Auto makers are set to launch new cars priced at $3000 in India. Andrew Buncombe reports on the massive social, economic, and environmental impact of the new affordable vehicles.
"...a series of car manufacturers are set to unveil new models aimed at India's burgeoning middle class. Remarkably, some of the new cars...will be priced as cheaply as $3,000 (£1,500)...This explosion of new affordable vehicles is poised to have a number of dramatic effects on the country - most visibly adding further traffic to roads that are often filled with rickshaws, bicycles, people and animals.
Yet while consumer demand for such vehicles is high, there are also considerable concerns about the environmental impact these countless thousands of new cars will have, not just in terms of adding to the congestion of India's cities, but increasing the already mounting emissions of CO2 the country is pumping out."
"Manufacturers such as Tata claim they are not oblivious to the environmental repercussions of these new cars...But environmentalists...argue that rather than being lured by transport policies of the West, India must continue to focus its energies on public transport, which is not only less environmentally damaging but is also much more affordable - a key issue in a country where 300 million people live below the poverty line."