How many times have you seen a car on the road which has only one passenger in it? Here is a case of a huge waste of efficiency – a car is meant to carry four to five people. One person traveling in a car means wastage of fuel, as well as wastage of space on the road. The average fuel economy of a car in India is around 12 to 15 kmpl. While two-wheelers are the most economical mode (50 to 70 kmpl) of personal transport, they do not offer the same conveniences of a car.
So what can be done to reduce the carbon footprint while not compromising on the comfort and safety of a car?
Car pooling and ride sharing are options which are not always viable. A good alternative is to go for two-seater cars. Till date, two-seater cars have not been successful in India, nor are there any affordable ones currently available in the Indian market. However, as India is developing more as an urban country, there is an increase in the need for smaller cars occupying less parking and road space, that also consume less fuel.
Globally, there are many two-seater compact cars that are available in the market. The Toyota iQ, Fiat 500, Suzuki Alto or Wagon R (categorized as ‘Kei’ car in Japan), Smart Fortwo, and many others are popular in some parts of the world. Fiat did import the diesel version of the 500 a few years back, but because it came as a complete import, it was very expensive.
What Would Be The Ideal Car Type For India?
A two-seater car that caters to the needs of the Indian crowd would ideally be around 3 metres in length and have a small engine (50bhp would be enough). It should deliver a fuel efficiency of at least 30 kmpl, have a little shopping bag storage area and should have all the basic modern amenities such as air conditioning and power steering. The car should also have the option to choose safety measures such as airbags and ABS. An auto transmission would also be welcome. Hybrid and electric cars like these can be great too. The range wouldn’t be much of an issue, considering these cars would primarily be used in the city.
Will It Work In India?
Considering the number of second and third cars in Indian households and an increase in demand, it is possible that Indians would welcome such a car if priced correctly. It has to be cheaper than a similarly configured four-seater car. There is also a need for cars that are easier to park and offer a safer and economical alternative to two wheelers. After compact sedans and urban mini SUVs, is it time for Indian car manufacturers to experiment with two-seater cars?
Image source: Wikipedia Commons