India is leading the race for greener vehicles

A busy road in New Delhi. Picture: AP
A busy road in New Delhi. Picture: AP
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The recent news that the UK Government is to spend £2 billion in order to assist the UK’s flourishing car industry should be welcomed by us all.

However, what is now needed is for Britain to take the lead on new technology and innovation that will accelerate the growth of electric vehicles and deal with the country’s creaking and ageing infrastructure.

To understand the challenges facing the world, you simply have to look at India as an example of where we are all heading. Recent estimates suggest there are at least 103 million cars on the country’s roads. The number of new car users is increasing at a pace that new road construction can’t keep up with.

The reality facing us all is that failure to act and implement major radical projects will result in far higher longterm costs – not only to national economies but also to the environment.

Imagine the world in 20 years time if there is no significant change to current infrastructure policies. Our roads and rail networks could grind to a halt.

On the verge of an electric vehicle revolution

Until recently, the mere discussion of electric vehicles (EVs) was left for fantasists and dreamers. Diesel-guzzling cars were here and they were here to stay.

However, today, we are finally on the verge of an electric vehicle revolution.

Renault-Nissan has become one of the world’s biggest advocates of EV. The company has gone on record saying it believes EVs are set to change the face of mobility and it is backing that claim with investment, to the tune of almost US $5 billion (£3.3bn).

In India, REVA’s new 30,000 capacity EV car assembly plant has just been completed, creating employment in Bangalore and positioning India as a world leader in the creation of EVs. REVA’s achievements were recognised recently when it was selected as one of the world’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2013 by Fast Company magazine.

Brave decisions are needed not only in countries like India but also here. Some will inevitably fail, but others could flourish, not only helping to solve our global infrastructure crisis, but also making Britain an international leader in green infrastructure policy.

• Caroline Jones Carrick is project co-ordinator at TEV Project, based in Prestwick

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