The IEEE Spectrum in its April 2008 issue featured the ‘Top 10 Tech Cars’. This included the recent eye candy of India’s common man – Tata Nano. With Tata Motors planning to go full production in later 2008, this small car revolution is obviously creating excitement.
There are concerns about environmental hazards because of easy affordability of the vehicle due to its low cost. I wonder how much of that is a concern because the low cost would also mean easy replacement of the over-polluting Auto-rickshaw in the country and a much better comfort for local city travel. It is interesting to note that a petrol-driven three wheeler costs around Rs. 90,000, which is Rs.10-15K less than the Nano. With double the top-speed than an auto-rickshaw the Nano would also mean faster travel and lesser traffic congestion. The better speed probably over-compensating for the more space it would take on roads.
As an optimist, I look forward to see Nano hit the roads and replacing the more polluting vehicles on the Indian roads. In the process this also creates a better life for the common man.