Charging ahead? India's electric car revolution faces bumps

(Reuters News, 3 Sep 2019) Auto giants are nervous and charging stations still few as India aims for a switch to electric vehicles by 2030.

Paritosh Mitra, who drives a motorised rickshaw in Delhi, knows what he wants next and has saved 100,000 rupees ($1,390) to get it: an electric rickshaw.

But he won't buy one until it comes with all the basic features that he needs as a commercial driver. That includes a top speed of at least 40 km (25 miles) per hour and convenient recharging.

"There are the e-rickshaws plying the streets now but they are battery operated and have very little speed, so it is of no use to us," Mitra said.

"Also, they need six hours to charge the battery at home and with that they can only move about 50 kms, whereas we need to move up to 150 kms per day," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"We need charging points where machines can be charged in 15 minutes."

He's persuaded electric vehicles will cost less to run than using the current diesel or compressed natural gas as fuel - but he's not making the switch just yet.

India's government is pushing hard for a conversion to electric vehicles, to combat worsening pollution in cities and meet the country's commitment to cut its climate changing emissions.

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Reuters News, 3 Sep 2019: Charging ahead? India's electric car revolution faces bumps