Nation Current Affairs 24 Jan 2019 Guest Column: Let&rs ...

Guest Column: Let’s stay proactive, make India the EV capital

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | MAHESH KASHYAP
Published Jan 24, 2019, 3:11 am IST
Updated Jan 24, 2019, 3:11 am IST
They may not, however, reduce traffic congestion, which will continue irrespective of whether automobiles are fuel-based or electric. (Representational Image)
 They may not, however, reduce traffic congestion, which will continue irrespective of whether automobiles are fuel-based or electric. (Representational Image)

Vehicles that run on petrol and diesel are the biggest sources of air pollution in the city, and it hardly needs pointing out that air pollution must be cut down at once. Heavy polluters like diesel  buses need to be converted, on a priority basis, to their electric counterparts. This is easier said than done, however and cost is an issue, for these vehicles need to be imported. We need to look at incentives and Make in India initiatives, which will help bus manufacturers shift from fossil fuels to EVs.

Electric vehicles will definitely make an impact on air pollution. They may not, however, reduce traffic congestion, which will continue irrespective of whether automobiles are fuel-based or electric. Air pollution from idling and slow moving traffic, however, can be reduced significantly through EVs. The best option by far is to increase public transport through buses and the Metro, apart from greater emphasis on non-motorised transport like walking (through good footpaths) and cycling (separate lanes are needed).   

The move to EVs also requires infrastructure, including charging facilities and uninterrupted power supply to these stations, without which EV users will be inconvenienced. This may result in an increase in the use of fossil fuels like coal, which are used to produce power, creating more pollution elsewhere. Renewable sources such as solar energy charging stations need to be considered as well.

GoI is contemplating to allow youth in between the ages of 16-18 to ride electric scooters. GoI has set a target of EVs making up 30 percent of new sales of cars and two-wheelers by 2030. The current rate is around 1 percent.

If the proactive actions continue, India can reduce air pollution considerably from vehicles apart from being the EV capital of the world.

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