Automobile major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) will increase the price of its vehicles from January 1, 2021.
The revision will affect its range of 'Passenger and Commercial Vehicles', across models.
"This has been necessitated due to the increase in commodity prices and various other input costs," a company statement said.
"Details of the price increase across different models will be communicated in due course."
Electric car maker Tesla will shut down production for its Model S and Model X vehicles at its Fremont (California)-based factory for 18 days, beginning December 24.
According to an internal memo accessed by CNBC, workers on those production lines will get a week's pay and some will get paid holidays.
Employees were told they were being "given a full week of pay for the forced time off, but were encouraged to seek shifts working for, or even volunteering in, other parts of the business for the remaining unpaid days," the report said on Sunday.
The shutdown of the Model S and X lines suggests that the high demand does not extend to these older models.
"It's not clear what Tesla intends to do with its Model S and X lines during the holiday shutdown".
The memo also says the workers can volunteer to help with delivery of vehicles to customers while production is on hold.
In the third quarter of 2020 that ended on September 30, Tesla produced 145,000 vehicles and delivered 139,300. Of that number, Tesla produced just under 17,000 Model S and X vehicles, delivering 15,200 of them.
In a separate email to employees, Elon Musk said that demand for Tesla vehicles has been "quite a bit higher than production this quarter."
After spending his most life in California, Musk has finally relocated to Texas, calling California 'complacent'.
Tesla is building its next factory in Austin, Texas and Musk has threatened to move the production out of California.
The move to Texas makes sense for him as it has no state income tax while California has the highest tax regime in the country.
As the climate emergency deepens, oil-guzzling motor vehicles are switching to electricity instead. That does not bode well for oil-rich nations
The only officials present were American and Saudi,” tweeted the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, but he was either mistaken or was not telling the whole story. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu really did fly into Saudi Arabia recently to spend a few hours with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We owe this knowledge to that indispensable journalistic resource, the flight-tracking websites. They revealed that the private plane Netanyahu usually charters for secret visits abroad departed from Tel Aviv recently and flew to Neom in Saudi Arabia, taking off for the return flight three-and-a-half-hours later. So, did a meeting actually take place? Did something go awry? Or did a meeting take place, but each side took the public stance that best met its political needs?
No matter what the compulsion for the ambiguity, one thing is crystal clear: The meeting was meaningless. Once upon a time it would have been headline news around the world. ‘US superpower and oil-rich Saudi Arabia get together with embattled Israeli leader to carve up the Middle East’, or something along those lines. Whereas today this meeting barely got noticed. Netanyahu is indeed embattled but it is corruption charges he’s fighting, not a foreign enemy. Pompeo is a soon-to-be-unemployed politician polishing up his CV for a senatorial nomination in 2022 or the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. Prince Mohammed bin Salman is still effectively the dictator of Saudi Arabia, but that no longer cuts much ice in the rest of the world. Some of this collapse in relevance is temporary. Netanyahu will eventually go to jail or retire, but Israel will still be the dwarf superpower that bestrides the Middle East militarily. Pompeo and his employer US President Donald Trump will soon be out of office and the US will recover some of its former position as a world leader, at least for a while. But Saudi Arabia will never be back as a mover and shaker. The decline is permanent, because “oil-rich” is a phrase destined to become as obsolete as “carbon copy.” The oil revenue of the Arab producers has fallen by more than two-thirds, from $1 trillion in 2012 to only $300 billion this year, and it’s never coming back up. The decline so far has been driven mostly by a steep fall in oil prices — demand rose steadily but oil production persistently rose faster — but now an absolute collapse in demand looms as well.
As the climate emergency deepens, motor vehicles (which account for half of all oil use globally) are switching to electricity instead. That does not bode well for oil rich nations. Britain and France are now committed to end all sales of new cars with internal combustion engines by 2030, which means in practice that nobody there will buy a new petroleum-fuelled car after 2025. Many other countries have or are debating similar measures. So what happens to a country like Saudi Arabia, where four-fifths of the Government budget comes from oil revenues? Budget cuts are already happening, of course, but revenues will continue to fall. Moreover, the population in almost all the oil-producing Gulf states is still growing fast.
At some point these two lines on the graph will intersect in a politically destabilising way. If Saudi Arabia and the smaller Gulf oil-States go on spending vast amounts of money on weapons, ostensibly to protect themselves from Iran, the lines will intersect a little sooner, but in any case it’s just a matter of time. The extraordinary stability of these States — not a single change of regime in the six oil-rich monarchies of the Arabian peninsula in the past 50 years — has been based entirely on the ability of the traditional rulers to buy the acquiescence of their subjects. Once the wealth goes, so does the stability.
The Arabian peninsula has been briefly a major centre of power only twice in world history: Once in 632-661 CE, after which the capital of the early Islamic empire moved to Damascus, and once from 1973 to the present — but not for much longer. Even the unity of Saudi Arabia itself, which was imposed by force less than a century ago, may not survive the transition. The dominant power centres of the post-oil Middle East will be exactly where they were for most of the past thousand years: Turkey, Iran and Egypt. And at no time in the last thousand years have any two of those three powers been able to cooperate for long. They do have some things in common: Islam (although in two different and generally hostile versions), relatively modern, semi-industrialised economies (Turkey most, Egypt least), and around 100 million people each. But they are divided by language (Turkish, Arabic and Farsi have nothing in common except loan-words), distance (the capitals are more than 2,000 km apart), and by history and politics. Egypt occasionally got conquered by one of the other two but that doesn’t count as collaboration. So it might be argued that the Middle East itself is about to disappear as a meaningful concept. No great loss, really.
(Gwynne Dyer’s new book is ‘Growing Pains: The Future of Democracy and Work.’)
Automobile manufacturer Nissan India on Wednesday announced the special introductory price of all-new Nissan Magnite, starting at Rs 4,99,000 (ex-showroom) valid until December 31, 2020.
Accordingly, the company commenced the pan-India bookings.
"The all-new 'Nissan Magnite' marks the beginning of a new chapter in the 'Nissan NEXT' strategy for both the Indian and global market," Sinan Ozkok, President, Nissan Motor India said in a statement.
"Built on the philosophy of 'Make in India, Make for the World', the all-new Nissan Magnite comes with more than 20 first-in-class and best-in-segment features that provides consumers with a differentiated, innovative and accessible ownership experience."
Besides, the company also launched a first-in-industry virtual test drive feature that allows the customer to experience the "all-new Nissan Magnite on their personal device, wherever they may be".
"This interactive drive experience gives Nissan customers a unique chance to drive the 'carismatic' SUV with a virtual sales consultant," the company statement said.
Shares of automobile companies surged on Wednesday on the back robust sales recorded in November.
Healthy festive demand aided the sales growth last month.
Tata Motors' stocks surged over 4 per cent to touch an intra-day high of Rs 187.30 per share.
The company on Tuesday reported a 20.73 per cent rise in its total sales for November on a year-on-year basis at 49,650 units.
Around 11 a.m., its shares on the BSE were trading at Rs 185.25, higher by Rs 5.55 or 3.09 per cent from its previous close.
Shares of Maruti Suzuki India were trading at Rs 7,192.85, higher by Rs 93.75 or 1.32 per cent from its previous close.
It has reported a growth of 1.7 per cent in its overall sales during November 2020 on a year-on-year basis. The company sold 1,53,223 units of vehicles last month, against 1,50,630 units sold in November 2019.
Shares of two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp, which logged a 14.4 per cent growth in sales for November, rose 1.17 per cent to Rs 3,148.15 per share.
Bajaj Auto witnessed a 2.21 per cent rise in its share price at Rs 3,316.30. On Tuesday, the company reported a 5 per cent growth in total sales during November on a year-on-year basis.
According to the company, total sales during the month under review grew to 4,22,240 units from 4,03,223 units sold during the corresponding month of 2019.
Mahindra & Mahindra's shares on the BSE were trading at Rs 739.65, higher by Rs 4.85 or 0.66 per cent from its previous close.
Its sales rose 3.6 per cent to 42,731 units in November, on a year-on-year basis.
Bengaluru-based Ather Energy is proving that Indian cos can create world-class electric mobility solutions
Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain were ahead of the curve when they founded Ather Energy in 2013. The Bengaluru-based company has created a unique product and service model for electric two-wheelers and will have almost 100 new charging points across the country by the end of the year. With reports emerging that Hero Motocorp, India’s largest conventional two-wheeler company, is looking to up its stake to a majority in the start-up, it has made the news again. While the company has refuted the news, Hero already holds a large stake in Ather. With electric mobility being the flavour of the season, it may not be surprising if the Delhi-based group does eventually contemplate a larger stake as the entire business of mobility shifts to ever-lower emissions, which will create an existential crisis for conventional manufacturers going forward.
Ather’s unique model as well as the fact that it has been creating much of its technology and services in India and not blindly importing products from China is also a showcase that India can create innovation in this space. On this front, even manufacturers like Mahindra and Tata have been making several new products, although large battery-manufacturing facilities are yet to come up in India. The Government, through the public-sector owned Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), has also been leasing ever larger fleets of electric-powered vehicles to replace and supplement the large fleet of official vehicles in the nation’s capital. The company also recently announced that it would lease over 100 Kona electric vehicles from Korean manufacturer Hyundai. All said and done though, this is but a drop in the ocean, with the automotive industry facing a critical challenge as the economy is tanking, taking down demand as well. Will customers look at buying electric vehicles? While there is no doubt the running costs of such vehicles, even for the luxury-brand electric vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz EQC, are very low (as little as a rupee a kilometre, a tenth of a conventional internal combustion engine) the high initial capital expenditure can put buyers off. Despite the Delhi Government’s initiative to lower such capital expenditure costs, the Central government will have to encourage the manufacture of such vehicles and batteries in India for zero-emission vehicles to really make a mark. India’s initiatives in altering its energy mix to a greater percentage of renewables will also help in the reduction of emissions, but it would not be a bad idea for the powers that be to consider the promotion of strong hybrid technology which would bring in the benefits of lower emissions while keeping capital costs down.
Like cab aggregators, micro-mobility apps have mushroomed in a post-pandemic world
As the country limps back to normal from a post-COVID lockdown, there has been a major change in consumer behaviour with apps and e-commerce ruling the roost. Doorstep deliveries are the new normal, from essential items like food and groceries to electronics and lifestyle goods. But one could not have expected even the future of our mobility, namely bicycles, to land at out doorstep. Micro-mobility service providers like Yulu and Smart Bikes are shifting their existing battery-operated two-wheeler network from non-functional zones, such as metro stations, to residential complexes where people are using them to run errands or do the short commute rather than take the auto or cab. With public transport systems yet not fully functional and given the sense of insecurity among the people to use them in these testing times, e-vehicles have emerged as a reliable, safe, cheap and personal mode of travel, especially for those who feel vulnerable. Besides, there are health benefits; you can foster an active lifestyle. And you can ride towards a fossil fuel-free future, notching up green miles.
Cycling for everyday transport has not been a part of the Indian scheme of things unlike say, New York, which introduced 40 miles of new NMT lanes for cyclists in the wake of the pandemic or Italy, which got 22 new miles of cycling lanes. The transition towards a non-motorised form of transport has been long overdue in our country. A survey by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy had estimated that the use of bicycles in major cities around the world would increase by 50-60 per cent. While the current plan is being run on a pilot basis in Delhi at a select few residential complexes, to achieve the long-term goal, we need to expand our infrastructure and develop more cycling tracks and sidewalks. To ensure that people, too, inculcate behavioural changes and make the shift to safer modes of transport, schemes such as car-free days and cycle-to-work programmes can be launched. What better time to start than now? The pandemic also has a big lesson for urban planning.
(Courtesy: The Pioneer)
In the Indian car market, the smaller you are, the better your sales. Last month has been much better for the auto sector
The past quarter has been traumatic for the Indian car and bike industry. However, after April, when companies registered zero sales, things have improved much. On the whole, for most automobile manufacturers, sales in June were around half of what they were last year, same month. While we must remember that 2019, too, had seen a decline in automobile sales, the one positive this year has been that firms have been able to recover. Sales for almost every manufacturer doubled from May to June as unlocking began. In the two-wheeler market, the largest manufacturer, Hero Motocorp, sold 450,744 units in the past month, almost three-quarters of the number it sold in June. Bajaj Auto, too, saw an increase in sales, although the manufacturer had a tough time controlling the unfortunate spread of the Chinese virus at its Waluj plant. This came just a few weeks after its boss, Rajiv Bajaj, attacked the Government for the lockdown. Most manufacturers, dealers and workshops across the country are mostly open now, other than those inside a containment zone. Yet, there are some interesting trends that are emerging from last month’s sales. The first is that rural demand has contributed much towards a sharp recovery. This is evident due to the fact that Mahindra Tractors, the largest player in the agricultural vehicle market, has seen a rapid climb in its sales figures. This is indicative of a positive monsoon so far. Similarly, for two-wheeler companies, there is a seeming rural bias, evident in greater sales of commuter motorcycles and a decline in urban-focussed scooters and 150cc plus motorcycles. For cars as well as firms such as Maruti, Hyundai and Tata, who have a larger small car portfolio, are seeing sales pick up. Larger and higher specification vehicles are seeing a commensurate decline in their aggregate demand. However, manufacturers were quick to warn against picking up too many future trends based on last months’ sales as the process of unlocking continues with a bit of confusion still reigning in major cities, such as Chennai and Mumbai, the former being a major automobile production hub.
At the same time, manufacturing remains impacted. Large-scale manufacturers have not been able to move to three-shift operations and smaller suppliers are dealing with not only a smaller labour pool but also the current Sino-India brouhaha. Several intermediate components, as well as manufacturing tools and dyes, come from across the border. Manufacturing might not stabilise before 2021 and not every manufacturer, component supplier, transporter or dealer might be able to deal with the crisis that far. Some Government support will be of great help though.
(Courtesy: The Pioneer)
Cabinet decisions on MSMEs and the agricultural economy are well-intended but depend a lot on implementation and sub-text
The Coronavirus and its shape-shifting effect on the economy have been debilitating but the Government has been reacting to them in fits and starts. And while the stimulus packages announced in a series so far haven’t been as stimulating, the Cabinet decisions with regard to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the agricultural economy are well-intended but depend a lot on implementation and details. The definition of MSMEs has been changed, their turnover limit revised upward to Rs 250 crore from Rs 100 crore. The Government has infused Rs 20,000 crore into the sector as subordinate debt for stressed units. And although the Finance Minister in her first tranche of the stimulus had included Rs 3 lakh crore collateral-free automatic loans for them, many MSME owners claimed that about 97 per cent of them were not in the corporate sector and were either partnerships or proprietorships. So only a minuscule number of firms, that were either private limited or LLP, benefitted. Besides, this badly-hit sector, which contributes up to 30 per cent of the GDP, has not quite recovered from demonetisation and many units are almost on the verge of closure. And for all the detailing, the fact of the matter is that credit channels like banks and NBFCs will have to ease loans to this sector no matter what the Government says. Even now, MSME credit is a very small percentage of total outstanding bank credit and that pie was declining even before the pandemic, decelerating industrial growth. The proposed fund of funds would help list MSMEs on stock exchange, hoping it would encourage private sector investments in them. But without good ratings and financials, that would not deliver immediately. Farmers, too, got some incentive in the form of a hike in Minimum Support Price (MSP) for 14 crops, which will be 50-83 per cent more than the cost of production. But the Government’s loan facility to them (Rs 3 lakh with a two per cent interest subvention) and the credit scheme for street vendors still do not address the dire need for fund infusion. Of course, more decisions guaranteeing farmers’ incomes, encouraging crop rationalisation and making agri-business investment worthy are expected like getting rid of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act and facilitating easy inter-state trade for farmers. They are currently bound to sell agriculture produce only through APMC mandis, which restrict the free flow of farm products and lead to cartelisation. Though APMCs were meant to protect farmers from commission agents and middlemen, over time they embodied the very ills that they were meant to cure. But to their credit, they did ensure a steady procurement of foodgrains to avoid our food crises. So though farmers may have free market benefits, dismantling a regimented procurement structure would have to be followed up by creating an efficient marketing and distribution system that does not compromise our food security. Free market policies may not look at such altruistic priorities as creating a buffer. Yet we must remember that at least our surplus food reserves helped us somewhat during an emergency brought about by the pandemic. The dairy industry would be a good comparison. With private dairies refusing to buying extra milk produced, only cooperative dairies picked it up and converted it into other milk products, thereby easing the pressure on dairy owners. The Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation is even providing free milk to migrants to take care of the glut in supplies. Also, over 90 per cent of our farmers do not have access to regulated markets, so dismantling them wouldn’t really have a cascading impact. A better bet would be to widen a network of well-distributed mandis and invest in longer shelf life of produce by way of attendant infrastructure like cold chains, storage, grading, transportation and so on.
Also, many of these measures were intended and discussed before to revive a slowing economy and are not particularly a palliative to the pandemic. We still have a slowing GDP to take care of and that will need big bang reforms and a fund infusion in the short run. Second, this year’s GDP projection has fallen to 4.2 per cent and a consistent downward revision of growth means that figures aren’t sacred. And for all the push to the agricultural sector, nothing is being done to generate demand in urban hubs or tackle joblessness without which no reform would make sense. Our manufacturing and construction growth is almost flatlining and certain sectors are just not being considered for incentivisation. Till this piecemeal approach continues, no matter how reinvigorating each is, there is no rescuing the economy.
(Courtesy: The Pioneer)
Self-reliance in defence could have the best advantages for us as, besides the economic benefits that will accrue, it will also result in strategic independence, which is a key ingredient of national security
Every war brings death and destruction in its wake. It also opens windows of opportunities for those who seek it. Though the global war on the COVID-19 is by no means over it has brought a host of opportunities with it. So, do we Indians continue to remain in the abyss of poverty or do we take a plunge into the new world that is opening up? It needs to be remembered that in the past, India was a leader in manufacturing. As per William Dalrymple’s book The Anarchy, in 1608, India “was producing about a quarter of global manufacturing; indeed in many ways it was the world’s industrial powerhouse and world’s leader in manufactured textiles.” Whatever happened thereafter is history and during the British rule, India lost the leadership role in manufacturing. We missed the Industrial Revolution and it had a telling effect on impoverishing India.
Thankfully, we did catch the train of Digital Revolution but the gains were not inclusive enough to pull us out of poverty. The opportunity that the COVID revolution is presenting needs to be grabbed with everything that we have. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi put across to the country, his vision of “Atma nirbhar (self-reliant)” India and rolled out financial packages to support the vision, many opportunities could open up, particularly in defence production.
India is one of the biggest arms importers in the world. In 2013-2017, India topped the list as it accounted for 12 per cent of the world’s arms imports. The US was the highest arms exporter amounting to 34 per cent of the global share. Even Netherlands, which is 79 times smaller in size than India, was the tenth-largest exporter of arms, accounting for 2.1 per cent of the global arms exports. Surely, a renewed Make in India will provide the country with unparalleled benefits. Self-reliance in defence could have the best advantages for India, as, besides the economic benefits that will accrue, it will also result in strategic independence, which is a key ingredient of national security.
Threat perception is mostly what drives force structuring and weaponisation. With the break-up of the USSR, the threat perception reduced significantly and it was possible for some European nations to scale down their armed forces. However, in the Indian context, the perceived threat from the Northern and Western neighbours does not appear to be reducing in the foreseeable future. While the spectrum and type of conflict that may manifest can be debated, what is of importance is that the preparedness has to be long-term in the interest of overall national security.
Though there has been indigenisation in the field of defence production for the last decade, its output has obviously not been as desired. Also, in terms of quality, there have been instances of the product not being suitable for combat conditions. One can take the case of the INSAS rifle with problems of moving parts and magazines. Time taken for developing a product is also important — as in the case of MBT Arjun.
Indigenisation for defence is simply not “Made in India” or “Manufactured in India.” To be successful, “Make in India” has to include the entire process and this includes: Identification of the weapon or equipment or platform to be manufactured; technology; design; patent/IPR and related issues; manufacturing ecosystem and operational maintenance and logistics.
Identification of the weapon/equipment/platform: Based on the threat perception and a long-term integrated plan, each weapon/equipment/platform is to be decided. This is an important process, needing strategic perception and long-term capability development and would be in the realms of the armed forces, with inputs from sources as desired by them. The process also includes formulation of General Service Qualitative Requirements (GSQR), which need to be realistic while meeting the operational requirements of the armed forces.
I am reminded of the days when I was serving in the Siachen glacier, in one of the most challenging posts, in 1992. Since our post was on an ice-wall and was partially under enemy observation, the helipad was located some distance away. Due to the restriction of the valley width as also very limited availability of landing ground, only the smallest helicopter, the Cheetah (French Allouette engine) could fly there. In its first sortie, with full fuel load, all that it could carry was either one man without his equipment or his equipment or a jerrican (20 litres) of kerosene oil.
I wondered at that time as a young Major, that, whereas a sizeable portion of our army is deployed in high altitude and super high altitude areas, why is it that we don’t have an Indian helicopter to meet our operational requirements? Through “Make in India,” we can achieve to get what we need for our operational conditions and not what some other country wants to sell, which could be quite unrelated to our requirements. No other country would be fighting wars in the varied terrain and other conditions that prevail along our borders.
Technology and Design: For the success of “Make in India,” the process of technology and design would probably be the most significant one. This applies equally to both, i.e. platforms made by large industries or smaller sub-systems manufactured by MSMEs. Technology must drive the equipment to be unfailingly combat-effective, be it a platform like the aircraft carrier, an aircraft, main battle tank; or a small part like the magazine of a rifle; each needs combat-worthy technology. Fortunately, India has enough technology experts in this field but their expertise needs to be harnessed in a highly organised manner.
A conducive ecosystem needs to be created, wherein they can contribute to national security as a matter of pride, while their individual aspirations are also taken care of. There is also a need to harness Indian technology experts who may have moved to the US/Europe or other countries, giving them the option of repatriating, including those who may have lost their jobs in the current situation. Alternatively, they could work on a project basis in India. An opportunity can thus be created for them to “give back” to their country which, in a large number of cases, would have given them basic education to achieve success.
There are, of course, products utilising very high-end technology, which may not be readily available. There is a need to acquire such technology leveraging India’s other strengths. For the long-term success of “Make in India,” such borrowed/acquired technology cannot be an answer. Dedicated investment must be made on R&D of short and long-term defence equipment requirements, taking advantage of the technology experts of the entire country, on a project basis. Such research projects and their byproducts could also be utilised for civilian purposes, in the long-term.
Patent/IPR: All existing patent/IPR rules/regulations must be fully implemented. Excellence/innovation needs to be honoured and rewarded. Even individual interests of scientists, where applicable, in relation to patents must be respected. Clauses of national security, where desirable can be enunciated.
Manufacturing Ecosystem: With the “Make in India” friendly packages announced by the Government, including items that cannot be imported, both large industrial houses and MSMEs have an unprecedented opportunity. However, to compete, their standards have to be really world-class. For long-term success, the manufacturing capabilities need to be upgraded where required, to supply fail-proof combat equipment. Promising manufacturing units, including start-ups, could be provided appropriate efficiency and output-based support.
Operational Maintenance and Logistics: In the varied terrain conditions that Indian Armed Forces operate in, including a major portion in high altitude and super-high altitude areas, operational maintenance and logistics would play a significant role. In situations where feasible, the original equipment manufacturer could take on the responsibility of logistics and sustenance. The design of the weapon/equipment must take into consideration the requirements of field maintenance in extremely challenging situations and terrain.
The 21st century has presented India with an unique opportunity, which could fulfil the requirements of inclusive growth as well as meet many other existing challenges. Through ‘Make in India’, the country gains strategic independence, the industry makes progress, jobs are created and most importantly the soldier gets indigenously-manufactured equipment meeting world standards.
(Writer: Aniruddha Chakravarty; Courtesy: The Pioneer)
The company announces it is working on improved EV batteries to reduce ‘range anxiety’ among drivers
South Africa-born entrepreneur Elon Musk is a polarising figure. His late night tweets are analysed by venture capitalists and tech journalists as much as that of US President Donald Trump’s morning tweets, which are examined by diplomats and political journalists alike. It would not thus be incorrect to argue that Musk has become one of the most important human beings in the world alongside Trump. That’s because his automotive venture, Tesla Motors, which makes Electric Vehicles (EVs), is now valued at $100 billion, more than the entirety of India’s automotive sector combined and even more than that of Volkswagen AG, the German automotive colossus. Only Japanese carmaker Toyota is worth more by quite a bit. But Tesla Motors, named after the famed Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla, who promoted the alternating current system, is now miles ahead of the rest of the global automotive industry as it pivots towards an electric future. It is not only taking a lead with its readily available products but dominates the software world, too, with its autonomous driving system.
Musk and Tesla are also leading the charge when it comes to battery technology. The company is now developing batteries that can ensure an electric car can travel almost 600 km on a single charge. It will make for the longest journeys possible on a single charge, diluting “range anxiety” that is still the single-most quoted reason for people not to buy electric vehicles at this time. Yet, while Tesla solves problems for the first world, India is still miles away from adopting an electric future, with infrastructure and manufacturing far behind the curve. That said, the few electric cars that have been launched in our country right now are promising and have decent enough range for daily commuting, if not long-distance travel. With Musk bemoaning high Customs duties for imported cars, Tesla Motors is yet to come to India. It would be wise for the Government to keep a lower degree at least initially on electric cars to promote their usage going forward.
(Courtesy: The Pioneer)