India’s Electric Car Revolution: Are Electric Vehicles The Future Of Mobility?
As sci-fi as they sound, electric vehicles are a reality. The technology that powers these electric vehicles (EVs) is moving forward at a brisk pace. In fact, at the recently-concluded Auto Expo held in Delhi over 20 different manufacturers showcased battery-powered cars and two-wheelers. The real reason why business magnate Elon Musk’s Tesla Model 3 is one of the most talked-about supercars in the world currently, is because it started a revolution among global car-making rivals and may result in the death of the internal combustion engine.
Technological progress never looked so good. These aforementioned EV batteries are capable of holding a charge for longer thus improving the driving range, and the electric motors themselves are capable of providing an adrenaline-fuelled driving experience. The cherry-on-top, of course, is that these EVs literally offer zero emissions; making them the ideal choice for future mobility solutions that are sustainable as well.
Just about every major automobile manufacturer has an electric vehicle in their portfolio or is very close to launching one. Globally, the move towards EVs has already begun and while India is still
behind the curve at the moment, the impetus to be a driving force in this direction of sustainable mobility is already in place with the Government suggesting that India may go all-electric by 2030 and the necessary infrastructure will be put in place by then as well.
The future is here, and it’s electric. But, what does it look like? Well, we’ve compiled a list of some of the hottest and most luxurious EVs from manufacturers across the globe that includes concepts, production-ready models, and a few hybrids which could well make their way to our shores in the next couple of years.
Vision Next 100
Built to pamper your senses, the Vision Next 100 is how Rolls-Royce pictures the future of luxury mobility. The first-ever ‘vision’ concept from the iconic British luxury car brand. Constructed along the lines of the great coach-built cars of the past, this machine comes with an interesting mix of dynamism and The Spirit of Ecstasy, Pantheon Grille, long bonnet, and large proportions are all part of the package. The cabin has been handcrafted and the car possesses a powerful all-electric powertrain.
Unlike other gas guzzlers, environmentalists may love this SUV! The Volvo XC90 has been praised for its elegant design, practical-yet-plush interior, and advanced safety/connectivity equipment. Built on the brand’s SPA platform, this luxury SUV comes with an efficient plug-in hybrid petrol-electric engine that delivers performance at par with much larger petrol engines; yet offers a running cost and lower emissions of a small car. In all-electric mode, the XC90 can drive up to 45 kilometres. Incidentally, this vehicle is already on sale in India!
“Yes, I have driven a few electric cars. As the electric motor provides maximum torque at any rpm from zero up, the acceleration is quite quick depending on motor capacity. The battery tech behind it is also evolving rapidly, and I think in a few years time we will have a comparatively-strong, all-encompassing EV. However, I don’t think the internal combustion engine will eventually become a relic. I believe it would remain as something for the connoisseur to use and enjoy; just like horse racing is today.”
— Narain Karthikeyan, former Formula 1 racer
Auto enthusiasts cannot stop gushing over this sedan. Celebrating the fact that they have been participating at the Geneva Motor Show for the past 20 years, Tata Motors decided to do it in style by showcasing the E-Vision concept sedan. Not only is this car a sign of the workmanship and technological advancements that the brand has made, it also falls in line with the Indian Government’s mission of electric mobility. Following Tata’s Impact 2.0 design philosophy, the E-Vision sedan is built on a dedicated EV platform that is scalable, modular, and flexible to fit different styles of vehicles. This sedan claims to possess a long driving range and cutting-edge interiors as well. This might just be a concept—when with India going electric, expect great things from this manufacturer.
Designed for performance, the Tesla Roadster has earned the title of being the quickest car in the world. The all-electric drive sends power to all four wheels and is capable of taking this sportscar from 0-100 kmph in a shade over 2.0 seconds. The car can clock a top speed that exceeds 400 kmph and has a range of 1,000 kilometres per charge. Set to go on sale in 2020, the Roadster comes with a removable glass roof and offers a 2+2 seating configuration. Tesla has shown a keen interest in entering the Indian market and maybe the Roadster will end up being their first official launch in the country!
“I’ve been driving electric cars for about three years now and would definitely recommend these cars to others. Simply because:- electric cars are quick, compact, great fun to drive, easy to park and, of course, there’s the bonus of it being emission-free. Perfect for local commute.”
— Gul Panag, actor/auto enthusiast
e-tron quattro Concept
An electric SUV with a 500 km range! This concept—already open for booking in Europe—is a showcase of what Audi has envisioned as the future of electric mobility. With a sleeking, flowing design that claims of a coefficient of drag equal to 0.25, the powerful all-electric Audi e-tron quattro Concept is a luxury class SUV that uses three electric motors which deliver a total output of 503 PS and 800 Nm of torque. It performs like a sportscar and can go from 0-100 kmph in just 4.6 seconds while attaining an electronically governed top speed of 209 kmph. The manufacturer has plans to introduce over 20 electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2025 and considering how quick they are to introduce their latest models in India, it would be no surprise if we see some of these machines on our roads in the near future.
The Jaguar i-Pace boasts of fine craftsmanship and a beautifully-sculpted interior which makes it a product that has that authentic Jaguar DNA. Add to that, the manufacturer has developed the i-Pace on a new architecture that utilises the best technology available in order to deliver an EV that is not just practical but a capable performer as well. The electric motors have been designed in-house by Jaguar Land Rover and offer a combined power output of 400 PS and 700 Nm of torque. The i-Pace has a tested range of 500 kilometres per charge.
Showcased at this year’s Auto Expo, the Hyundai Ioniq is positioned as an advanced compact vehicle—that may hit Indian roads in two years. It will be offered with a choice of three powertrains, which incidentally no other car in the world is doing. These include a pure electric version, a plug-in gasoline/electric hybrid, and a gasoline/electric hybrid. It is a car that caters to the rapidly-changing mobility needs yet manages to deliver a fun and responsive driving experience coupled with class-leading fuel efficiency. Designed to offer a sporty appeal, the automobile also offers a host of advanced comfort, convenience, safety, and connectivity features.
Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6
Paying homage to the aero coupes of the past, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is an exclusive 2+2 luxury-class coupe that takes those classic lines and principles and seamlessly merges them with a futuristic outlook. This includes the partially-transparent rims and a split rear window. The all-electric powertrain of this luxury coupe concept delivers 750 PS of power and has a range of over 500 km per charge and complements the design philosophy of sensual purity that the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 boasts of.
BMW’s new open-top version of their hybrid supercar is almost here. The BMW i8 was introduced in India in 2015, however, the i8 Roadster made its first appearance at the Auto Expo 2018. This drop top is expected to launch in India later this year and will sport a price tag that is similar to the i8. This EV boasts of a fabric roof that can slide away in just 15 seconds and unlike the 2+2 seating configuration of the i8, the Roadster just gets two seats and added luggage space, which is a welcome change for sure. Powering the vehicle is a mid-mounted 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo engine that runs on petrol which delivers 231 hp and it is coupled with an electric motor which takes the overall output to 374 hp. The new batteries give the i8 Roadster a better driving range in all-electric mode.