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The electronic car – will it kill the IC engine?

There is  a tectonic shift in technology that points to the end of the dominance of the internal combustion engine. From the earlier preoccupation on hybrid power technology for automobiles, now there is the interest in electric cars. The success of Tesla has triggered interest in auto majors working on the technology of battery-operated cars. There  are research efforts in developing powerful batteries and setting up facilities for the large-scale manufacture of these. Simultaneously there are efforts in setting up re-charge facilities on the model of the ubiquitous retail outlets for petrol and diesel. There are also plans to provide fully charged batteries as spares to save on recharge time. 

The quick success of these points to the decline of the IC engine. This will severely affect the extensive production facilities set up by the automobile industry at huge costs. Imagine also the impact on the petroleum sector! What is to happen to the massive infrastructure built by the oil companies in refining and marketing petrol and diesel?

Indian planners have breezily suggested a switchover to electric cars from 2030, hardly 13 years away. However, there are not as yet extensive efforts on the part of higher technology institutions and the Indian automobile industry on research in this area.Battery production requires huge investments and large volumes. Excepting Mahindra & Mahindra, we have not come across news of major efforts on the part of the industry to produce electric cars. Understandably, R&D efforts by large corporates are clouded in secrecy. One looks forward to information on this revolutionary technology. 

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