New Delhi: Hing lage na phitkari, rang bhi chokho aaye – this Hindi adage, which roughly translated means getting one’s wishes without expending much effort or money, could very well come true soon for people like me who, for long, have nursed a dream of being able to drive around without shelling out money through our noses.
On Tuesday, the venerable General Motors laid claim to 98 kilometers to a litre of petrol mileage in the stop-go city traffic for its Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car.
At the heart of the Volt are an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack, which gives the car a 65-kilometers range. A small internal-combustion engine can recharge the battery pack and extend the range to 480 kilometers.
A standard home power outlet charges the car when not in use and software on board adjusts the load according to the demand on the power grid.
The cost for an entire day of charging runs to no more than 40 cents or a little less than Rs 20! The battery pack is likely to last at least 10 years.
The car, earmarked for launch in the US in late 2010, will likely carry a none-too-attractive sticker price of $40,000.
The price could moderate though in the years ahead as the technology improves and other automakers come out with competing vehicles.
Rising petroleum prices, concern for the environment, tax rebates from the governments could further mitigate the cost of owing electric-hybrid vehicles like the Volt.
I can’t wait to own one of my own!