India is currently the world’s second fastest-growing economy after China which leads the pack. As the buying power of India’s consumers is boosted by its explosive growth, automobile manufacturers are exploring new ways to market their cars.
One alternative is to produce cheap cars well within the pockets of the mainstream buyer.
Tata Motors, an Indian car manufacturer, unwrapped its much-anticipated $2,500 “people’s car” on Thursday– a four-wheel passenger vehicle which it hopes will provide a much-needed transportation option for the poor. Tata appropriately named the car Nano which means small. The Nano, considered the world’s least expensive four-wheel vehicle, is anticipated to hit the Indian market during the second half of this year.
Many are worried that the proliferation of cars in India could increase dramatically the emission of carbon dioxide, the leading culprit of global warming and climate change. Chief U.N. climate scientist Rajendra Pachauri, who shared last year’s Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, said last month that he was “having nightmares” about the prospect of the low-cost car.
Associated Press reported that in 2005, Indian vehicles released 219 million tons of carbon dioxide. By 2035, that number is projected to increase to 1,467 million tons, due largely to the expanding middle-class and the expected rise of low-cost cars, according to the Asian Development Bank. This explains the U.N. scientist’s “nightmares”. “The cheaper and cheaper vehicles become, the quicker those pollution levels will increase,” commented Jamie Leather, a transport specialist with the Asian Development Bank. “It’s a major concern.”
Instead of manufacturing carbon dioxide emitting vehicles, couldn’t they design cheap electric cars within the pockets of the poor people? If that is not feasible at this moment, how about designing special lanes for bicycles similar to those used in Amsterdam? Let’s think about it. We have to stop the excessive emission of greenhouse gases.
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