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Electric Vehicles And Charging Points

Which one should come first to make the transition to electric vehicles faster? - A debate. Teens at the Young Executives ' Club brought their thoughts and observations to the virtual talking table.

Very often, the suggestion that comes up in our discussion about Climate Change on the Young Executives Club is electric vehicles to reduce fossil fuel induced emissions. The issues we previously touched upon in this context include an analysis of what led to some EVs burning up in India and a brief discussion about the battery as a drain on natural resources. These discussions led to the suggestion to move to using Hydrogen as alternative source of energy to power electric vehicles.

Last week the teens at the Young Executives’ Club chose to debate about another pressing issue in the context of electric vehicles- which should come first? Produce more electric vehicles first, pushing the need for more charging points or should authorities build charging points first thus getting rid of one of the major stumbling blocks in the use of EVs.

The chicken or the egg. Which one came first? The EV scenario seems a lot similar.

“Building many charging stations requires space and money. If there are not many takers for electric vehicles, then these charging points will go waste,” argued one of the teens kickstarting the group discussion.

The opposing side argued that the reason why no one is buying EV is on account of the lack of charging points. They came up with examples from their own homes to support their perspective that charging stations must be the first to get built.

“Having read and discussed so much about the ill effects of carbon emissions on the earth’s atmosphere and the resulting climate change, I was curious to know why as a family we did not own an electric car. My father replied that he has been wanting to buy one for a long time, but has been hesitating as there are no electric charging points in the vicinity.”

Other arguments on this side of the table included, “Charging points may not be that expensive as manufacturing the cars themselves and hence this should be the first step. Who knows this may encourage more people to buy electric cars and motivate others to do the same.”

The discussion led to possible ways in which the problem could be effectively solved from both sides of the table;

“Then how about a social experiment where a limited number cars are manufactured and used in a particular area. This would ramp up the pressure to install more charging points in the locality and the efficacy of the scheme can be studied.”

Other transport alternative suggestions came up soon after:

  • Electric bikes/cycles that are likely to require lesser charge than the cars.

  • Electric autos- no noise and ideal for short distances. Information about their charging requirements unknown at this point, but a question that needs some amount of exploration.

  • Hydro powered vehicles don’t need electric charge

  • Public electric transport that is solar powered.

How the scenario pans out in India as we go along would be interesting to observe and there could be multiple lessons to be learnt as they unfold over time. For now, these discussions are meant to enable the teens to think, observe, read to keep themselves informed and grab any takeaways that this current real life problem has to offer in terms of approaches taken by the policy makers.

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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-11 age group, the Young Executives' Club program offers spoken and written communication skills development course for the 12-14 age group.

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