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Uncertainty over gas demand in India-II: Will we skip the gas revolution?
Jul 05: It is quite likely now that  India may have to jump from the use of diesel straight to the ensuing revolution in electric, biofuel and hydrogen transmission systems for heavy vehicles.
8This will be much like how India skipped the fixed line telephone revolution to go straight to using mobile telephones.
8However, unlike with electric cars, the arrival of a pure or a hybrid electric or hydrogen truck is going to take time.
8The efficiencies of electric vehicles are well established: when driving on an uncongested highway, a modern truck can achieve efficiencies from the engine to the wheel of no higher than 30%, while electric trucks can reach power train-to-wheel efficiencies of as high as 85% or more.
8Futuristic electric road systems (ERS) are being planned which will rely on vehicles that can receive electricity from power transfer installations along the road upon which the vehicles are driving. Furthermore, the vehicles using ERS can be hybrid, battery-electric, or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles they will have the ability to conduct normal driving operations, such as overtaking and driving autonomously outside of the electrical roads.
8Currently, battery and plug-in/catenary electric trucks are in the pilot stage (for heavy-duty rigid trucks and tractor-trailers) or the early deployment stage (for medium-duty trucks in urban
 operations). California remains a leader in advancing the deployment phase of these medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
8Costs of these vehicles and the required infrastructure are projected to come down as sales of electric buses and trucks increase.
8The big advantage for India could well be the low emission standards it can achieve since the electric infrastructure can be powered with renewable solar or wind energy.
8ERS could penetrate first in short-distance, local freight applications as a means of radically reducing local pollutant emissions, for instance at ports (as in the Los Angeles-Long Beach demo site) and mines.
8With sufficient regulatory and potentially also fiscal support from local, regional or national policy makers, ERS infrastructure could then branch out to medium- and long-distance highways with the highest freight activity.
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