Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Friday, 10 February 2017

Welcome ! Elon Musk

And just in time , too !

Business Standard  ( 09 Feb 2017 ) carries a news report with headline :

“ Tesla plans to drive into India this summer “

It reads :

Silicon Valley-based electric carmaker Tesla is mulling to enter the Indian market this summer

“Hoping for summer this year,” said Elon Musk, chief executive officer, Tesla, to a query on Twitter about when the company planned to come to India.

Tesla began taking orders for its Model 3 sedan, priced at $35,000 ( about Rs 25 lakh ), from customers in the country in April last year.

Musk’s tweet, however, didn’t provide any detail

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley in September 2015, he took a tour of Tesla’s plant and met with Musk to discuss the use of renewable energy in India’s hinterland.

The cost of storing energy produced from sources such as solar and wind is still far too expensive. Musk has been an advocate of lowering costs through mass production.

Soon after, in October that year, Musk hinted that India would be a great manufacturing base for the lithium-ion batteries that power Tesla’s cars and its  Powerwall energy storage units.

{ Last week, a 20 MW Powerwall Substation got set up in California in just 98 days , capable of supplying surplus stored GRID power to 1500 homes, round the clock ! }

“Given the high local demand, a Gigafactory ( extremely large lithium-ion cell manufacturing unit ) in India would probably make sense in the long term,” Musk had tweeted.

Even at the Centre, subsidies for electric vehicles to boost sales across the country have been rolled out under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan.




·         Globally , India is the 2nd largest 2 wheeler manufacturer / 6th largest car manufacturer / 8th largest commercial vehicle manufacturer

·         India produces 24 million vehicles / year  and employs 29 million people

·         31% of the small cars sold globally are made in India

·         Auto Industry contributes 7.1 % of India’s GDP

·         100 % FDI is permitted through automatic route

·         Under , Automobile Mission Plan ( 2016-26 ) , India plans to be among the TOP THREE in the World, with revenues rising to $ 300 billion , from current $ 72 billion

·         Current vehicle population in India , is 200 million ( entirely Petrol or Diesel )

·         India wants to  replace ALL of these  with Electric Vehicles by 2030, which works out to 14.3 million / year , even as 24 million petrol / diesel vehicles will continue to be manufactured every year !


·         Tesla is the world leader in Electric Car manufacture

·         It has set up a GIGA-FACTORY to manufacture Li-on batteries

·         Li-on batteries are also used for storing Solar Power electricity

·         Tesla has set up 795 Supercharging stations at malls and highways , all over the World , and charges Tesla car-owners , mere $ 120 for a travel of 3000 miles from LA to New York !

·         In a few months, Tesla starts mass production of Model 3 and plan to produce 500,000 cars in 2018

·         If India cannot persuade Elon Musk to set up manufacturing in India , any number of other countries are chasing him !

·         Tesla is about to come out with an all-electric Semi-Truck , which could be of great interest to India for replacing some 10 million , 15+ year old ( petrol / diesel ) trucks , under just approved Voluntary Vehicle Retirement Policy

These vehicles consume 70 % of country’s diesel

Replacing these with electric vehicle ( rather than with another new diesel vehicle ), could not only reduce pollution drastically but also save crores of rupees !



·         Electric cars are non-polluting ( no harmful emission gases ) and help reduce green-house effect

·         Will reduce deaths due to elimination of outdoor pollution

·         An electric car is 5 TIMES more energy efficient as compared to Petrol car ( energy conversion efficiency of up to 99.99 % )

·         An electric car is 10 TIMES cheaper to charge, with annual cost of $ 313 ( as compared to petrol cost of approx. $ 3000 for 12000 miles – USA figures )

·         Since it has only 20 moving parts as compared to 2000 moving parts for a petrol car, an electric vehicle is 10 TIMES cheaper to maintain

·         It is possible to charge an electric car Li-on battery wirelessly , using “ Induction Power Transfer ( IPT ) “ . In Italy , electric buses are already being charged at BUS STOPS , while passengers get off and on !

·         Wireless Charging essentially untethers an electric vehicle . Because they are replenished many times a day ( at each Bus Stop ), they can use a smaller battery

·         Li-on batteries of electric cars can be used to store electricity generated by Solar Power installations , and can contribute to Grid Storage .

          A recent report by the California Public Utilities Commission concluded that EV
          owners could be paid up to $ 100 PER MONTH , for providing electricity to the
          Grid infrastructure

·         Essentially , an electric car is a “ Computer on Wheels

It is integrated with a huge number of sensors and sensor-enabled devices

Not only all electric cars are connected through internet, with servers of the manufacturer but also with all the other electric cars, manufactured by the same manufacturer

This “ connected-ness “ ( Internet of Things ) enables them to compile , and relay ( or receive ) , in real time , data re :

#   GPS tracking

#   Speed Monitoring and Control

#   Fall Detection

#   Remote Battery Power Sensing

#   Tracking

#   Scheduling Maintenance

#   Road Infrastructure

#   Traffic Density / Pattern / Movement

#   Vehicle Behaviour / Speeding  /  Accidents

#   Wear and Tear

All of this continuously streaming data becomes an invaluable input for manual and automated decision-making by agencies such as :

#   Manufacturers / Maintenance Garages / Repair Shops

#   Car Rental Agencies / Share-a-car  Taxi services / Other cars on roads

#   Insurance Companies / Banks  

#   Road Transport Authorities / Road Maintenance Authorities

#   Traffic Police Departments

#   Pollution Control Authorities

#   Municipalities

     Today , Mumbai Municipality announced the end of FREE parking on the roads
     and introduced hefty monthly fees payable by car owners

     City of Mumbai has 30 lakh vehicles and road-length of 2000 km ( 1500
     Vehicles / km ) . These include 17 lakh 2 wheelers and 9 lakh cars

     Imagine the nightmare of determining : “ Who “ parks “ Where / When “ and

     should pay  “ What Amount “ and “ How “  !


     If all these vehicles were electric, money would pour into Municipal Bank
     Account  ( 24*7 ) , using Aadhar Enabled Payment System , through pre-
     paid RFID chips built into those vehicles !

    This will help us eliminate “ human intervention “ from “ Collection Process “

·         Electric cars are “ future proof “ in the sense that , they can be made autonomous or ( someday ) even “ flying “ !

If energy conversion efficiency of Solar PV panels can be increased to 40 % as compared to current rate of 18 % , it is even possible that cars fitted with such panels may not need any charging stations ! ( Remember , Tesla’s Solar Roofing tiles to power homes ? )

·         Electric cars make very little noise hence reduce noise pollution




·         A range of 200 miles ( 320 km ) per charge might be the minimum requirement of an electric car today

·         An average American car runs only 58 miles ( 93 km ) per day

·         Nissan Leaf has a range of 75 miles ( 120 km ) per charge

·         Tesla Model S has a range of 265 miles ( 426 km ) per charge with a 85 kwh battery, which can be charged up to 80 % ( 250 miles ) in 15 minutes



·         In 2010 , EV quality Li-on battery cost about $ 1,000 / kwh

·         Tesla Roadster had a 53 kwh battery which cost $ 53,000 , about half the total cost of the car

·         Battery costs are dropping at about 12 % per year

·         Current cost of Tesla’s battery is estimated at $ 100 / kwh  !

·         In Tesla Model S (selling for $ 35,000 ), battery is costing only $ 5,000  !

·         By 2025 , Tesla expects to bring down battery cost under $ 50 / kwh and selling price of Tesla Model S ( equivalent model ) to $ 17,000 ( approx. Rs 12 lakhs ) !



·         Have no doubt !

     Venkataraman Thangadurai and colleagues ( University of Calgary / Canada )
     have developed a rechargeable , button-sized battery

Thangadurai  says :

“ The technology we have developed would enable absolutely stable, robust, safe, high-powered, all solid state lithium batteries for future energy storage , which have many potential applications , including charging of electric vehicles

And then there is Israeli firm  Stores-Dot , which claims to be developing a car battery  that can be charged in 5 minutes and give a range of 300 miles



·         If Tesla merely wants to sell their US – made cars to India , it won’t make much of a difference to existing Indian Car Manufacturers

But, if it sets up fully integrated manufacturing operations ( including sourcing of components locally ) , then that could “ disrupt “ the Auto Industry !

From there, it is one small step to “ disrupt “ the Indian Bicycle Industry

Here is how :  “  A Radical  Radial  Revolution

That would dramatically speed up the change-over to electric car models by all the existing manufacturers – which would be , an extremely desirable for the Indian Economy as a whole

Welcome  !  Elon  Musk 

11  Feb  2017