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Old 14th July 2019, 23:12   #91
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

I am expecting a drastic change here once Maruti, Hyundai and Mahindra launch Electric cars within Rs. 10 lakhs with running range of 200kms. These charging stations will come like mushrooms on Fuel pumps, Dhabhas, Hotels along highways.

In todays world, technology is changing so rapidly that anything can happen within a small span of time.
Don't be a Nokia, be a Samsung.
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Old 15th July 2019, 11:17   #92
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

The Home Alone Boys

In the early ’90s, the ‘Bombay Club’ came together to stall liberalisation.

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Economic reform, now as easily digestible as a McDonald’s cheeseburger washed down with Coke, wasn’t so well thought of by many in the early 1990s. Phrases such as ‘competitive forces’, ‘core competence’ and ‘globally oriented’ terrorised a majority of Indian industrialists back then—just like the phrase hire-and-fire scares today’s workforce but didn’t mean a thing two decades ago. Seventeen years ago, India’s most important businessmen got together and discussed ways and means to stall liberalisation. This protectionist lobby, also known as the Bombay Club, met at the Belvedere in Oberoi (now Trident) hotel in Mumbai. They struck at the very heart of what the P.V. Narasimha Rao government was trying to do—encourage Indian industrialists to compete with foreign firms in the local market.

The Bombay Club’s unofficial spokesperson turned out to be Bajaj Auto’s Rahul Bajaj. In August 1997, Bajaj wrote in Frontline magazine: “People have been given the wrong impression that the Bombay Club is protectionist and wants the reforms process to be rolled back. Let me clarify that there is no such thing as Bombay Club. As I am perceived to be a spokesperson for this Club, let me make myself clear: I believe that almost all the big Indian companies in future should not become foreign-controlled.” Recently, his son Rajiv Bajaj tweeted that the Bombay Club was a “figment of the media’s imagination”. That remark isn’t entirely accurate, says Sucheta Dalal, the reporter who broke the story about the meetings at the Mumbai hotel in 1993.

Dalal says she coined the phrase Bombay Club as a “short-hand way” to describe the informal grouping. “It wasn’t a Bombay ‘club’ in the sense that there was no constitution, nor a clubhouse. Also, some industrialists such as the late Lalit Thapar who attended its meetings were from Delhi. But those meetings did take place and their agenda really was stalling or slowing reforms,” says Dalal, now the managing editor of Moneylife magazine. Dalal says Rahul Bajaj didn’t attend the first meeting—it was later, at a cii meet she attended, that Bajaj confessed openly to supporting the Bombay grouping.

Though details remain sketchy, the core group also included Nusli Wadia and Hari Shankar Singhania and one more unnamed senior industrialist. Others included Jamshed Godrej, M.V. Arunachalam, C.K. Birla and Bharat Ram. Many of the club’s supporters were members of the prominent business lobbies, FICCI and CII. Of course, both agencies now strongly advocate liberalisation of businesses still under government control such as defence equipment manufacturing or insurance.

Dr Shankar Acharya, a key member of the government’s economic team back then and now with think-tank icrier, says that in the mid-’90s reforms were “touch-and-go”. So active were groups of Indian businessmen against competition from abroad that things could have turned either way. There may have been no reform, says Acharya, “if their views had prevailed politically...and they were all politically connected. Fortunately, the government held firm or the outcome would have been different”.

So what made economic reforms stay its course? A number of experts and India-watchers say it hasn’t. Reform, if loosely defined as allowing technology, products and investment from abroad into India, and allowing foreign companies to compete with homegrown industry, has had massive impact but has remained “piecemeal”. It’s not that reforms haven’t taken place though. “Reforms have been painfully slow precisely because of arguments like ‘infant industries need protection’, espoused by the Bombay Club and others,” says commentator Gurcharan Das.

There was, of course, a ‘counter lobby’. People with diametrically opposite worldviews pushing to liberalise and modernise India’s public institutions. Rajiv Desai, who runs Comma Consulting, says he and Sam Pitroda were among those “imported” into India by the late Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s. Says Desai, “As Indians in the US, Sam and I used to meet as part of the ‘Chicago Forum’. India’s liberalisation was always our agenda.” During the ’80s, the first seeds of liberalisation were planted. “So much thought was put into every decision during those pre- and post-liberalisation years that the Bombay Club’s quest to slow reforms for being ‘too rapid’ is moot,” says Desai.

By the early ’90s, India saw cable TV, Citibank, credit cards, mortgages, Pepsi and Coke. By 1993, consumer goods makers were coming in—soaps and toiletries, washing machines and car manufacturers. Around this time, say both Das and Desai, the Bombay Club stirred things up. “That is why nothing much happened in Indian reforms after 1993, and up to 2004,” says Desai. Gurcharan Das too avers that the “biggest surprise” in India’s liberalisation was not that the country wasn’t swamped by foreign goods as the Bombay Club feared. “The surprise was that even our halting, slow reforms had such sweeping impact—Indian firms were able to take on international competition head-on,” he says.

Sucheta Dalal points out the ways in which leading Indian companies showed mettle—the Tatas struck JVs with an array of foreign companies in its quest for new technology and modern management skills. Indeed, Bombay Club members by and large have made good during the past 17 years or so.

DNA executive editor R. Jagannathan says the club was an informal set of businessmen meeting at a time when they felt “threatened by liberalisation”. Of course, we’ve all heard of instances like that of Ramesh Chauhan of Parle Industries, who felt his company might be wiped out. But most of them now find their own arguments irrelevant. Others like the Birlas, Ambanis and Sanjay Lalbhai of Arvind Mills chose to support reforms. “One of the things the businessmen learned from liberalisation is that even if their own companies do not directly benefit from opening up...they can sell off their companies and still make money,” says Jagannathan.

Dr Shivanand Kanavi, global head, marketing and strategic communications, CMC, says that at least in part the Bombay Club was an expression of an insecurity that was more widespread in the country at the time. Shall we wait before opening up, have we deregulated the domestic market enough, are we ready for competition? “There were many in India thinking along these lines,” he says. The other doubt was whether India was selling out to international forces (as FM, Manmohan Singh, from budget speech to speech, had to clarify that this wasn’t so).

Ironically, this wasn’t the first Bombay Club. Two years before India’s independence, in January 1945, a group of Indian businessmen—P.D. Thakurdas, J.R.D. Tata, G.D. Birla, Shri Ram Kasturbhai Lal Bhai, A.D. Shroff and John Matthai—had submitted a “plan of economic development for India”. Nothing came of that. As for this chapter, Manmohan always reminds dissenting voices from industry (which almost pretends as if the Bombay Club never existed) about how far they have travelled despite the fears. This time around, no one’s protesting.
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Old 15th July 2019, 12:07   #93
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

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Originally Posted by avishar View Post
The Home Alone Boys

In the early ’90s, the ‘Bombay Club’ came together to stall liberalisation.
Slightly Off Topic

There is a significant difference between the industrialists stalling economic liberalisation in the 1990s vs Rahul Bajajs objection to the proposed govt policy today.

The former is a bunch of private businessmen being afraid of competition from outside India lobbying the government to continue its protectionist chokehold over the economy for their own private gains. They are thus embracing heavy government intervention on the market for their own benefit.

The latter is a Businessman objecting to government intervention in the market to favour one business (EV) over the other(ICE n hybrid).

The two scenarios are completely different.

Also the government doesn’t deserve any praise for the economic liberalisation in the 90s. That’s what they should have done all along the moment British left. And the fact that they did eventually do it was primarily due to the fact that the Indian economy and the government was on the verge of going broke. It was on the verge of a balance of payment crisis and had no other options on the table other than liberalisation, else it would have been Weimar Republic 2.0.
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Old 15th July 2019, 13:36   #94
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

After reading this thread, it seems that the single most important factor people are worried about are - charging infrastructure (as it takes care of range anxiety). The upfront capex / price of the car is a lot bigger problem to be solved.

Now, considering how improvising & entrepreneurial people here generally are, I think charging infra is kind of easy to take care of. For e.g. if there is enough demand, every dhaba, pan walla, even grocery store, will have an additional socket outside their store with a separate meter where you can pay based on your consumption. Of course, these would not be fancy superchargers, etc. but nobody will be stranded for want of electricity to charge their vehicles.

To give a few examples - In Goa as petrol pumps are far, you can buy petrol in water litre bottles practically everywhere. Whenever a new office complex / building opens, you will find many vendors selling tea, snacks, etc. mushrooming around in no time.
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Old 15th July 2019, 14:19   #95
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

Wow, People have strong feelings against Bajaj. I appreciate him for speaking out when the others don't dare. He's given us some of the best and most affordable two wheelers ever.

ICE engines need to go eventually but the Government needs to provide a solution and a road map and not ad hoc decisions and deadlines.

Bajaj's claim that EVs are being rejected by the populace is true, due to the reasons of affordability, charging practicality.

Once these are resolved people will embrace EVs. All the Government needs to do is create an environment for them.


Like a lot of members have already mentioned, we can start by making all the public transport EV based at the earliest. That will also give real world experience and difficulties in having to support mass EVs.

I am pretty sure that if they plan to ban ICE manufacturing after six years, existing cars would be next in line to be banned.

All this when the EVs cost a bomb and without a proper(Atleast not disclosed) plan of power production VS distribution ?

I for one think Bajaj is bang on (he might have his agenda) but there needs a lot of home work done by the government before announcing these rule changes, a la demonetization.

I liked and agree the following quote from Bajaj, I think it sums up the decision of banning ICE vehicles in six years aptly.

Quote:
This is the most absurd thing. To me, this is a Sheikh Chilli kind of thing, a self-inflicted pain.


- Slick
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Old 15th July 2019, 18:40   #96
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

While I was convinced that Mr Bajaj had vested interests in going against the Gov move, a few days of thinking has given me a different perspective.

I see some members here comparing it to the Mobile Phone transformation from feature to smart. What we fail to realise is that the chargers came with the phone and the charging infrastructure was already in place in our homes. The same cannot be said for a car and a forced transition in this case can be disastrous. What if I forget to charge my EV overnight or if there is a power outage or some kid in my building decides to play with the cord and disconnects the cord. Charging a car is not as simple as refueling and thats where the concern is. Today, if a pump near my house is not functioning, I can go to another pump 2-3 kms down the lane, refuel in 2 mins and move on. What if there is a power outage in my block? Do I drive 3-4 kms to a charging point and stand 60-90 mins for a 50% recharge in a city where parking space is as rare as pot hole free road?

I am all for EVs and I am of the firm opinion that 2 wheelers need to be the first to be transitioned simply because of the sheer volume of two wheelers on our roads. But this cannot be done without a concrete plan in place. If the Gov has a plan to put at least 70% of the Infra in place before the deadline then brilliant. Go for it!
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Old 15th July 2019, 22:28   #97
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

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Originally Posted by aashishnb View Post
Now, considering how improvising & entrepreneurial people here generally are, I think charging infra is kind of easy to take care of. For e.g. if there is enough demand, every dhaba, pan walla, even grocery store, will have an additional socket outside their store with a separate meter where you can pay based on your consumption. Of course, these would not be fancy superchargers, etc. but nobody will be stranded for want of electricity to charge their vehicles.
I wish this were true. Charging something like the Hyundai Kona with 30KwH battery pack requires a lot of power. With the regular outlet, it will barely be enough to keep the charging system up. It may add couple miles per hour, which is not going to be enough for the customer, and not enough for the merchant to be profitable.

What is needed is huge incentives for employers to add chargers to every parking lot. Incentives for every apartment parking lot to have chargers. Every home to have chargers. The government, or small time merchants cannot make up for this task. Considering the amount of charge, and the size of the battery, it would be foolhardy for juggad - it would be down right dangerous to use inexpensive cables, switches and such.

I have known of fires in my city when they get budget electricians to install charging outlets for EVs at home.
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Originally Posted by airbender View Post
Looks like someone is betting big on EV future instead of just cribbing.

https://auto.economictimes.indiatime...plant/70185163
This is awesome news! This is the kind that embraces change to thrive. If you remember Kinetic Honda - they had 100% of automatic scooter market. Sulajja Firodia Motwani used to speak a lot about innovation, and R&D. But, pocketed all of the profits for ever. Honda was able to come in and take 100% of their market share. Businesses cannot sit on their market share - customers will certainly move to products that are better, & they will be left cribbing about govt.

Last edited by GutsyGibbon : 15th July 2019 at 22:32.
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Old 16th July 2019, 07:01   #98
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

Better articulation of their position & good suggestions.

https://www.businesstoday.in/top-sto...ry/354926.html
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Old 16th July 2019, 09:29   #99
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Why impose BSVI in 2020 just to make it obsolete in another 5 years (2025) by EVs?

Transition from current BSIV to BSVI itself would take huge investment from the manufacturer's end and also push the prices up in terms of switching from Carb to Fi... and it would definitely impact sales and affect business

.. and then when things might finally steamline in next 5 years, those BSVI engines stands a chance to be Banned and replaced by EVs...!!


If I were a businessman in the Auto business, I might start looking at diversification of business.

Better would have been a Govt. directive to switch straight to EVs, rather than implementing BSVI just for 6 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manish_symc View Post
I am expecting a drastic change here once Maruti, Hyundai and Mahindra launch Electric cars within Rs. 10 lakhs with running range of 200kms. These charging stations will come like mushrooms on Fuel pumps, Dhabhas, Hotels along highways.

In todays world, technology is changing so rapidly that anything can happen within a small span of time.

Don't be a Nokia, be a Samsung.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aashishnb View Post
After reading this thread, it seems that the single most important factor people are worried about are - charging infrastructure (as it takes care of range anxiety). The upfront capex / price of the car is a lot bigger problem to be solved.

Now, considering how improvising & entrepreneurial people here generally are, I think charging infra is kind of easy to take care of. For e.g. if there is enough demand, every dhaba, pan walla, even grocery store, will have an additional socket outside their store with a separate meter where you can pay based on your consumption. Of course, these would not be fancy superchargers, etc. but nobody will be stranded for want of electricity to charge their vehicles.

To give a few examples - In Goa as petrol pumps are far, you can buy petrol in water litre bottles practically everywhere. Whenever a new office complex / building opens, you will find many vendors selling tea, snacks, etc. mushrooming around in no time.


I can't imagine a crowded country like India waiting in lines behind other vehicles to be charged, no-matter how many charging stations there might be in the country.

Unless of course its a Charge "Top-Up' in less than a Minute kind of tech.

Last edited by moralfibre : 16th July 2019 at 10:17. Reason: Back to back posts.
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Old 16th July 2019, 10:08   #100
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

The need to shift to EV is from emissions point of view. Right now both petrol and LPG/CNG are used as bifuel in IC engines. The engine is designed to operate on a compression ratio that is specific to petrol only. Note that LPG has a higher octane rating compared to petrol and can operate at higher compression ratios.
That being the case why the manufacturers are not looking at making engines that run on LPG/CNG only.
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Old 16th July 2019, 10:38   #101
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

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Originally Posted by suresh_gs View Post
The need to shift to EV is from emissions point of view. Right now both petrol and LPG/CNG are used as bifuel in IC engines. The engine is designed to operate on a compression ratio that is specific to petrol only. Note that LPG has a higher octane rating compared to petrol and can operate at higher compression ratios.
That being the case why the manufacturers are not looking at making engines that run on LPG/CNG only.
After reading your post searched for the octane number and calorific values for petrol and lpg. Found out that lpg has higher values for octane and calorific number.

Then why does an engine running on lpg produce lower power and torque as compared to while running on petrol?
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Old 16th July 2019, 10:39   #102
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

As the EV charging time is hours compared to the minutes used for fossil-fuels, this will create a lot of traffic and congestion in the charging points. Other than overnight home charging, the only solution may be, customers have to come to an agreement with the "charging providers" for a battery swap at their charging points. That means, wherever I drive in India, I should be able to swap my car's drained battery with a "full charged" battery from these charging points.

Last edited by romeomidhun : 16th July 2019 at 10:49.
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Old 16th July 2019, 11:47   #103
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

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Originally Posted by nsbhagwat View Post
After reading your post searched for the octane number and calorific values for petrol and lpg. Found out that lpg has higher values for octane and calorific number.

Then why does an engine running on lpg produce lower power and torque as compared to while running on petrol?
This is because the IC engine operating as bifuel is designed for compression ratio for petrol and not LPG/CNG. Hence the power drop. Higher the compression ratio, better the efficiency. Since LPG and CNG are gaseous in nature, they tend to cause a drop in Volumetric efficiency. Using LPG as fuel, power drop is around 8% while it is 10-20% in CNG.
My thought is to design and build an engine that operates on LPG/CNG only. By this we can achieve higher compression ratios, more power and less emissions. Recently TVS launched a 2 wheeler that is meant to run on Ethanol only.
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Old 16th July 2019, 11:56   #104
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

I dont see a E-Bike from Bajaj that is in pipeline for near future. I am not sure how aggressive or well entrenched they are in making one.

There might be some issues with the govt's push. But for manufacturers, they need to have products in the market and let the market decide how much they can consume. There will not be a day when there will be only e-vehicles and no electricity to charge them. Lots of solutions are expected to come by vehicle manufacturers and new enterprises. Its not completely the govt that will enable this.
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Old 16th July 2019, 14:54   #105
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Default Re: Rajiv Bajaj's blistering attack on the Government's "shift to EV" plan

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Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
I dont see a E-Bike from Bajaj that is in pipeline for near future. I am not sure how aggressive or well entrenched they are in making one.

There might be some issues with the govt's push. But for manufacturers, they need to have products in the market and let the market decide how much they can consume.....
If you read the interview, Bajaj, in no way, is against EVs. All he's saying is that the ban on ICE is ridiculous, especially on such a short notice. The NITI ayog has suggested 6 years.

To address your first point, Bajaj are expected to launch an Electric scooter soon. (Bajaj Urbanite) Article is from May 2019.

https://auto.ndtv.com/news/bajaj-urb...esting-2042584

The ICE industry supports millions of jobs, directly or indirectly in India, another reason why the Government should be careful before banning the tech completely.

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