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  • Fuel Efficiency - is there any controversy?

    Environment, Industrial Design

    Tata-nano_432_

    Tata Motors has unveiled their $2,500 car in India. This mini monster is expected to get 54 mpg.

    But one has to wonder whether or not an inexpensive and fuel efficient car is good for the world. This car will displace bicycles and scooters, not other cars, so we're effectively increasing waste & consumption, not decreasing it.

    Speaking at the unveiling ceremony at the 9th Auto Expo in New Delhi, Mr. Ratan N. Tata said, "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."

    via Jalopnik

  • This is an interesting point. Because while coming up with ways to facilitate low-energy forms of transport in an overly-reliant car culture like here in the US is necessary, so is providing safer, more efficient and affordable transport for families in India. (Kind of reminded of how some in the US love to talk about China's rapid development and its impact on the environment, when the US has a fraction of the population and only up till very recently was the biggest producer.) Still, every country has a responsibility to the environment and something that's going to be more accessible and high production run should guarantee low emissions (as in real, not labeled). Perhaps some of the solutions for DESIGN 21's bicycle competition will address these needs.


  • When it comes to sustainable lifestyles that aren't as dependent on automobiles, America is at a disadvantage since so much of our country was populated after the advent of cars. You have cities like Atlanta, GA, which is expanding very rapidly and has suburbs that have no sidewalks, and nowhere to walk to anyway. Our towns are planned around the automobile.

    So for America to move away from the dependence on cars, we'd have to re-think a lot of stuff. But for a nation that's where we were 50-60 years ago, perhaps they can learn from our mistakes & try to ensure their towns are centered around walkable activities so their citizenry at least has the choice.


  • I don't know if the US is at a disadvantage - but yes, attitudes and infrastructure will be difficult and costly to change now. Agree that developing nations should be wary of becoming gas-guzzling societies that privilege convenience and commodity over community and environment. So how do you balance that concern with the need for moving more people and goods around at a more efficient rate to improve business and daily activity?

  • In my opinion, i think that this car is a really good idea for the Indian market.

    this particular project is very interesting for people that don´t have a high economic position, because it´s cheaper than the other cars. the TATA nano, is also a good idea in india, because most of the families and their children use bikes or motorbikes, without helmets, and they go very fast,and such could be very dangerous, so this is also why I believe that the TATA´s a quite handy car to have around providing its convinience and safety factors.it´s definitely safer than using a bike in developing cities.

  • Wouldn't work for larger family. Crossovers are more of the future.

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