The Global View

The £1,200 car launches…

pc-luxury.jpgIt’s like the budgie – cheap.

See this little thing – well this is the new ‘People’s Car’, made by India’s Tata Motors.

It costs £1,200 brand new.

It’s causing a storm in the car industry because although it will be sold in India initially, the company plans to market it world wide.

This will be an efficient option for a lot of families around the globe – it was designed for poor families in developing nations who sometimes sit three or four people on one motorbike – not the safest way to travel.

But then there’s the green question, isn’t there? This is a good idea – it help economic development etc. but won’t it mean millions more people will buy cars?

Well, yes. And while that’s exactly what we don’t need now, how can you stop this kind of economics vs. preservation battle? You can’t. You’re always going to be torn between improving the quality of human life and destroying part of the planet’s. It’s sad, but while humans are in control, economics tends to win.

What you need are better inventions.

Saying that – this could actually lead the way for a new generation of motoring. If you actually would give up your Jaguar for one of these, you could expect to ride in a rear-wheel drive, all-aluminium, two-cylinder, 623 cc, 33 PS, multi point fuel injection petrol engine.

So it’s a very light car that runs on an engine that’s just more than half a litre. Saying that, it’s petrol, so they could have done better there.

It’s all very well to complain about this, but it would be interesting to compare how much of an eco-impact it would have if all car owners traded in for something of this size, weight and efficiency.

From a fuel consumption point of view – it would be very good.

From a fuel carbon emissions point of view, it would be very good.

From a safety point of view, it would be errrrrr…[looks out of window]

From a supply chain point of view, it would boost demand to use up and transport more resources and metals. So this score would depend on the recycled materials that go into it. If other car companies are anything to go by, that’s not much. So it scores very poorly here.

So it’s an innovation – perhaps it could work for the better, but perhaps it’s not a step quite far enough for Greenbang’s liking.

And if you look at other industries that have done the same thing in making goods super cheap – like IKEA or Primark – you can hardly say their eco-impact on the Earth has gone unquestioned.

Anyway – here’s what Mr Tata says about his new motors:

“I observed families riding on two-wheelers – the father driving the scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby. It led me to wonder whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable, all-weather form of transport for such a family.

Tata Motors’ engineers and designers gave their all for about four years to realise this goal. Today, we indeed have a People’s Car, which is affordable and yet built to meet safety requirements and emission norms, to be fuel efficient and low on emissions. We are happy to present the People’s Car to India and we hope it brings the joy, pride and utility of owning a car to many families who need personal mobility.”

Well Mr Tata, make one out of recycled goods at a low carbon cost that runs on renewable energy, and you’ll certainly get our handshake.

1 thought on “The £1,200 car launches…”

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