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Tag Archives: Automobile

Green Business Idea : How to build a Mercedes at the price of a Nano!


The Earth flag is not an official flag, since ...Cadmium in the China river, who could have imagined that such a thing would be ever reported? This let me think as how can we really make people and businesses responsible?

Whether we like it or not, we are born Human a species just like any other in this Ecosystem called Earth. And just like any other Species we are programmed in a certain way.  That is discarding what we don’t need.

It is perfectly natural. Birds do it. Bees do it. We do it too !  But here we have a small problem. We are “Civilized” and the rest are ..well “animals”! We have down the evolution chain “evolved” into “intelligent animals” and we no more can be called “animals”. So in time, we divorced ourselves from the laws of Ecosystem,of sustainable living; in the quest to be “Civilized Humans of the World”. And in the process created one big unholy mess for Earth.

Whatever the animals discard is 100% Biodegradable. We stopped doing that since the Industrial Revolution. Most of it.

Therefore when  we –

Soar like a bird” we have the biggest scrap-yard of old airplanes.

Sprint like a cheetah” we have heaps of scrapped motorcycles collected by the Police from the Highways, as the rider is long dead and gone…

“Sing like a Nightingale” we have discarded vinyl, creating a nightmare for environment in landfills.

India is growing, which makes me happy indeed. However are we growing the right way or are we going to do what the west has been doing ? How will India make  sustainable  progress a part of  it’s every day existence, thus keep at bay the pressure it would surely meet, to conform to norms set by the developing world in its agenda to set right the Climate mess we all are in today?As more and more cars, airplanes and other modern life-style starts percolating into the vast and opening and still to open markets of the Tier I,II & III towns and centers, where aspirations are more than that of a city dweller in Mumbai or New Delhi. Would we have in place to handle the waste that it would be generating? Or can we partner today with the western developed Nations and create a market which can be beneficial to both, while truly bringing in the near perfect model of Reduce – Recycle – Reuse ?

I could have gone on and make a fine prose of this article, but I need to propose a  Green Business Idea. That is the only sure way to save Earth. The Economics of Ecology.

Let us then begin at the scrap yards for Air planes. I’m sure all of us love the nice comfortable airline seats, the clear oval windows, the carpet, the superbly functional over-head storage, the air conditioner nozzle and LED lights the neat steel toilets, wash basin and fixtures. While almost all the aircraft parts are salvaged and used, this process could be accelerated if the salvaged parts like the luxurious chairs, overhead bins etc are shipped to India to be fitted in Interiors of trains, buses and even homes. Imagine an intercity super-fast train running in India which has the look and feel of an air-plane? And I always wish I could have the overhead bins used for cabin luggage for my office interior projects. Would look really nice, plus the A/c and Light control would be right over the head of the user, who can then turn it off when not in use. And those neat wash basins and water-closets, super for the super small office spaces in Mumbai. I could also use the windows. Clubbing them together in interesting fashion in interior projects, compact and double glazed it can also make a perfect building façade. Letting light in yet keeping heat out.

Next are Automobiles. It is very painful to see how the cars are salvaged in the west. In this video you can actually see how the mind set of the public still needs to be refined further to actually understand the word – RECYCLE & REUSE. Of course the last word REDUCE has been utilized but in a very …lets say scope for improvement is definitely there.

One can always remove the glass panes from the doors, and perhaps the windscreen too could be removed. While the door glass panes could be reused, the windscreen more often than not would break at the edges and can be sent to glass recycling units separately. If you notice there would be perfect headlamps and tail lights and rear view mirrors, which can be dismantled along with the wipers, locks and handles. If you hear the video again, there is a point where the person at the desk says -” people could care less for doors, moldings…” which is so difficult to comprehend form a reuse point of view.

English: Daytime Running Lights implemented wi...

Many times people scrap cars because a door got damaged and no amount of repairs can bring it back to perfection. In that case if the company can lead a person to a reused car part company, where s/he could get a fix and the car could probably run for a few more years! Same goes for the trimming, seats, and lamps.  And to crush a perfect car, a 2011 Lexus..when so many parts could have been salvaged, defies logic. Can anyone explain why the lights and rear-view mirrors and the logo could not be salvaged ?In Mumbai, India all top line cars face the menace of having there logo or car rims stolen. It fetches good money. And trust me, it costs an arm to buy a headlamp should you shatter it while parking the car or just driving it and following all the traffic rules! Because driving rules are alien to most Indians in India. In Indian roads and driving sense, one could laugh all the way to the Bank by just selling head and tail lamp fixtures. With more and more imported cars models arriving in India, this would be perhaps a perfect Green Business Idea, to get the parts from the West and sell them here.

Moreover if the automobile companies take the perfect parts back and reuse them they would do a lot of good for themselves and the Environment. They could perhaps make a new line of refurbished cars. And no it would not be called “cheap” in a demeaning way but a Green Business Idea of producing lets say “pert” models of the same car model. Which can then be sold in a market where cheaper cars have a demand and perhaps they could be surprised within the existing market, where I’m sure buyers who would any-day prefer a refurbished car from the automaker over the used car selling companies.

We could then perhaps then have a Mercedes at the price of a Nano! Wow, I am buying just make it run on CNG ( compressed natural gas ) !

And no, it would not mean competition and end of both the new part manufacturing vendors or the used car seller. In fact with the economy in such a flux as it is now, both of them can be symbiotic to each other and probably benefit even the Original car maker should it puts its stamp of approval.

 
 

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Small Cars Must Rule ! Curb on diesel cars need implementation


In a recent leading News Paper I happened to read that the automobile companies in India have requested the Government to re-think on putting an extra excise tax on Diesel passenger vehicles, namely SUV‘s and other high to very high-end Cars using diesel. Their argument is its going to affect their economy, and moreover its just a tiny 1.56% of the total diesel driven automobiles!
 

I confess at the start that I am no Ivy league MBA and can’t crunch statistics like the big corporate boys do. But in my dim-wit brain I need someone to explain me that if the diesel cars construed only 1.5%  of the total, why the petition? And I start to think what is this argument of 1.5% ? A trillion can also have 1.5% of it and a million can also have a 1.5% but the formers tiny percent can be the whole of 100% + of the latter! So as someone had said long ago – ‘statistics is the best way to lie and win an argument’ holds true. The brilliant and well meaning automobile manufacturing managers  perhaps have the well-being of the poor employees in their mind when they attempt to  protect the assembly line from closing down. So I will not hold it against them. But by increasing the demand of passenger cars which would be belching fossil fuel fumes especially more carbon–Di–oxide  is causing a disservice to the Nation. (http://www.diffen.com/difference/Diesel_vs_Petrol.)

However, I must  advocate for Clean technologies as it is the only way to abate Climate Change. I would also ask the big diesel car advocates to read the Stern Review and the SREX report of IPCC.  It is time that corporates and governments but most importantly the Citizens of the country start to understand that we have a very limited time to turn the tide against climate change. For we enter the Orange line for danger from 2017!

Diesel is understood to give more mileage and more efficient that petrol. But in India all may not be using the high-end diesel which is taking care of NOx which is a cause of concern from the pollution angle. Moreover once the public see that the price of fuel is cheaper the demand for diesel cars would shoot up. The price of diesel is cheaper in India because the Government offers a bigger subsidy on it than Petrol. As long as the public keep on demanding for “cheaper fuel” for their very big and costly cars, the automakers can not be put to fault. And as long as the Government of the day continues to buy the corporates argument, the public can not be held responsible. It is a wonder how easily in any argument we create demarcations – Government – Public – Automakers and forget that all are at the end citizens of a responsible Nation which should be at the fore-front to abate climate change.

All nations are facing the problem of balancing between the centuries old “industrial revolution” life-style which hyper-jumped on the back of fossil fuel to device a cleaner and more sustainable life-style without compromising on the creäture comfort we all have grown up with.  This can only happen if for once  these very best of India, the brilliant Corporate minds along with learned Citizens from various fields come together and devise a solution. Each in his/her personal capacity must break free from the chains of the company’s profit graph and attempt to create a level playing field in which bio-fuel driven or solar-driven or hybrid cars can create a viable alternative to the popular and practical cars of today.

And having done that, they should learn from the real experiences on the city roads of India and devise a plan to create superb SMALL passenger cars! And through their glib marketing and advertisement pamper the ego of the feudal minded ‘upper class’ that small is the new ‘BIG’!

Moreover, the super rich who buy big cars & suv’s with the argument that their large family would travel in comfort when they holiday usually have cars for each individual member or when holidaying they fly to Europe or other exotic destinations, leaving their large cars behind.

Let us see how is the Developed nations fairing in this – the EU’s voluntary agreements with motor manufacturers and the introduction of colour-coded CO2 labels in showrooms, the UK Government has introduced financial measures to favour cars with lower CO2 emissions.

Since March 2001 the annual Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rate for new cars has been determined by their CO2 emission figure and the type of fuel used. This banding is linked to the voluntary colour coded CO2 A – G labelling scheme. Band ‘G’ was recently introduced but only applies to new cars registered on or after 23 March 2006. VED discounts are available for alternatively fuelled cars, e.g. hybrids, gas and biofuels.

Since 2002 company car drivers have been taxed according to their vehicle’s CO2 emissions and fuel type, again with diesel vehicles paying a tax penalty over petrol vehicles with similar CO2 emissions. Tax discounts are available for drivers choosing bio-fuel and hybrid electric vehicles.

On the fuels side, a Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation has been introduced which requires 5% of road fuels to come from a renewable source by 2010. This may be sold as a separate fuel (e.g. ‘E85’) or blended into normal diesel and petrol at low percentages (5% or less).

The European Union has now agreed a mandatory CO2 target for car manufactures. Under this legislation the average emissions of a manufacture’s vehicles sold in Europe will have to be below 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre by 2015.

In my opinion Small cars must rule ! Because –

It is easier to engineer a smaller and lighter vehicle to run at a decent  speed through alternate Eco-friendly fuel. And even petrol driven small cars can be more economical mileage wise, so demand for diesel car would reduce.

Almost 60% of the commuters are lone passengers who drive or are driven around on a daily basis so large cars belching diesel fumes are not really required.

Moreover although the diesel cars would be a percentage of the above 60% , a small statistical number but a HUGE difference in the abatement of Co2e. Because that small number of cars need to fill gas, read diesel – which need not be that small in measure.

Lastly, big SUV’s and large passenger cars  are not only big in size, they are heavier too. As any one who has plied on roads frequented by heavy vehicles would know – the roads wear out faster !

And what do we lay our roads with – Bitumen! A derivative of the most feared substance in terms of Climate Change –  A black viscous mixture of hydrocarbons obtained naturally or as a residue from petroleum distillation!

The articles that started the arguments (http://epaper.dnaindia.com/epapermain.aspx?pgNo=15&edcode=820009&eddate=2012-01-20) ( http://www.outlookindia.com/printarticle.aspx?279625 )

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2012 in Green House Gas, My Thoughts

 

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