Initially I thought if our website were able to get about 200 hits per day would have been great as Electric Vehicles were and still is, a minor fraction of the automobile population of the world. If this site was about conventional automobiles then there would have been a lot more stuff and about vehicles that are released all around the world. But for an electric-vehicle dedicated website there is just one car in India and a few fancy cars that strut their stuff around the world apart from cheap electric bikes.
The other day an Electric car manufacturer said “I hope you guys don’t buy our electric car as it is a loss making car for us but we are forced by the government to make it”. So, on one hand the market itself is very small... and in that market 99.99% of the people are either misinformed or have no idea about what the electric vehicle is all about. On top of that there are companies that do not want you to buy their EVs. Show me a more complicated market than this. So the expectation of getting around 1,600 hits per day was never there.
At the end of 2007 I traveled to India on vacation and during my time there I saw a hindi movie... that movie was “Swades”. This movie was so powerful that it changed my life for ever! We cannot be forgiven for the very fact that we try to live with problems without even attempting to solve it in our lifetime. Problems are there but the solutions are also there... the solutions are not very difficult either... but how will the twain meet?
This is another part which has been well underlined in the movie is that one has to learn about our own country first before we enter any professional field. Many of the things have been hidden from us in our school textbooks but today it is all available on the Internet & Wikipedia to learn more about our country. This feature will enhance the work you will do in any field that you may choose. After all how can you create a solution for a country that you don't even know the problems. As for me it led me on a learning spree of gathering as much information of our country the pros and cons greatness and the study of corruption... It gave me an understanding that 70% of India lives in villages and the advantage is almost all to those in the villages can generate their own energy source (either from solar or from bio-gas) unlike the 30% in Cities.
I also realised that companies who develop automobiles for the villages with unpaved roads will get better sales than making vehicles only for cities and paved roads. Unpaved roads in the villages are the proof of the great swindle that has been done by the politicians and please do not blame the villagers. Bikes and cars must have bigger wheels and higher ground clearance in villages. Not many people know that some of the biggest companies exist in the Villages of India. Above all Villages & Solar Power + Electric cars & buses are all made for each other and can exist hand in hand.
India is blessed with an unique geography that due to Himalayas in the north and the feature of snow melting in the afternoon and forming at night the North Indian rivers are perennial and flow right through the year. Due to Himalayas the areas north-east of India (Cherrapunji, Mowsinram and surrounding areas) receive the highest rainfall in the world. Now combine this with the Sayahadri mountain ranges that stretches from the Maharashtra right up to Kerala make India the richest country in the world in inland fresh waters... but still our farmers doesn’t get water... due to lack of electricity.
In the movie Swades... when the Train reaches Ajite station and the kids runs to the train selling water... Shah Ruk Khan's reaction of helplessness, grief, sorrow and anger cut through me like hot knife through butter. It was then I vowed I too have to do something... I can't remain just a mute spectator... It cannot get lower than this to see people continuing to live a kind of life that has been thrusted upon them by those voted into power by these very people. All this while these politicians keep swindling millions of dollars into Secret Swiss Banks every year.
One can use Biogas (also called GobarGas) to:
1. light up your house,
2. cook your food,
3. run your genset and produce electricity,
4. get top quality organic fertiliser for your crops,
5. solve sanitation and garbage issues and
6. even run your car.
There is not a single fuel in the world that can do all this. You cannot do all 6 even with Petrol or Diesel or CNG! Maybe with Petrol you could do 1, 2, 3 and then 6... thats all. Biogas is much safer to use than LPG to cook but the main catch is that Gio-gas IS FREE! And a country doesn’t have to invest in creating miles and miles of Sewage pipelines to put the shit out into the sea!
So I started promoting this among my friends and relatives and some started to implement this. I do it basically like the Amway plan..."show the plan" ..."show the plan"..."show the plan" to as a many people as I can. Many ignore it, some people have even said it is expensive without even considering how it works, some even stupid-er people have said “I don't use a lot of electricity as most of the time there is no electricity" or " We don’t cook much anyway so I don't need biogas”. I am cool with all that and the fact is those who implement this is important than those who don't implement.
I thought maybe all the reviews will be great... but found that most review columns focused more on the “non-issues” the “cost cutting” features like...”the car had only 3 screws on the wheels”! That it “had only one wiper” and that “many of the parts were glued together”, “the car has limited speed”, "Its dangerous in crash test"!!!
Some even compared the car with the old wahorse Maruti 800 and said 800 was better than Nano “known evil is better than unknown evil”. Even today I see people telling Alto is better than Nano. The fact is Alto is better than the Nano only in 2 minor departments.
- The Petrol Tank of Alto is bigger than Nano
- The top speed of Alto is 15 to 20 kmph higher. Nano on the other hand has electronically limited its speed to around 100 kmph which makes the Nano the safer car.
During this time (in year 2009) I came upon the world's most selling electric production car Reva car (G-Wiz). Chetan Maini had founded the company in year 1994 about 10 years before Tesla Motors was born and electric cars become cool. Although it was a very convenient car to drive around the year 2009 it was purposely made the butt of a lot of jokes, across review magazines, possibly to lower the moral of Chetan Maini and enable other company to it take over.
The take over attempt was made in 2009 by none other than General Motors... a tie up was announced and NXR and Spark Electric were supposed to be produced in India:
(That is how the American companies use the media and Internet effectively a thing which the rest of the world never really picked up possibly because the whole connectivity things started in the US).
and later when things did not work out Chetan Maini joined with Mahindra & Mahindra. I think General Motors never expected this to happen.
Even after the introduction of the E2O the auto review companies and magazines started putting down the E2O by comparing it to the inferior cars like Alto, WagonR, Santro, i10 etc. Obviously all of them were fueled by advertisments and sponsors from Petrol car companies. Let me tell you that only 2 other cars are in league with E2O and they are Swift and Nano. This is because they are the only two cars that are designed from the ground up very radically. Nano was specifically created to solve an Indian problem when Ratan Tata saw a family traveling on a bike with their kids.
An Indian problem will need an Indian solution. A Chinese designed solution will not work here just like an Indian designed solution will not work there. That is the reason you will find that there are no cars in the world that can compete with the Nano or the E2O in India. You design a car for the world market and you will get drowned by competition. But if vehicles are designed according to the local flair, specific need and the people's expectation to use it and match it to them then it will be a success.
Nano's real success is yet to come... Nano will be a roaring hit when Electric Nano hits the market. I have no idea why Tata wants to delay the car. Tata also have the capability to provide infrastructure all over the country especially where they have their Cell Phone Towers which need uninterrupted power. Presently they are using Grid Energy but switching to Solar Charging would be profitable for them and help them reach remote locations too... I have a feeling the Nano Electric could be priced almost half of that of E2O. But Tatas do not have a bike manufacturing facility and so they would be pretty lost in that aspect of electric vehicles. Petrol Bikes are a field that Mahindra recently entered and can be easy for them to shift to Electric-bikes. Mahindra CANNOT afford to ignore the e-bike section. Mahindra can even share its charging infrastructure with ebikes and commercial vehicles.
Through this websie we will seive any new Electric car technology that will enter the EV market and review it and give it the respect that is due. But we reserve the right to call a spade a spade. Till now no International EV manufacturer has dared to expose themselves to the automobile market of India. But time is running out and within the next 2 years (during 2016) one by one... the International EV manufacturers will start to step in and turn on the heat.
But what is heartening is that there are a lot of local people working on indigenous designs of electric Bikes and companies like Mahindra Reva can do a great help by corroborating with them or buy them up and develop their ideas or finance them. This will save Mahindra Reva the time in researching and developing new bikes from the scratch up. They already have the expertise in the battery technology and software implementation.
Also during the last one year we were able to interact with many manufacturers of electric vehicles and indeed showcased and listed their product on our website. This website could well turn out to be the alibaba for electric vehicles in India... yet it would be just a small part of what we are as a website. The most beautiful part of this website is beyond doubt the people who have contributed to it without even a single penny earned. Every single alphabet on the website is contributed freely as apart of charity, all have contributed towards a better tomorrow, towards independence from Oil or Coal. Some have volunteered to take out time from their busy lives and even lead the Pluginindia Communities.
As I look towards the horizon I see a lot of new developments happening locally in the unorganized sector where people are assembling their own bikes. Some are assembling Chinese e-bikes just for their projects, some are just going through the motions, while some are doing serious research, others are building Harley Davidson type Cruiser bikes that run on electricity. Its exciting times... just like the times when Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were working over their software and hardware out of garages...
is where a lot of exciting and interesting action will be in the future months. Once we have enough members there will be at least one tour every month to an interesting place with the electric vehicle group. Anybody with an electric vehicle either electric-bike, electric-cycle or electric-car can join. Also those who do not yet have an electric vehicle but are EV enthusiast can join it too... for FREE... and if there are sponsors we could give out prizes too! The tours will be announced through our social media pages. It will be exciting so make sure you watch the communities space for more.