The sounds of the early morning calls from the peacocks around my farm house have a very soothing effect. You first hear a sincere scream from the male and then a muted-not-so-excited response from the female. Calls for mating tells you that the peacocks are doing well in the land.
I was reminded about this mating call syndrome when I recently read a tweet from Anand Mahindra, to Elon Musk, inviting him to India, "Time you got out here Elon. You don't want to leave that whole market to Mahindra do you?? The more the merrier--and greener..!" and Elon responding, "Good point". A sincere scream with a muted-not-so-excited response! Anyone who has watched the mating dance of the peacock, trying to lure the hen with his 'eyes' on his feathers will tell you that it is a sight to behold. A grand display of fertility with a strong intent to procreate and spread the goodness. I hope that these two will eventually get together and mate, as it will definitely spread the goodness for India.
India can do with clean mobility solutions. We all know that the fumes emitted by vehicles is contributing to ill health. In an earlier column, I had highlighted new research from the William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University of London which has linked exposure to Particulate Matter (PM)2.5, which are fine particulate matter that is in the air to heart damage. The term fine particles, or particulate matter 2.5, refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air that are, about thirty times smaller than that of a human hair. The research found that as PM 2.5 exposure rises, the larger the heart gets and the worse it performs.
What was music to our ears, besides the mating calls from electric car manufacturers to each other, is that the Indian government is working on ways to incentivize consumers to purchase electric vehicles with a target to have a 100% electric car fleet by 2030. The government increased the subsidy for manufacturing electric vehicles from Rs 123 crore ($19 million) in FY2016-17 to Rs 175 crore ($27 million) in FY2017-18. Under the 2020 plan of the National Electric Mobility Mission, the government plans to create a potential demand for 5 to 7 million electric vehicles, including buses, light commercial vehicles, two-wheelers and three-wheelers, as well as electric cars. The plan seems to be to invest up to Rs 23,500 crore ($4.3 billion) by 2020 to promote demand and create a sustainable infrastructure for the electric automotive industry. According to the government, the subsidy to be offered to the auto industry until 2020 would help the country save about $11 billion on fuel costs.
The intent from the Government of India to go the renewable energy route is clear. Clean technologies have become cost competitive, and offers many other benefits, like clean air, more jobs, a stronger economy, less dependence on foreign sources of energy. Low-cost electricity and transport is now the focus to stimulate and quickly grow the already booming clean technology sector.
Electric car manufacturers like Tesla felt stonewalled when they realised that they have to manufacture at least 30% of the car in India, under the Make in India mission, which I support. Tesla sulked and went quiet for a while. But Musk seems to stopped sulking and started looking up again early this month, when he admitted he was in discussion with the Indian government about a way around the auto import barriers until a local Tesla factory was built. Great news! Disciples of clean mobility solutions are hoping that folks like Tesla will come down to India soon, considering Indian companies like Mahindra's don't seem to show any entrepreneurship, creativity or depth in their offerings.
If you have a not so bright bridegroom, an intelligent bride from outside may be the solution to get her to think a bit. My wife is a great match maker and has offered to take the horoscopes of Anand Mahindra and Elon Musk to give it to an astrologer to see the potential of a match.
I am keeping my faith in the mating calls and hoping to drive a beautiful, intelligent electric car to my farm.