Just What India Needs: The $3,000 Car

traffic_india.jpg

The Sierra Club points out that in India, there are currently about 7 cars per 1,000 persons (as compared to nearly 500 per 1,000 in the US). With the advent of the $3,000 car, that is surely about to change. The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe reports:

If India’s roads seem cluttered and inadequate, things are set to get much worse. Over the coming months, a series of car manufacturers are set to unveil new models aimed at India’s burgeoning middle class. Remarkably, some of the new cars designed to entice the wallets of India’s newly wealthy consumers will be priced as cheaply as $3,000 (£1,500). One model, due to be available as early as next year, has been dubbed the "People’s Car".

This explosion of new affordable vehicles is poised to have a number of dramatic effects on the country – most visibly adding further traffic to roads that are often filled with rickshaws, bicycles, people and animals.

Yet while consumer demand for such vehicles is high, there are also considerable concerns about the environmental impact these countless thousands of new cars will have, not just in terms of adding to the congestion of India’s cities, but increasing the already mounting emissions of CO2 the country is pumping out.

Photo: nielsb/Flickr

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

“Do as We Say, Not as We Do” = No Model for Sustainability

|
Traffic in Delhi and Atlanta. Notice which scene also includes bikes. Photos: Ri Co Fo To and silvrayn via Flickr Environmentally-conscious citizens of India aren’t alone in their concern about the rollout of the Tata Nano, the "world’s cheapest car." But in an op-ed piece for Forbes, Projjal Dutta, the director of sustainability initiatives for […]

Nano Technology

|
The much-hyped and much-criticized Tata Nano, a car that will hit the Indian market retailing for a mere 100,000 rupees — the equivalent of $2,500 — got a perplexing nod of approval from the Economist newsmagazine last week: Commuting in India’s cities can be both cosy and deadly. Children squeeze snugly between father at the […]

Individuals Can Make a Difference: A View from India

|
We turn to the Streetsblog Network for a little inspiration this morning, courtesy of Robin Chase — author of the blog Network Musings and former CEO of Zipcar. Chase shares a story from a friend in India, Vinay Jayaswal, who believes that meaningful change on the most overwhelming issues can, and must, begin with the […]

The Brute Power of the Car

|
For the last couple of days, there’s been a lot of talk around the Streetsblog Network about a particularly horrific incident on Monday in which a cyclist, Darcy Allan Sheppard, was fatally injured on Toronto’s Bloor Street in an encounter with a car allegedly driven by the former attorney general of Ontario, Michael Bryant. Montréal’s […]

Americans Still Use a Lot of Gas

|
The release of the Department of Energy’s Transportation Energy Data Book is a transportation stat geek’s dream — 300-plus pages of numbers detailing the way the country burns this or that moving people and freight from city to city. Of course, not everyone gets a thrill from poring through data tables for hours at a […]

How Much Would Cyclists Pay to Cover Their “Fair Share”?

|
Cyclists should pay their “fair share” for streets — it’s a favorite complaint of newspaper commenters worldwide. So Walker Angell at Network blog Streets.mn decided to figure out what exactly a “fair share” for cyclists — and pedestrians — would be. Here’s his analysis: Three factors influence the cost that a person and their vehicle (or just a vehicle […]