Electric scooters catching fire were the most viral news in the automotive content space recently. Rightly so, with the whole automobile industry, government bodies, and consumers alike all whistling for the large-scale EV adoption and the green badge, these firecrackers on the streets are certainly raising eyebrows. It’s’ the true test of Lithium-ion batteries on our country’s tropical climatic conditions, which most EVs are experiencing for the first time. The manufacturing of battery cells needs to be regulated, and the use of
premium batteries needs to be implemented. The effect of “thermal runaway” in Li-ion batteries can make them burst into flames immediately. Alternative fuels powering vehicles have already been explored, and hydrogen-powered cars could be a great alternative.

I also feel hybrid cars returning excellent fuel efficiency is a perfect way in our drive towards a sustainable future till the battery tech and infrastructure is fully set up. Most public charging stations don’t work or have some issues, and unless you have your wall mount charging infrastructure, owning an EV would be a painful experience. Honda city, with its upcoming e:HEV, fits in quite well with a claimed fuel economy of 26.5 Kmpl.
Lexus NX350h in the luxury mid-size SUV space with a complete hybrid system and Volvo XC60 with a mild hybrid are other great examples, and we got them together for comparison for this issue. While the month of April brings the ‘heat on”, and there is a big spate of launches lined up in the days ahead for the next issue, including Volkswagen
Virtus, Jeep Meridian, Honda City e:HEV, Mercedes-Benz C-class, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga,
Maruti Suzuki XL6 maybe by the time this issue goes to print there will be few more.e

In other news, Tesla’s Q1 solid report has surpassed industry expectations and added more
wealth to Elon Musk, who has now acquired around 9.2% of Twitter, valued at around US$2.89 billion, which seems to be one of his most ambitious acquisitions in recent times. Ironically, his early push in EVs has not only made Tesla one of the biggest automobile companies in the world but also made him, in the process, one of the richest men in the world. All in the name of pursuing his vision of a sustainable world. The EV game is going to get very exciting, and a lot of disruption is expected in the years’ ahead, with new brands appearing on the scene and competing with the giants. But for now, busy days are ahead for us, and while we live out of our suitcases and eat our meals on the road, we will have great stories to tell. Until then, don’t forget to wear your seat belts and stay safe.