One calamity after another keeps disrupting the automobile industry. We were just about recovering from the debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic after two years when Russia waged a war on Ukraine and now China has been locked down due to the pandemic. This has disrupted the auto components supply chain, causing delay in production and increasing the waiting period for buyers.
The lockdown in China will have an adverse impact on electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers also, because most of the electric two-wheeler components are supplied by that country.
Last month I happened to visit the Dainese store in Bengaluru. It was a sad sight that no AGV helmets were on display owing to the ban on the import and sale of foreign-made helmets. In our opinion, it is the most ridiculous ban. It is understandable if the intention of the authorities is to protect the local manufacturers against cheap imports from China, but it is ludicrous to ban the import of all helmets. It is dangerous, too, because the ban practically denies individuals the right to protect themselves as they see fit while riding a two-wheeler.
On the one hand we want to promote motor sport in India, but, on the other, a rider cannot buy a helmet to take part in a race because Indian-made helmets do not meet the stringent safety standards required for racing. If a helmet meets international safety standards, then its sale should be allowed in India. Some of the helmets made in India are so pathetic that I would not recommend them even to my worst enemy!
Today everybody is talking about the transition from internal-combustion (IC) engine bikes to EV and zero tailpipe emissions, but nobody talks about how much CO2 is generated while making an IC engine bike and how much goes into the making of an EV. Furthermore, let us not forget how much coal is burnt to generate electricity. When you look at the whole picture well, it becomes apparent that an EV is not as “green” as it is touted to be.