Friday, September 7, 2012

Mahindra Reva - A car that can power your house with an inverter

A car that can power your house with an inverter.

The eco-friendly car will soon have another version that will tap solar power.

Imagine owning a car that runs with zero fuel bills,lets you become a power supplier and earn money on the side and sleep at night without the guilt that you are spewing tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.This is no dream.Bangalore-based Mahindra Reva Electric Car Co will soon be offering such a car to buyers across the country.

The new technology that Mahindra Reva had recently showcased not only uses solar cells to recharge its battery,but is also capable of powering your house using an inverter.

Chetan Maini,Mahindra Reva's chief of technology and strategy and co-founder of the company,believes that such a car would be in the market soon.The company, in which Mahindra Mahindra picked up a 55 percent stake some two years back,is now promising car buyers that their car would not only be a green transportation solution,but would also be a income generator.

During day and evening peak hours,electric cars can be connected into the suppliers grid and reverse the flow of power for consumption by other consumers.Power suppliers can pay you for supplying power into the grid, said Maini.Car buyers will have to invest in an inverter the battery,which is the most expensive part of conventionalUPS,is already in the car.

Mahindra Reva has also developed another model under the Sun to Car banner,where cars parked under solar paneled roofs can be charged using solar energy.For an additional investment of Rs 1 lakh,Maini says the cars can technically be run over its lifetime of 10 years without any additional fuel cost.Cars with solar roof panels arealso being developed, and these can reduce dependence on conventional form of charging by 15-20 per cent.
Over a period of 10 years,these new models promise to save nearly 40 tonnes of CO2 each,thus allowing car owners to earn carbon credits too.
India imports 80 per cent of its oil needs.These solar powered cars not only helps tackle climate change problems,but also provides energy security for the country, Maini said.
Since the first Reva car rolled out in 2001,the company has managed to put around 3,500 cars on the roads.However,with Mahindras dealer network,the company hopes to increase the numbers significantly.
Under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan,the government hopes to put 6-7 million solar powered vehicles on the Indian roads by 2020.Last week,it had approved a $4.1 billion plan to boost the sales of hybrid and electric vehicles over the next eightyears.Themissionstargetisfeasible,considering a lot of investment in infrastructure (like charging points for electric cars) and support the government is offering, Maini said.
(article from Times of India)

Maruti Alto 800 & a diesel engine with 800 cc

Now the Japanese auto manufacturer is working on ‘Maruti Alto 800’. As the name suggests the car will be made on the platform of Maruti Alto and would be as priced as same as Maruti 800. Apparently, the new Maruti Alto 800 will cost around Rs. 2 lakh. The testing of the car has already begun.

Price Range: Rs 2.5 lakhs (Approx)
Segment: Small Car
Versions: Petrol, Diesel

Maruti Suzuki India is also working on a small diesel engine with 800 cc capacity. This new diesel engine is currently under development at Suzuki's plant in Japan. Estimated fuel efficiency is 25 to 30 km per liter.

According to an anonymous company source, this diesel engine will only be ready by 2015.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Renault Duster

 Renault Duster is a characteristic SUV with aggressive looks and power.

Duster is sold under Dacia badging in Europe, Algeria, Turkey, Morocco, Ukraine, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon.

Renault Duster comes equipped with engine immobilizer, door open warning lamp, central locking and engine protective under guard as standard features. Anti-lock Brake System, Emergency Brake Assist besides Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, stability control module, two front airbags and three-point seatbelt tensioners features are  incorporated as per the version.

Renault Duster is capable to deliver 20.46kmpl mileage for the 83.8bhp diesel engine and 19.01kmpl for the 108.5bhp powertrain.

The 1.5-litre diesel engine has been taken from Nissan Micra.

Renault Duster SUV gives you a butter smooth drive in its comfort zone of 2000-4000rpm.

 The engine of this off-roader is not-so-powerful to actually do a serious off-roading. It still has been given claddings all around to protect the vehicle’s body from any and every angle.

Price: Rs 7,31,782 - Rs 11,49,071  (may vary)

Petrol Car vs Diesel Car

 Diesel cars are about the same as petrol cars with reference to maintenance costs.

What people don't realise is that regular maintainence is a requirement for any car. If you keep up with the service schedule and drive well, I don't see how a petrol car will be cheaper to maintain than a diesel.

I'm using a diesel now, and comparing a petrol car of the same type costs the same to maintain. No more, no less.

Here’s a list of things to keep in mind.

Usage: If you plan to use the car, only once or twice a day or use it only on weekends, then you should go for the petrol variant. The number of commuters will also play a role in the decision making process. For instance, if you buy an eight-seated vehicle, buying a diesel version makes more sense.  If more number of people plan to travel at one time, go for the diesel model. This will ensure that you justify the higher cost of the car. For a single user buy, a petrol variant makes more sense.

Maintenance cost: The cost of maintenance of a diesel car is also slightly higher than a petrol car. If a well serviced petrol car would cost you around Rs2, 000 to Rs3, 000 every six month for maintenance, a diesel car will easily make a hole in your pocket by a thousand rupees more.”  Do, keep in mind that as far as insurance goes, the premium you pay towards a diesel car is also slightly higher than what you would have paid for petrol version.
Cost of fuel: The price of petrol today stands at Rs 70 while diesel stands at Rs 44. As far as mileage goes, a diesel car is a better bet than petrol one.  A litre of petrol could help you travel circa 15 kilometres while the same litre of diesel would give 21 km.

Resale Value: A diesel car will surely give you a better resale value as compared to a petrol car. But keep in mind, this will depend more on the brand and model of the car. For instance, a Fiat diesel car will hardly offer you a good resale amount.” So, do check the resale value of the brand, model and variant before you decide on the car.

Cost of car:  The diesel variant of the same car will be a minimum of Rs 1 lakh more expensive as compared to the petrol variant. In fact, for top-end models the diesel variant is on an average more expensive by Rs 2-3 lakh.

Cost of the loan: It’s common knowledge that around 80% cars are bought on a loan. Which means, the cost of the car is not the real cost, but you have to look into the real cost by taking into account, the cost of the loan as well. So, if we compare a Rs 5 lakh (diesel car) and Rs 4 lakh (petrol car) and you pay a rate of interest of 12% per annum for a term of 5 years, the total cost of the diesel car will come to 6.67 lakh, while the same for the petrol variant will come up to Rs. 5.33 lakh. Relative difference is Rs1.77 lakh for diesel but for the petrol its 1.33 lakh after the loan, as compared to the cost of the car itself.

Use the above mentioned factors, analyse your need and budget, to firm up your choice of variant.

Note: There are LPG and CNG variants available too. Keep tracking this space for more.