/lapped up by villagers, and other dishonest people (in towns and cities) who steal electricity.

This habit of stealing has reached such a proportion, that it has literally become a pandemic. Backed by local/state politicians who urge people (in villages) not to pay bills, which gets accumulated over time and is eventually written off during election time or by a new government.

These people run electric hotplates (the biggest market for hotplates is rural India), AC's (they buy the cheapest AC’s with no star rating), submersible pumps, etc. nonstop (since it's free), oblivious of the damage they are inflicting on nature. Not to mention the high electricity rates, we the bill paying people have to shoulder upon, because of stealing by these folks.

If there be no electricity theft, the discoms can easily slash unit rated by more than 50%.(my assumption, could be more)
So, case in point, electric vehicles, if made affordable by NEMM to the masses, would sell like hot cakes in the hinterland, for it would be costing nothing to run.

So, unless something can be done to check power pilferage/theft, the subsidy on electric vehicles could boomerang for the government and to us bill paying folks (in terms of higher unit rates, to compensate for those who don't pay).
I know this is a debatable topic, and some might argue that benefits far outweigh the negatives, it would be interesting to know people’ thought on this.
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Old 26th December 2013, 20:16   #2
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Default re: Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaudh2s View Post
A big subsidy on electric vehicles would be highly counterproductive in Indian scenario. Reason being - Anything running on electricity is quickly winded/lapped up by villagers, and other dishonest people (in towns and cities) who steal electricity.

This habit of stealing has reached such a proportion, that it has literally become a pandemic.
...it would be interesting to know people’ thought on this.
Flawed logic.

Illegal activities by a section of the population does not mean any government or other authority should deny the benefits of technology to a larger part of the population.

If the villagers/dishonest people don't use stolen electricity to run EVs, they'd use poor quality diesel in antiquated engines (as they continue to), to pollute the air everyone else breathes.

OTOH, clean generation of electricity (hydro, nuclear) would make the quality of our lives a lot better, even if some of it is stolen.

Why must we assume that large-scale theft will continue to be a way of life in this country for ever?
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Old 26th December 2013, 20:52   #3
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Default re: Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

Huge amounts of petrol & diesel are adulterated & pilfered too. Tax payer pays for that too. Lets stop selling them too entirely?

Also, its likely that the electric car buyer will be an urbanite, not the stereotype villager who steals power.
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Old 26th December 2013, 21:17   #4
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Default re: Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaudh2s View Post

A big subsidy on electric vehicles would be highly counterproductive in Indian scenario. Reason being - Anything running on electricity is quickly winded/lapped up by villagers, and other dishonest people (in towns and cities) who steal electricity.


These people run electric hotplates (the biggest market for hotplates is rural India), AC's (they buy the cheapest AC’s with no star rating), submersible pumps, etc. nonstop (since it's free), oblivious of the damage they are inflicting on nature. Not to mention the high electricity rates, we the bill paying people have to shoulder upon, because of stealing by these folks.
Why is this post targeting villagers/common man? Villages have erratic power supply, huge load shedding/power cuts, and generally may not have the latest gizmos and gadgets available to them. You seem to pointing your finger solely at the aam aadmi making him responsible for power shortages and the 'enormous' bill that you are paying.
Maybe you should stand up and take notices of the power hungry indistries that are directly responsible for the power shortage/stealing of power. The power used by a villager running on an ac with 'no star rating' is peanuts compared to the amount of electricity that is stolen without payment!!!
Though I understand your post is about the NEMM, you are dragging focus away from the topic and instead choosing to lay blame solely on the common man who is denied many basic rights that are enjoyed by the high and powerful.
We'd rather debate about NEMM rather than who steals what.

Just my two cents.
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Old 26th December 2013, 21:18   #5
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Default re: Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

NEMM is much required in the country. This will give a boost to the automobile industry. I do not agree that villagers are of the habit of stealing electricity. There may be a few cases in isolation. Maximum electricity theft is from the urban areas. Instead of scrapping NEMM, let us all say that stop providing electricity connections at unauthorised and encroached areas. The department is quick at issuing these connections and the genuine buyer is always found running behind the power officials.

I know of many villages in North India which gets electricity during the day for one week and during the night for one week, means only 12 hrs. Most of their consumption is towards their crops which ultimately comes to us in one way or the other.

NEMM is a welcome step in the right direction and all efforts must be put in place to expedite the very purpose for which it exists.
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Old 27th December 2013, 00:20   #6
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Default re: Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

By your reasoning, the CFL light bulbs in your house, ought to be priced at 10,000 rupees per unit to keep it out of the "villagers and other dishonest people's" hands. Let us not even get into the reason why these people might be drawn to such methods.

Please check your thoughts.

Anyway I am all for the subsidy if it means an electric car to pop to the shops in or a quiet ride back home from the airport in an electric Verito.
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Old 27th December 2013, 09:40   #7
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Default re: Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

You have to look at the big picture. The real question is, if we do subsidise electric cars, will it reduce the fuel imports of our country. If it does reduce the fiscal deficit, then its good even if it is not being managed properly within the country. Over time the usage will need to be monitored and improved of course.

Also, remember that the technology is very new now. Once it gains popularity the subsidies can always be withdrawn. The good thing is, the subsidy is not on the fuel so its unlikely to become like diesel is now.
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Old 27th December 2013, 10:02   #8
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Default re: Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

Given that 70% of electricity is generated by burning Coal, i it really better from cost/ environment point of view (as compared to Petroleum fuels) ?


Source :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electri...ector_in_India
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Old 28th December 2013, 20:28   #9
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Default Re: Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

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Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
Given that 70% of electricity is generated by burning Coal, i it really better from cost/ environment point of view (as compared to Petroleum fuels) ?
This debate is a different one altogether. There have been innumerable debates on whether electricity is really good or not.

My take is that, as a country the government should look at investment in technology, which may or may not yield returns in the future. The reason is, if the government does not do that, no private party will ever make an investment. But its important to own technology because we dont know how the future is going to pan out.

For instance, may be as solar panels will become cheaper, 5 years down we may be powering our cars with electricity generated from Solar power - may be - but we need to have technology to manage it at that time.

So, i really do support the subsidy as either way the adoption will be quite low as the battery technology is still not quite there yet - where people can buy electric cars and have a trouble free 10 years of life. So one can quite safely say that it will not bring a paradigm shift in our transportation sector. But what it does is let our companies test the waters, think about hybrids, and new models that may suit India (think why Hybrids just never worked in India).
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Old 28th December 2013, 21:19   #10
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Default Re: Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
Given that 70% of electricity is generated by burning Coal, i it really better from cost/ environment point of view (as compared to Petroleum fuels) ?


Source :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electri...ector_in_India
I was reading a recent article in IEEE magazine. I am writing down what I remember.

Electric vehicles are cheaper to run and are pollution free, but they aren't the least polluting when whole life of the vehicle is considered (including manufacturing). In fact it might just be as polluting as a Land Rover. Extraction and processing of Heavy metals that are used in batteries create a lot of pollution. In order to reduce weight, lighter material like aluminium is used, which again is more polluting than say steel. Not to forget the source of electricity - coal.

Considering the current growth of the technology, by 2020, following order was predicted. Least polluting type considering the whole life cycle of a car

Natural Gas
Diesel
Petrol
others (i don't recall the order below, it doesn't even matter

It is good that manufacturers are trying to explore cleaner options but whole current 'Electric' system may be not be as good as made to believe.

Last edited by fi.robin : 28th December 2013 at 21:21.
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Old 30th December 2013, 12:18   #11
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Default Re: Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsurya View Post
Also, its likely that the electric car buyer will be an urbanite, not the stereotype villager who steals power.
Recent experience of proliferation of e-rickshaws in the capital has emphasized that cheap transport option will be popular among the large masses. Many have switched to this mode of transport, forcing authorities to look into ways of regulating this segment. This phenomenon is likely to spread throughout the country very soon.
I am not saying that all e-rickshaw drivers use stolen electricity to charge their batteries, I am sure many of them actually pay for the electricity they use. But, the unit cost of electricity is far lesser than traditional fuels, so the economics will dictate the popularity of such e-rickshaws amongst the masses.
The underlying point is that as in every good or service , bought or sold in Indian market, it's not environmental considerations that will drive adoption of electric powered vehicles but basic economics - and that this will cut across the rural-urban divide.
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Old 30th December 2013, 12:54   #12
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Electricity can be produced by a variety of ways. Today you burn coal, tomorrow you may use nuclear power or solar power or wind power. Even if it's not the cleanest today it can become cleaner.

Fossil fuels can only be obtained from a single source. Also considering the time taken for the fossil fuels to be created it certainly cannot be called a renewable energy. Also it will never be as clean as electricity can be.

Fossil fuel technology basically can't evolve any more significantly. However electric vehicle technology will take leaps and bounds in future.
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Old 30th December 2013, 13:32   #13
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Default Re: Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaudh2s View Post
A big subsidy on electric vehicles would be highly counterproductive in Indian scenario. Reason being - Anything running on electricity is quickly winded/lapped up by villagers, and other dishonest people (in towns and cities) who steal electricity.
How can you infer that by subsidising EVs in India it can lead to misuse of electricity? Do you think people who steal electricity will be planning to invest lakhs of Rs in an EV for this sole purpose?

Majority of people who buy an EV are in Urban India, hence the problem of misusing the electricity that too in Rural India is plainly not possible.

Today majority of prospective customers who enquire about EVs turn down the purchase decision only because it is high priced even though they appreciate the technology, hence its vital that EVs are subsidized to make it more affordable to the masses.

And it is not only about customer centric to make it more affordable, but also helps reducing the carbon footprints and import bill to the country.
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Old 30th December 2013, 17:26   #14
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Default Re: Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

This can be argued with two different school of thought:
# 1, Managerial view: The amount of money involved is huge & given the track record of out Govt. (sorry for being off the topic, but it is a very valid point), I'm not very convinced what ratio of money will go as kick off, middle man & how much will we be getting as common man
# 2, Technical view: It is not yet proven that Electric cars have less carbon foot print as compared to say downsized Turbo Diesel or CNG. It is more valid for our country where majority of the (~ 60 - 70%) of Electricity comes by burning coal that too low grade high sulphur, that too illegally mined (destroying natural forest cover). To add further to the woes, heave metals used in the manufacturing of the Battery & it's safe disposal is questionable ( i recently inquired about disposal of my old Laptop & got the quotation of 3.5k INR how many of us follow this).
To conclude: downsized Turbo Diesel should be the current trend followed by Hybrid & then should be full electric, in this span of time Govt. should invest same money in reducing the dependency in coal & moving to may Nuclear (arguable !), Solar, Wind etc...
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Old 30th December 2013, 17:40   #15
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Default Re: Do we really need the "National Electric Mobility Mission"?

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Originally Posted by TurboGuru View Post
I'm not very convinced what ratio of money will go as kick off, middle man & how much will we be getting as common man
When the Govt had subsidized EVs from April 2011 to March 2012, it was 20% of the Ex-S/R value of the car and the entire money is passed on to the customer without any commission from the middle man.
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