Monthly Archives: July 2008

China’s green skyscraper

updated version: China’s green skyscraper: The Pearl River Tower

China tries to greenwash its image of being the major polluter on the planet. Eco-architecture is part of that effort. Combined with China’s fondness for mammoth projects, a new flagship project is born: The Pearl River Tower will probably be one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the world. Wind turbines and solar collectors should generate as much energy as the 303 meter, 69 story tower will consume. Thus, Guangzhou’s new highlight is to become China’s first zero-energy skyscraper. Next to generating electricity, the building’s air conditioning and ventilation systems will be designed so that they work efficiency and conserve energy. Natural light should save the use of artificial light. The tower also features rainwater collectors. The wind turbines will be placed in openings where the wind is guided through by the building’s sculptural form and this also helps to reduce the wind load on the tower. The two openings divide the building into three sections. Light blue glass will cover the entire front.

Despite the ambitious plan and the push towards sustainability, experts doubt that the tower could become the world’s leading skyscraper in terms of energy conservation and efficiency. Air pollution will reduce the energy output of the solar panels and the sub-tropical climate of the region requires a lot of cooling.

The Chicago-based architectural and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill designed the building and will observe the construction of the skyscraper which is due for completion in 2009. The main occupant of the building will be Guangdong Tobacco, but many other tenants are expected to line up for getting into this leading commercial and manufacturing region at the Pearl River Delta.

http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/may2007/gb20070514_772812.htm?chan=globalbiz_asia+index+page_innovation+%2Bamp%3B+design

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WTO talks collapse is adverse for all…

check out an updated version on my new blog: http://www.whatmattersweblog.com/global-economy/

The latest attempt to liberalize international trade failed. That’s pretty bad news for business people, blue and white collar workers and farmers in industrialized as well as developing nations. The World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round negotiations which were started seven years ago were aimed at making global trading fairer, less expensive, easier, transparent and beneficial to everybody. However, the talks ended in deadlock on Tuesday after emerging nations such as India and China couldn’t agree with the United States and Europe on a set of common basic principles of trade. Although it appeared as if the talks were close to a breakthrough before the weekend with concessions by the U.S. and Europe to cut agricultural subsidies decisively, a dispute over agricultural subsidies and restrictions under the cover of safeguarding farmers caused the talks to collapse. Now, bilateral deals are likely to be made which is a hindrance to free trade, causes unfair and different legislation and doesn’t keep the United States and the European Union from subsidizingagricultural products and harming poor farmers in developing countries. The further outlook for the negotiations is rather glimpse with election dates in several countries approaching. Who’d ever be President Bush’s successor, free trade deals in the coming years will be harder to be passed through Congress altogether. Protectionist sentiment is coming up fueled by the housing crisis, the international food and energy crisis. However, the food crisis is not caused by free trade but by protectionist action of specific governments. Major rice exporters like India and Thailand banned or limited exports which threatens the very survival of millions of people in some African countries. The agricultural sector is especially delicate as the nutrition of billions of people has to be ensured and politicians try to achieve that but unsurprisingly, many fail to do a good job. What I found most staggering is that emerging nations justified their uncooperative attitude by fears that jobs could be lost and their countries could be flooded with cheap subsidized agricultural products. Besides, they say they fear that unlimited access of Western service providers could threaten national players. Especially China and India are definitely among the countries that have been favored most by globalization. Outsourcing in Western countries created millions of new jobs in emerging nations, poured billions of dollars into their foreign currency reserves (resulting in soaring trade deficits for industrialized countries) and helped to lift millions out of poverty.

But on the side of the first world countries, there are many hailing the end of talks without results. Leftish groups have been campaigning against free trade and want to establish it as the culprit for earnings inequality which obviously can only be attributed to differences in educational quality. The popular untruth that trade drives down all blue collar wages is simply no true and those politicians who eagerly blame globalization, trade and competition for their own failures should reconsider whether they’re just in office for power and money or to bring us forward and to create a framework so that we can increase our competitiveness and face global competition. Unfortunately, most politicians tend to campaign against free trade instead of providing an educational basis to people from all walks of life and especially children regardless of their social background. Nowadays, a good education, knowledge and good judgment are the most precious resources. Investments in education pay off best at all. And cautious spending on education is setting the stage for a social demise. It’s useless to fight for jobs that have become unprofitable. If there are people elsewhere doing the same job for less money at the same quality, we shouldn’t try to and we can’t prevent this development. Instead, the jobs lost can be created in another industry, probably with better earnings, provided we accept change and jump at the chance. In order to ensure that the jobs that are lost can be replaced with better paid ones, our workforce has to be flexible, good educated and willing to face challenges, adapt to a new business environment and update their knowledge and abilities. But first and foremost, giving children a good education should be top priority. Especially in the U.S., where many minorities are being integrated, a good education is essential to the success of the integrating process. Immigration – even from poor countries – can be seen as a chance, if the society is willing to be generous at first and provide a good education so that immigrants and their children can adopt the new lifestyle, language and culture quickly. Then, the children of immigrants have a good chance to join the workforce, contribute to economic growth, pay taxes and to return what they were given before. Next to providing education to those who are at risk of being refused access to higher education or simply cannot afford, encouraging adolescents to become actively involved in class and to become aware of the possibility to impact their later lives in a positive way is important. Taking responsibility is essential and next to hard skills and factual knowledge, soft skills such as the ability to communicate with people, take leadership, a cooperative spirit and confidence are the must-have skills to compete and be successful in today’s global society.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jaY3JOhMcNDbIDA53KfO2OJpOwEA

No electric car news for today, but you can check out these posts to read up on this technology which will revolutionize our world. We are at the edge of a new era!

The Air Car could revolutionize transportation – an electric car without an electric motor
China, India and other countries subsidizing gasoline to keep domestic prices down are forced to embrace electric cars
 Electric vehicles are competitive with gasoline-diven vehicles

The electric car revolution is about to happen
Tough luck for Ford – how a former subsidiary could revolutionize the auto industry
The heart of the electric car – battery manufacturers are courted by car makers
Electric micro-cars are perfect as neigbhorhood cars and major car makers should offer several EV models to provide cars for many purposes
First German offshore wind farm shows the huge potential of electric cars in terms of efficiency and stability of the power grid
India’s Tata Motors and the Malaysian national carmaker Proton to launch electric cars soon
The electric car – the last sign of hope for troubled U.S. car makers?

The electric car on the fast track 
All major auto-manufacturers are designing their own electric cars
Electric cars have to be expensive? – Not necessarily!
Air batteries could lead to the breakthrough of electric cars
Gasoline prices in the U.S. have recently hit record levels, but there are many countries where drivers are paying much more
Preparing the introduction of the cars of the future
Finally, even Chrysler switches to electric cars
Portugal to join Israel and Denmark to be among the first countries shifting to electric cars on a grand scale
Several electric cars are to go on sale in 2009 – amongst some top-speed sports cars
Mediterranean Union will feature flagship initiatives such as solar energy development in sunny North Africa
BMW will make the electric Mini
G8 embracing electric and hybrid cars to halve CO2 emissions by 2050

 

 

 

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Air batteries could lead to the breakthrough of electric cars

Toyota has again proven to be the technology and innovation leader among car makers. The company’s research department in Japan announced a car battery that relies on pure air for generating electricity. With great foresight, Toyota established an own department for battery development as the company saw the point that in the future, the batteries powering electric cars will decide who stays ahead and who falls behind. Thus, staying ahead in power storage should keep Toyota on the road to success and to stay ahead of competition.

Earlier this year, Toyota has already announced a next-gen battery superior to lithium-ion batteries which made competitors shiver. Toyota’s battery of hope should outperform others by far and help Toyota to launch a whole lineup of electric and hybrid cars that ought to be competitive with cars using combustion engines from day one – even without government subsidies.

With nickel-metal-hydrogen batteries currently used in Toyota’s hybrid vehicles and lithium-ion batteries being quite expensive and having too low an energy density, they drive  up the overall price of electric cars and limit the range of the cars.  This new battery technology could spark  serious research and investments.  Insiders expect that the batteries could lead to electric cars by killing the last remaining obstacles.

The oxidation of zinc with the oxygen from the air at a zinc electrode generates electricity. The technology is inexpensive to use and produce as zinc is relatively cheap. Besides, zinc-air batteries are able to hold five times more energy than conventional lithium-ion batteries.

Nevertheless, zinc-air batteries could be commericially available only after 2020 with some challenges yet to be taken. The concept is still at the development stage and hasn’t been produced at a size that’d be adequate for electric cars yet.

Zinc-air fuel cells are not rechargable. Therefore, refueling can only be done by exchanging the “spent” zinc cathodes at fueling stations. These used zinc cathodes can be recycled easily by reducing them back to zinc. More detailed with pictures: http://www.electric-fuel.com/evtech/index.shtml

Some already call zinc the new energy transfer medium. Metallic is considered to be a cheaper, cleaner and more efficient energy-carrier than e.g. hydrogen or current batteries.

Though air-powered cars came into my mind first, when I red about “air batteries” for the first time, but this zinc-air technology has nothing in common with compressed air cars such as Tata’s CityCat or Mr. DiePietros brilliant almost frictionless motor. (The Air Car could revolutionize transportation – an electric car without an electric motor)

I don’t doubt that the technology is cutting-edge, but watching this video I began wondering whether this Las Vegas city bus drawing its power from zinc-air batteries wasn’t a bit ahead of schedule?

http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/car-tech/air-batteries-pave-way-ahead-for-electric-cars-433676

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Emirates welcomes its first A380 superjumbo

Emirates Airline, the largest airline in the Middle East, has become a major global carrier. It’s been an extremely profitable airline since its inception with only one year without a profit. The overall performance of the airline is astonishing. It sets the trend in many respects – on board the airline’s A380s, first class passengers will be able to take a shower. (However, the weight of the additional water is a problem in times of soaring jet fuel prices and this prompted Emirates to find ways of how to trim down the weight of the aircraft. The airline considers to reduce the amount of paper on board by abandoning magazines and advertisement papers.) Besides, Emirates’ expansion course causes rivals to shiver. The airline has had a steady growth rate of 20% since it began operations and its very young fleet of wide-body aircraft is growing with an unprecedented pace. Emirates will have the largest fleet of A380s which is of advantage as first, the A380 is a very efficient aircraft and second, Emirates operating superjumbos on its major destinations enables the carrier to transport even more passengers. On August 1st, the A380 will enter nonstop service between Dubai and New York.

Today, Emirates took delivery of its first superjumbo (of 58) at Airbus’ A380 delivery center in Hamburg, Germany. Emirates’ CEO  Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum said at the ceremony: “Emirates was quick to recognise the potential of Airbus’ all new A380 design, with its large double-deck capacity and excellent operating economics. It will be one of the pillars of Emirates’ future. With its very low fuel burn and quietness, the A380 also sets new standards in environmental performance. It will definitely help air transportation and Emirates grow, while reducing the impact on the environment.” 

Delighting Airubs’ CEO Thomas Enders, Sheikh Ahmed signed a letter of intent to buy 60 more long-haul Airbus planes – 30 A330-300s and 30 A350s. Emirates appears to be resistant to soaring jet fuel prices. According to its chief executive, its fleet will grow from currently 119 aircraft to 200 by 2012 and 450 by 2020. This success can be in part accounted to the effective business model of the carrier. It has very low operating costs due to the use of efficient planes, only few different types of aircraft which are all long-haul aircraft, a cheap workforce and perfect conditions at its hub in Dubai where low airport charges, day and night operations as well as a ban of strikes are a beneficial environment for an airline.  

The German carrier Lufthansa, in contrast, suffers right now from a strike of ground personnel and flight crews who are pushing for an unjustifiable wage increase of almost 10%. The irresponsible unions apparently don’t realize that there’s definitely not been a worse point in time in recent years to demand such an inadequate wage increase. The aviation industry faces an unprecedented crisis with the sky-rocketed costs of jet fuel threatening the very survival of many airlines, most airlines generate billion dollar losses and to make matters worse, the EU decided to include airlines operating in Europe into its emissions trading scheme which drives up operating costs even further instead of creating a Single European Sky that’d save immediately costs and CO2 emissions.  (The EU decided to include airlines operating in Europe into emissions trading overburdening an industry already struggling)

The high level of energy prices does not only threaten the transportation sector, but the entire economy. Exports become more expensive with the shipping costs of a container having more than doubled in recent years. Rising energy prices also fuel inflation. Consequently, consumer confidence goes down. The market research group GfK reported that consumer sentiment in Germany has fallen to a five-year low according to a recent survey.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/28/emirates_a380/

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Gasoline prices in the U.S. have recently hit record levels, but there are many countries where drivers are paying much more

According to the Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. retail gasoline price was $4.064 last week. This is especially painful as gasoline prices have almost doubled since January 2007:

Chart from the EIA:

Despite the recent price hike, gasoline prices in the U.S. are much lower than in most European countries where drivers in some cities have to pay three times more. For example in Germany, one liter of gasoline costs on average €1.48. This would be $8.80 per gallon. In the Netherlands, one liter of gasoline is as expensive as €1.69. That’d be about $10.06 per gallon. These enormous differences in prices are generated primarily by government policies. In Europe, gasoline is taxed heavily. In Germany, taxes make up more than 60% of the retail price of gasoline.  These taxes are used in part to support public transport, finance health care and education, but unfortunately, many countries just use the money to lower the governments’ budget deficits. Nevertheless, Europeans are more used to high gasoline prices and therefore, smaller cars with a good fuel-economy are more familiar to Europe’s roads than gas-guzzling SUVs. Besides, public transportation is better developed than in the U.S., especially in rural areas. In central Europe, most places can easily be reached by trains, even small backwater towns have an acceptable connection. Another advantage is that alternatives to gasoline-driven cars are more attractive with sky-high gasoline prices. And even if the price of gasoline has risen everywhere, Americans are more exposed to price spikes while Europeans are used to traditionally expensive gasoline and therefore the increase was rather moderate. Therefore, the impact on the economy is less harmful in Europe, because Europeans drive shorter distances, use public transportation more frequently and consume overall less energy on average.

The low price of gasoline in the U.S. has encouraged the urban sprawl and the purchase of inefficient big cars. Next to the pain of the recent price increase, the dependence on oil imports turns out to be a major threat to national security. Of course, Europe is as dependent on energy imports as the U.S, however, Europe could limit its per capita oil consumption while the United States’ per capita consumption has risen steadily. The needed turnaround is now even harder. Americans use three time more oil than Europeans which is a major hindrance for economic growth and security today. However, there’s a huge potential to reduce the energy consumption in the U.S. by putting more focus on efficiency. This could be done without cutting back perceivably on one’s living standard.

The oil industry insider and investor T. Boone Pickens shared his view with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and advises America to get away from foreign oil. He said: “We can solve this problem with our own resources.” He tried to convince the Senate of the necessity to get independent of foreign oil imports. In his opinion, investments in domestic renewable energies, especially wind power, in combination with natural gas as a transportation fuel is the solution. Wind turbines in the “wind corridor” stretching from the Canadian border to Texas should provide 20% of the country’s power.  He also backs nuclear power and offshore drilling in the U.S. (Pickens interviewed by Wolf Blitzer: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/22/pickens.profile/index.html#cnnSTCVideo)

While Europe’s gasoline prices are at the top, there are numerous countries that subsidize gasoline and stimulate demand. This pushes up worldwide oil prices further. Especially oil exporting countries such as Venezuela, Iran and Saudi Arabia keep gasoline retail prices at the bottom. Motorists in Venezuela just have to pay $0.12 per gallon. Thus, it is not surprising that the Hummer brand is fairly popular there. These countries spend a part of their income from crude oil exports to make driving an inexpensive pleasure. It is estimated that Venezuela has to spend more than $11 billion annually to make gasoline cheap.

But there are even oil importing countries that subsidize fuel to ensure that it’s affordable for their people. Most countries in South-east Asia such as India, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia as well as China and Vietnam spend billions annually to stabilize the cost of fuel in their countries. Nonetheless, even the Chinese government which controls the world’s largest monetary reserves had to increase the retail price of gasoline several times this year. Although governments know that price hikes don’t go down well with the people, the oil price spike prompted all those governments in Asia to risk civil unrest by passing on the higher import prices. According to the New York Times,  gasoline costs $3.83 a gallon in China. Consequently, the state-run oil companies in India and China generate multi-billion dollar losses annually. The only way out of this difficult situation is to limit the soaring oil consumption in these countries in the short-term and to reduce it in the medium-term. As there’s no way to deny people access to mobility, cars that don’t consume gasoline are the solution. Therefore, I expect both, China and India, to embrace electric cars and to kill two birds with one stone. Electric cars could help to reduce the out-of-hand air pollution as well as the consumption of scarce and expensive oil. Moreover, the technology is fully developed and except for the batteries relatively cheap. The price of batteries will come down, however, with the start of mass production and technological advance. (China, India and other countries subsidizing gasoline to keep domestic prices down are forced to embrace electric cars)

Of course, electric cars are not only perfect for emerging nations but also for industrialized countries like the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. could turn to a society that uses little to no fossil fuels in the long-term. In the medium-term, America could become self-sufficient in oil by shifting away from gasoline-driven cars to electric cars, cars using natural gas, etc… The domestic oil supplies would be enough to supply the industries that rely on oil and can’t shift to alternatives such as the aviation industry and the chemical industry.

world oil consumption by country (Google Earth Chart)

world oil consumption by country (Google Earth Chart)

Some interesting charts of world oil consumption can be viewed in Google Earth:

http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2007/02/world_oil_consupmtio.html

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/22/pickens.profile/index.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/20/world/asia/20china.html

http://money.cnn.com/2008/05/01/news/international/usgas_price/

More on electric cars:

The Air Car could revolutionize transportation – an electric car without an electric motor
Tough luck for Ford – how a former subsidiary could revolutionize the auto industry
The heart of the electric car – battery manufacturers are courted by car makers
Electric micro-cars are perfect as neigbhorhood cars and major car makers should offer several EV models to provide cars for many purposes
First German offshore wind farm shows the huge potential of electric cars in terms of efficiency and stability of the power grid
India’s Tata Motors and the Malaysian national carmaker Proton to launch electric cars soon

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First German offshore wind farm shows the huge potential of electric cars in terms of efficiency and stability of the power grid

The building work for Germany’s first offshore wind power park will start next week. The wind farm called Alpha Ventus is a joint venture of the utilities E.ON, Vattenfall Europe and EWE and will cost about €180 million. The German government will contribute€50 million to the research project that should provide insights so that numerous similar projects can follow. Currently, there are 30 wind power park projects planned in the North Sea and in the Baltic Sea around northern Germany. This first project will be located 45 kilometers north of the island of Borkum in the North Sea. Power production could possibly begin this year. A 70km-long cable will connect the wind turbines with the German power grid. Eventually, there’llbe twelve tremendous wind turbines generating 60 Megawatts of electricity together which is enough to provide power to 60,000 homes. This project is unique as it is the first wind turbine park in deep waters. The wind turbines will be anchored in the seabed with steel posts where the North Sea is 40 meters deep. Similar projects in Britain and Denmark are closer to the coast and therefore in shallower waters.

It will take a lot of effort and money to get this first wind turbine park running and to maintain it as salty air, corrosion and high waves threaten to damage the turbines. Besides, critics argue that offshore wind parks have a significant adverse environmental impact and could threaten the fragile ecosystem.

The offshore wind parks should help to boost the share of wind energy of the total German energy consumption which is at about 7% currently. The extra megawatts generated by wind turbines, however, will neither reduce Germany’s reliance on fossil fuel imports, nor will they save carbon dioxide emissions. Germany is phasing out all its nuclear power plants until 2022 and even if all these overly ambitious and expensive, partly not at all profitable and inefficient renewable energy projects are put into action, this will hardly be enough to offset the decline in power supply. This tremendous amount of money channelled into green power projects won’t help to combat global warming unless the German government realizes that there’s no way out of the energy crisis and high carbon dioxide emissions but to use all sources of energy we have. Especially carbon-neutral energy sources such as nuclear power are essential to electricity generation and energy security in the short and medium-term. Though issues such as the disposal of nuclear waste have not yet been resolved, nuclear power is cheap, dependable and all nuclear power plants in Germany have the highest safety standards.

Although politicians claim that offshore wind parks are profitable, because many investors plan to pour money into such projects as soon as they get the official permission, this huge interest is artificially generated by generous government subsidies.

Another obstacle is that the electricity grid is not sufficient and not capable of efficient and intelligent energy transport. First, new power lines will have to be built to transport the energy generated at offshore wind power parks to consumers. Second, without accurate capacity control, fluctuations can threaten the stability of the grid by generating energy surpluses. If power supply exceeds demand, utilities have to slow down the generation of other power plants which is very expensive. Therefore, negative electricity prices can occur at the European Energy Exchange in Leipzig so that electricity suppliers can stimulate demand. (Getting money for consuming electricity? – That’s indeed possible!)

A fleet of electric cars could be the solution to this problem. Most electric cars will be charged up at night using surplus power. At night, much less power is used than during the day. Nevertheless, nuclear and coal-fired power plants covering most of the day’s base load are running 24-7 whether or not there’s demand for the generated power. If there’s a lot of wind generating an even greater surplus, the grid could collapse. Electric cars could be set so that they are charged when electricity is cheap, offsetting the negative effects of uneven power consumption. Until electric cars can tap into unneeded electricity supplies, wind turbines are regularly switched off on windy days as there’s not enough damand and no capacity to store the energy.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,567622,00.html

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Filed under Economy, Environment, Politics, Uncategorized

India’s Tata Motors and the Malaysian national carmaker Proton to launch electric cars soon

Even though people around the world are breathing a sigh of relief after the oil price fell below $125 per barrel for the first time in months, oil prices are still substantially higher than last year and in the medium term, we cannot expect oil prices down again where they once were. Drivers in the U.S. and Europe feel the pain of soaring gasoline prices and most major carmakers suffer from double-digit decline in U.S. car sales. Especially emerging countries that have been subsidzing gasoline to keep gasoline prices artificially low are now struggling to pay the bill. India, Malaysia, Indonesia and many others had to hike up gasoline prices several times this year causing unrest among drivers who barely could afford driving. The only way these countries can limit their expenditures on fuel subsidies is to stabilize the soaring consumption of fuel of their economies. A viable opportunity to achieve better fuel-economy, a reduced speed of demand growth and less pollution is the grand-scale introduction of electric cars. (Read China, India and other countries subsidizing gasoline to keep domestic prices down are forced to embrace electric cars for more information.)

Tata Motors, India’s largest auto maker which has become known as the manufacturer of the cheapest car in the world – the Tata Nano for $2,500, has announced its plan to launch all-electric cars by the end of the year in Norway and shortly thereafter in India. The company’s chairman Ratan Tata unveiled this new project at Tata Motors’ annual meeting. The car will be manufactured in Norway and if proven successful and reliable, will be launched to the Indian market in 2009. Scandinavian countries are often used for electric vehicles on the testing stage as Scandinavia is perfectly suitable for electric vehicles. Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland have small populations and most traffic is in urban areas whereas the widespread countryside is barely unpopulated. At public parking spots in cities or even along roads in the countryside, there are electric outlets that should help to keep the motor warm and to start it reliably despite the harsh conditions of the Arctic winter. There are already several electric car models on the road in Scandinavia: Tough luck for Ford – how a former subsidiary could revolutionize the auto industry

The  project in Norway is not the only electric vehicle project at Tata Motors. Earlier, Tata Motors has signed a development contract with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), the electric vehicle unit of Chrysler, to develop and launch an electric version of its light truck Ace and to bring it to the U.S. market in 2009. GEM has the required expertise with NEVs and provides the engines and controllers for the car which has a maximum speed of 25 mph and a range of about 40 miles on a single charge. Of course, this vehicle is too slow for most people in the U.S. or in Europe, however, it could become a smash hit in emerging countries and especially in congested urban areas where the average speed is hardly beyond 10 mph.

Ratan Tata said that they are working on a more fuel-efficient version of the Tata Nano. Obviously, this is absolutely necessary. The Tata Nano has a fuel economy of about 4.5 l/100 km which is anything but efficient. Though the minicar could appear to be affordable to many Indians, the costs of running the car matters more to drivers than the initial purchase price. Drivers would certainly not be pleased if they couldn’t afford driving around in their cars due to record-high gasoline prices after having spent the savings of many years on the vehicle.

Today, the REVA Electric Car Co. which is also based in India is currently the world’s leading (but not in technology!) electric car manufacturer and is dominating the Indian market. Tata Motors wants to catch up and surpass REVA. REVA  plans to increase its production capacity up to 30,000 units annually.

Another company that sets its sight on electric cars is the Malaysian Proton automotive company. Proton announced that its all-electric car will be available in 2009. After six hours of charging, the car can run for 36 hours or 320 kilometers at a low cost. The initiative is part of Malaysia’s attempt to reduce its dependence on fuel imports and to reduce demand for gasoline that takes more and more subsidies to remain affordable for most Malaysians. Lacking of expertise with electric motors and batteries, Proton will collaborate with The Detroit Electric and PRO Dis-T.

http://newpaper.asiaone.com.sg/news/story/0,4136,171552,00.html

http://sify.com/finance/fullstory.php?id=14723544

Read more on electric cars:

The Air Car could revolutionize transportation – an electric car without an electric motor

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