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Robin Brown

I wouldn't relish driving a Nano around the streets of New Delhi knowing there might be a Lagonda around the corner.

Like most I feel very ambivalent about the Nano. We don't have any right to tell developing countries that they can't have cars - mirroring the problem of asking BRIC countries to lower their CO2 emissions while ours are much high per capita – but it's hard to see the Nano as anything less than a revolution in the industry.

How many more millions of people will have access to cheap transport in the coming years? Can roads sustain that rise? What of the toll not just in CO2 but in raw materials?

I wonder, too, about the impact of a Nano on Europe. Certainly a Euro Nano can't come even close to the £1,500 figure, but probably under £4K. Can roads in the EU cope with a sharp rise in cars that the world's cheapest car could bring?

I suppose the optimistic view is that the rapid industrialisation and technolog-isation (!) of developing countries may be a catalyst for a quantum leap in fuel efficiency and alt fuels, but I suspect the rise of the Nano will pose more questions that it answers.

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