Category Archives: Fun Facts

Auto Expo: A Brief Introduction

The Auto Expo is Asia’s largest biennial automotive show held in Greater Noida, NCR, India. Conceived in 1985 and making its debut in 1986 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, the expo is focused towards introducing new technology, concepts, innovation and designs in the auto industry.

Jointly organized by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the Auto Expo’s path-breaking debut show was a window for technology transfers representing how the Indian Automotive Industry was absorbing the new technologies and promoting indigenous research and development for adapting these technologies for the rugged Indian conditions.

Over the years, the show has only grown stronger. By 2006, it began to see huge overseas participation, with new concepts, launches, as well as trade dialogues. In 2008, it was accredited by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), cementing its reputation as one of the world’s most premier auto shows.

In 2020, the 15th Auto Show aimed to not only focus on the static display of motor vehicles but to also focus on the ‘Entire Mobility Eco-System’, enveloped by the theme of “Co-Create, Co-Exist and Celebrate”. Despite the slowdown in the Indian motor industry, the expo had several big brands take part in the event showcasing multiple new concept cars, with electric vehicles taking centre stage.

Today, the Auto Expo is eagerly anticipated by brands and fans alike.

Growth of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in India

The growth of the electric vehicle industry in India directly depends on the availability or shortage of charging stations in the country. As part of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) India programme, the government has approved a plan to establish 2,636 charging stations throughout the country to further encourage the use of EVs and produce high adoption by 2030 in India.

According to this report, of the 2,636 stations:

  1. Rapid charging stations = 1,633
  2. Maharashtra = 317
  3. Andhra Pradesh = 266
  4. Tamil Nadu = 256
  5. Uttar Pradesh = 207
  6. Rajasthan = 205
  7. Delhi and Chandigarh = around 70

It is expected that at least one charging station will be available in most of the selected cities in a grid of 4 km x 4 km. Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), an energy service provider owned by the Indian government is all set to collaborate with engineering group Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) to build electric-vehicle charging stations throughout India.

Various community charging stations and businesses are taking on the initiative of increasing the accessibility of these stations. Tata Power established the first set of Electric Vehicle charging stations in Mumbai and are now present in Delhi and Hyderabad.

PluginIndia wants to popularize the concept of community charging stations with the idea for businesses/resorts/vacation homes etc, that are at a distance of 40-70 km around cities, to setup normal 15 Amp charge points or Smart EVSE for electric cars and next-generation electric bikes. Having successfully set up 257 Community Charging Stations across India, they have developed a mobile app by the community for the community, complete with Google Maps integration.

RE:CHARGE INDIA App Features

  1. Find electric vehicle charge points near your location
  2. Browse electric vehicle charge points on a Map
  3. Search for charge points
  4. View electric vehicle charge points details
  5. Get driving directions from your location to an electric vehicle charge point
  6. Call phone number directly from the app
  7. Report an electric vehicle charge point
  8. Add a new electric vehicle charge point

Get the App:
Android – Recharge India – EV Charging points map

App Store – RE:CHARGE

All of these efforts have one goal – that easier access would encourage more use; and the faster that EVs become a trend, the better for the environment.

Self-Driving Cars 101

It might sound like something we’ve only imagined in futuristic fiction novels and movies, but self-driving cars are becoming our reality. With companies like Uber and Lyft laying out plans for autonomous vehicles, it’s not long before driverless cars become the norm.

A self-driving car does not require a human driver to operate the vehicle. It uses various technologies to sense its surroundings without any human intervention.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has defined 5 levels of autonomy to classify self-operating vehicles.

Levels of autonomy
Different cars are capable of different levels of self-driving and are often described by researchers on a scale of 0-5.

Level 0: No Automation
This is your everyday car. All major systems are controlled by humans.

Level 1: Driver Assistance
Certain systems, such as cruise control or automatic braking, may be controlled by the car. The driver and the automated system share control of the vehicle.

Level 2: Partial Automation
The car offers at least two simultaneous automated functions, like acceleration and steering. The system is capable of taking full control of the vehicle; however, the driver must be ready to intervene if the system fails to recognize a potential hazard.

Level 3: Conditional Automation
The car can manage all safety-critical functions under certain conditions, but the driver is expected to take over when alerted.

Level 4: High Automation
The car is fully-autonomous in some driving scenarios, though not all. Drivers can safely divert all attention away from driving tasks and let the automated system take full control.

Level 5: Full Automation
The car is completely capable of self-driving in every situation. Level 5 capable vehicles will be able to manoeuvre through all road conditions and require no human control whatsoever.

While the technology exists and is ever-evolving, there are not currently any fully autonomous self-driving cars on the road today. But we’re definitely en route to seeing them fully functioning on our roads in the near future.

The Tesla Cybertruck

The latest and 6th vehicle to join the Tesla family was unveiled on November 21st, 2019. The all-electric pick-up truck immediately turned heads and garnered some gasps with its unique design that looks to be something straight out of an 80’s sci-fi film and belongs on an alien planet. Aptly named “The Cybertruck”, Tesla will be releasing it’s one-of-a-kind truck in 3 different price ranges, each with varying degrees of specs.

According to Tesla, the Cybertruck is designed with a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton, where every component is designed for superior strength and endurance, from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin to Tesla armour glass; making this truck’s body tougher than any other car on the market. The smooth monochrome exoskeleton puts the shell on the outside of the car providing the driver and passengers maximum protection.

Claiming that the Cybertruck is “Better utility than a truck with more performance than a sports car,” Tesla promises more versatile utilities such as 3,500 pounds of payload capacity and adjustable air suspension, a 6.5-foot long bed with a rolling cover that can slide up and down and even an advanced 17-inch touchscreen with an all-new customized user interface. Tesla also states that the Cybertruck’s top-end model with Tri Motor AWD can accelerate from 0-60 mph in as little as 2.9 seconds and up to 500 miles of range.

The Cybertruck is available for pre-order right now for a fully refundable $100 to get in line. Production is expected to begin in late 2021, with Single Motor RWD production expected to begin in late 2022. Tesla has also added the availability of the full self-driving capabilities for an extra $7000, where you can pre-order the software that will allow the truck to drive itself.

So, if you see yourself driving around in this “other-worldly” vehicle in the near future, go right ahead and place your pre-order here!