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Electric vehicles

Recently In an interview, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the significance of maintaining Indian identity in global investments, echoing his stance ahead of Elon Musk’s anticipated visit to India later this month. Speaking to ANI, PM Modi reiterated the importance of products being manufactured by Indians, ensuring employment opportunities for the nation’s youth.

During the interview, PM Modi addressed the buzz surrounding Elon Musk’s admiration for India, emphasizing that the tech billionaire’s support extends beyond individuals to the nation as a whole. Reflecting on his past interactions with Musk, PM Modi recalled their meeting at the Tesla factory in 2015 and subsequent discussions during his visit to the US in 2023.

Elon Musk’s impending visit to India has sparked widespread anticipation, with expectations of major investment announcements, particularly in the electric vehicle (EV) sector. In a recent statement, Musk expressed Tesla’s interest in providing electric vehicles in India, aligning with the country’s commitment to advancing its EV domain.

PM Modi underscored India’s rapid progress in the EV sector, citing a significant surge in sales from 2,000 units in 2014-15 to 12 lakh units in 2023-24. He attributed this growth to various factors, including government incentives, infrastructure development, and increasing consumer interest.

Highlighting India’s attractiveness for global investments, PM Modi cited examples of leading companies like Google, Apple, and Samsung making significant strides in the country. He emphasized India’s eagerness for technology transfer and reiterated his government’s commitment to the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The accelerated pace of Elon Musk’s visit to India follows the unveiling of the country’s new EV policy, which offers incentives for setting up manufacturing units. The policy mandates significant levels of domestic value addition and imposes customs duties on imported vehicles, incentivizing local manufacturing.

Reports suggest that Tesla is actively exploring options for setting up a manufacturing plant in India, with offers from states like Maharashtra and Gujarat for land acquisition. The prospect of Tesla’s presence in the Indian market signals a significant development in the nation’s electric mobility landscape.

As India gears up to welcome Elon Musk and potential investments, PM Modi’s emphasis on preserving Indian identity amidst global ventures underscores the country’s commitment to economic growth and self-reliance.

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Beijing, China: Xiaomi, the renowned Chinese electronics manufacturer, is gearing up to disrupt the automotive industry with the imminent launch of its highly anticipated electric vehicle, the SU7. Promising to deliver unparalleled performance, cutting-edge technology, and competitive pricing, Xiaomi aims to establish itself as a formidable player in the global automotive market.

Competitive Pricing and Advanced Features

The SU7, unveiled by Xiaomi in December, is poised to offer consumers a compelling alternative to established electric car brands. With a commitment to affordability, Xiaomi’s CEO revealed that the SU7 will be priced below 500,000 yuan (approximately $70,000), marking a significant milestone for the company. The official price range will be announced on Thursday evening, coinciding with the commencement of orders for the vehicle.

Superior Technology and Performance

Touted as “faster than a Tesla,” the SU7 boasts advanced technology capable of rivaling renowned electric vehicle manufacturers. With two versions offering impressive driving ranges of up to 668km (415 miles) and 800km on a single charge, respectively, Xiaomi’s electric car surpasses the capabilities of Tesla’s Model S, which offers a maximum range of up to 650km.

Strategic Investment and Production Partnership

Xiaomi’s foray into the electric vehicle market is backed by a strategic investment pledge of $10 billion over a decade. As one of the few new entrants in China’s burgeoning EV market, Xiaomi has gained approval from authorities and secured a production partnership with a unit of the state-owned automaker BAIC Group. The manufacturing facility in Beijing boasts an annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles, ensuring efficient production of the SU7 to meet growing demand.

Anticipation and Reception

Since its unveiling, the SU7 has garnered significant attention from prospective customers and automotive enthusiasts alike. Displayed in Xiaomi stores across China, the “ocean blue” version of the vehicle has captivated audiences, generating excitement for its imminent release. Additionally, Xiaomi has introduced its “Xiaomi Car” app to Chinese app stores, enhancing the vehicle’s connectivity and user experience.

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A recent study conducted by emissions data analysis firm Emission Analytics has cast a shadow over the perceived environmental benefits of electric vehicles (EVs), revealing that they might emit more particle pollution than their petrol and diesel counterparts. This revelation comes at a time when the world is increasingly turning to EVs as a solution to combat climate change, driven by the belief that they offer a cleaner alternative to fossil fuel-powered vehicles.

The Weight of the Matter: Electric Vehicles Under Scrutiny

Central to the study’s findings is the significant particulate matter released from the brakes and tires of vehicles. Unlike petrol and diesel cars that have seen substantial improvements in exhaust filtration systems, EVs, with their heavier weight due to large batteries, exert more pressure on their brakes and tires. This increased wear and tear lead to a higher emission of toxic particles. According to Emission Analytics, the particulate matter released from the wear of brakes and tires in EVs could be as much as 1,850 times greater than that from modern gas-powered vehicles.

The Heavy Toll of EV Batteries

The study points to the hefty batteries that power EVs as a primary contributor to this environmental concern. With EVs like the Tesla Model Y and Ford F-150 Lightning featuring batteries that weigh around 1,800 pounds, the strain on tires and brakes intensifies, accelerating the degradation process and, subsequently, the emission of harmful particles. Specifically, tyre wear emissions from an EV with a half-tonne battery are suggested to be over 400 times higher than exhaust emissions from a contemporary petrol vehicle.

Rethinking Environmental Impact Assessments

While the automotive industry and environmental policy have largely focused on reducing tailpipe emissions in the transition to electric mobility, this study underscores the necessity of broadening the scope of environmental impact assessments. The findings highlight the importance of considering non-exhaust emissions, such as those arising from tire and brake wear, in the overall evaluation of a vehicle’s environmental footprint.

Implications for Future Mobility Solutions

The implications of these findings are significant, suggesting that the move towards electric mobility may not be as environmentally benign as previously thought. This calls for a reevaluation of strategies aimed at reducing the transportation sector’s impact on the planet. Innovations in vehicle design, such as lighter materials for batteries and improvements in tire composition, could mitigate these issues, ensuring that electric vehicles can truly deliver on their promise of cleaner transportation.

As the conversation around sustainable mobility evolves, it’s clear that a holistic approach to assessing environmental impact—beyond just tailpipe emissions—is essential. Only by addressing all sources of pollution can the dream of a truly green transportation future be realized.

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