ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A VIABLE SOLUTION TO AIR POLLUTION

Electrification of transport sector is gaining popularity and crowded cities are taking valiant steps in this direction – hence there is a rapid increase of metros, electric trams, with EVs. Emphasis on low carbon development and clean air is becoming the central theme in infrastructure planning. EVs play an important role in reducing the amount of emission and realizing this importance, the Ministry of Heavy Industries, Government of India launched National Electric Mobility Mission Plan in 2013 with a target of having around 6 to 7 million EVs on Indian roads by 2022. However, the EV rollout has not taken off as envisioned mainly due to non-allocation of funds in the last two years for this mission.

EVs in India are still in its infancy and require policy interference by the government to kick-start the rollout to meet the laid down goals. There are few manufacturers for electric two wheelers and three wheelers. But when it comes to four wheelers it is only Mahindra Reva who manufactures EVs in India. There are no established electric bus manufacturers. Several business houses and entrepreneurs are planning to start manufacturing facilities for electric vehicles and associated infrastructure and components like EV charging station in the country, but they are not sure of the market potential. When the government will take bold decisions to make EVs compulsory in cities, the industry will have the confidence to invest in production facilities.

EV charging

Considering the situation in Delhi which is and could also be for other cities, it is recommended that electric vehicles should be encouraged across India as soon as possible. We could review a few steps to implement the same:

  1. Buses used for public transport should be converted to Electric Buses especially those that are commuting on congested routes where traffic is moving slowest resulting in maximum emissions and high fuel use.
  2. Manufacturing should be only for EV two and three wheeler vehicles and the Government should accept registering only for electric three wheelers, electric scooters, etc and all non-electric should phase out in the coming years.
  3. Direct current fast charging and Level-2 charging stations may be installed in locations such as: bus stands, railway and metro stations, BRT stops, malls, IT parks, commercial centres, colleges/school campuses, hospitals, courts, petrol pumps, government buildings, parking lots, residential colonies, etc.
  4. All electric vehicles (2 wheelers, 3 wheelers, cars and buses) shall have lithium ion batteries which can be charged with fast chargers (DCFCs) or Level-2 charging stations. Lead acid batteries will lead to severe environmental degradation owing to its recycling by small scale industries locally.
  5. Separate electricity tariff shall be introduced for EVs. Concessional EV charging tariff at night hours could promote EV rollout as well as help improve the plant load factor of power stations.
  6. For next 5 years all large organizations (both public and private) should allot half of their CSR funds for creation of EV charging facilities near their facilities and strategic locations within the city.
  7. All fuel pumps shall be instructed to install fast charging stations (DCFCs).
  8. Battery swapping model may be introduced for 3 wheelers and such charging and battery swapping stations may be setup near metro stations.
  9. All new commercial buildings and multi-storied residential buildings may be mandated to install EV charging units in their parking spaces.
  10. Appropriate tax concessions may be offered to promote EVs on fast track.
  11. Registration number of all EVs should have a clearly recognizable numbering series. This will make recognition of EVs easier for differential treatment.
  12. Duty free import of EVs may be allowed for a limited time (or limited numbers) for the buses, taxis and government vehicles
  13. Hybrid vehicles may also be promoted as emissions from hybrid cars like Toyota Prius are 10% of that of petrol cars. With hybrids rollouts can be faster as they do not require charging stations.

CONCLUSION

EVs will be the only lasting and sustainable solution for controlling the vehicular pollution in cities. Government needs to take policy level interventions to make this happen immediately. Funds should be allotted to setup charging infrastructure across India especially Delhi to begin with. Accelerated action on development and deployment of EVs will not only improve energy security, lower GHG emissions, and improve air-quality, but also enable new economic development opportunities and technology innovation in the transportation and electricity sectors.

Ref  source : White Papers

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