DRIVEN REVIEW -
What you're eye-balling here is the CLA-class, Mercedes-Benz' entry-level saloon. Assuming everybody knows that this is basically the saloon avatar of an A-Class, let's delve deeper. The recent facelift is the model's first major update in India since its launch in 2015, and exterior upgrades include a redesigned front bumper, new LED headlamps, restyled tail lamps,...
Electric cars are getting more popular with each passing day not in the developed economies alone but in the developing ones too. And, this can be well attributed to the growing concerns over the irreparable damage caused to the environment due to the combustion of fuel. Considering this, having an electric car in a well-developed European nation is much cheaper than having a petrol-run car these days. All thanks to the government subsidies for the cause. Not just this, automobile giants have also joined the race of developing electric vehicles after realizing the huge potential in the segment.
Dwelling in the past!
The traces of electric vehicles are found during the early 19th century when French, Scottish and American innovators attempted to develop an electric car that was capable of carrying goods. However, these experiments did not meet significant success due to the fact that internal combustion engines were getting better, and electric starter made fossil fuel-powered cars way better and cheaper. The concept of electric cars was dead only until concerns were raised against air pollution spread by cars, which use fossil fuel like gasoline, petrol, or diesel.
If we talk about the time, the golden time, when electric cars started going mainstream. It was, indeed, the period from the ‘80s to 2000s, where we could really see electric cars on the streets that were capable enough to compete with any diesel- or petrol-powered vehicle. Tesla Motors played a significant role in this revolution. And, one of the earlier outcomes was Tesla Roadster, which was the first highway legal serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells just like any other electronic gadget. Undoubtedly, the most impressive part about Tesla Roadster was the power and performance it delivered; clocking at more than 320 km trip per charge. Soon after Tesla Roadster, Tesla Model X was launched. Following the footsteps of Tesla who pioneered the electric vehicle technology, soon Mitsubishi Motors introduced the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
Later, automobile giants like Nissan, General Motors and BMW (Volkswagen) invested heavily in research regarding electric and autonomous cars. Notably, Nissan Leaf, introduced in Japan and the United States in December 2010 became the first modern all-electric family hatchback to be produced for the mass market from a major manufacturer. Further, Renault Fluence Z.E. was the first electric car for mass production to come with the switchable battery technology. During 2012-2013, BMW, Renault, Honda, Toyota, Mahindra and Mercedes were in a fierce race. But, Tesla Model S took away the cake in the plug-in electric car category in North America.
Scanning the Presence!
If we talk about the current situation, the electric car adoption rate is the highest in Norway where electric cars make up to 45.3 per cent of the total vehicles on roads, whereas plug-in hybrids have a market share of 14.9 per cent. It was no surprise to know that Norway is the first country where one out of every ten registered passenger cars, is a plug-in electric vehicle. Countries like the Netherlands and Sweden have also got an automobile market where electric cars have quite a sweet pie; followed by France, the U.K., China, and the U.S. Overall, the trend is catching up, and there is no visible slowdown as yet when it comes to making new efficient and modern electric cars.
In emerging markets like China and India, car manufacturers have a goal to sell as many as 7 million and 10 million electric cars by 2025 and 2030, respectively. Further, France and the United Kingdom aim to go towards an all-electric car market by 2040. Moving ahead, it looks like China would be one of the first nations to adopt the electric car technology for almost everything. But, there is one big challenge and that is to set up charging stations and electric vehicle policies.
It is to be noted that Norway could evolve fast because the country has already planned reduction in carbon emissions by selling its natural resources (fossil fuel) to other nations at the price where the nation would reward its citizens to go eco-friendly. But, countries like China and India, where indigenous technologies are ruling, rewards for buying cleaner and greener fuel cannot be offered to the population. Besides sustainability issues, there might be a huge protest starting-off soon from the oil industry; pressurising the governments to levy a tax on electric cars.
Certainly, the future is as diverse as a prism breaks the light in seven parts. And, it’s time to prepare for the adoption of electric vehicles for a better future and for a better Earth.