Tag Archives: india

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.

Car Dash Cam: Should you buy one?

What is a dashcam?
A dashboard camera is a camera that is attached to the back of your rearview mirror or mounted on the windscreen. It continuously records the view through your car’s windscreen and sometimes even the rear or other windows. The recordings are stored in an SD card. Some dashcams have a loop recording feature – which means it automatically deletes the old recordings to make storage for the new footage. In short, it is like a CCTV for your car.

Benefits:
One of the most important benefits of dash cameras is its accident recording capabilities. It helps to capture vehicle collisions or any other dangerous or odd activity. India is filled with characters who ignore road rules; be it jaywalkers, someone not using their turn signals, overtaking, speeding, road rage, drunk driving, or the most common of all – hit and run cases, all of these are common accidents waiting to happen. And more often than not, the footage from a dashcam could serve as defining proof of who was at fault whenever required and help you to claim your car insurance easily.

The internet is also filled with plenty of popular moments when people have caught unique incidents and unexpected events thanks to their dashcams.

Are dashcams legal in India?
There is no law at present that makes installing dash cams illegal, which means they serve the same purpose as having a CCTV installed in your house. There should be no legal objections to having one in your vehicle.

What to look for when buying a dashcam:
At the very least, the dashcam you buy should be able to do the following:

    – Take good quality recordings in all light conditions
    – Have a GPS that can record your speed
    – Have a wide-angle lens to capture as much as possible
    – If the option is available, choose one with a dual-lens so it records both the front and rear view of the car

So, should you get one? Yes. Dashcams are becoming a trend, with more and more customers requesting manufacturers to have them as permanently fitted equipment in cars. Having a dashcam is definitely a benefit, especially on Indian roads and traffic.

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.

FASTag: What is it?

In an attempt to reduce traffic at toll plazas, the Government of India has mandated electronic payments at all toll plazas across India. To this effect, the government has introduced FASTag.

What is FASTag?
Operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), FASTag is a simple to use, electronic toll collection system and reloadable tag, which enables automatic deduction of toll charges. It is a device that employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly, letting you pass through the toll plaza without stopping for a cash transaction. It is linked to your prepaid account of choice, from which the toll amount is deducted. The FASTag is affixed on the windscreen of your vehicle after the tag account is active, allowing you to drive through toll plazas without the need to stop for a cash payment.

What are the benefits of using FASTag?

Easy payment – It removes the necessity to carry cash for payments.

Saves time – The instant payment saves you from waiting in those long toll booth queues; as well as saving you the hassle of waiting for your change and knowing how much you need to pay.

Cashback – Payments made through FASTag offer a cashback of up to 2.5% on all tolls for the year 2019-20.

Online Recharge – FASTag can be recharged conveniently through multiple online options: Credit Card/Debit Card/NEFT/RTGS/Net banking and Point of Sale (POS) locations, with the most recent feature update adding a Google Pay UPI option as well.

Ease of Tracking – You get regular SMS alerts to your registered mobile number each time any transactions are done using the tag, for low balance, etc. Periodic statement of account may also be taken from the online portal website.

Online Portal – To view transaction statements, wallet balance, raise queries, recharge, etc.

The FASTag App:
To accelerate the transition to the electronic payment mode, the road ministry, National Highway Authority of India and Indian Highways Company have launched a My FASTag app. The app allows users to buy FASTtags online, find point-of-purchase locations offline, recharge their tags, and make payments. The app also provides access to a list of operational FASTtag toll plazas across the country, 24×7 highway toll-free hotline and banks’ helpline numbers.

How much does it cost?
FASTag has a one-time fee of ₹200. The refundable security deposit depends on the vehicle type. With a reissuance fee of ₹100.

Specific lanes:
The toll booth lanes will be divided by those paying cash and those with a FASTag pass. The FASTag will work only in the lanes assigned for it. Take note that if any vehicles without a valid FASTag enter the FASTag lane, they will be charged double the applicable toll amount in cash.

FASTag is currently operational at 180 toll plazas across national and state highways with more toll plazas being brought under the program in the future.

Learn more about FASTag here