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How electric cars will reduce pollution in India
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Published on 5th Apr 21

How electric cars will reduce pollution in India

Since the beginning of the 21st Century, India has been facing an unprecedented threat to health due to the bad quality of air. Out of the 30 top most polluted cities, 21 were in India.

The Transports contributed to 22.5% to this air pollution. Air pollution contributed to over 1.67 million annual deaths from stroke, attack , diabetes, carcinoma , chronic lung diseases and neonatal diseases in India in 2019, consistent with the State of worldwide Air 2020 by the U.S.-based Health Effects Institute. It is apparent that India's problem with air pollution needs to be dealt with immediately.

  In November 2017, particulate matter hit 999 micrograms per cubic meter, while the safe limits for those pollutants are 60 and 100 respectively.  

WHO.int talks about the possible ways India can tackle the dreadful pollution. The biggest change being the shift of using sustainable technology to run the Transports. Green Vehicles, as appropriately named for vehicles with sustainable options have taken over as a frenzy in the vehicle Industry. From an efficiency perspective, electric vehicles can convert about 59%–62% of the electricity from the grid to power at the wheels. Meanwhile, conventional petrol vehicles only convert about 17%–21% of the energy stored in petrol to power at the wheels. A recent study shows that even Compressed gas (CNG) vehicles aren't entirely clean, as they produce sizeable particulate emissions, especially of ultrafine particles. They also emit ammonia, which may be a toxic pollutant if inhaled.

Battery Electric Vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions – i.e. they never emit exhaust gases or particulate from the onboard source of power. Similarly, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have much lower emissions because a neighborhood of their power comes from the energy stored in batteries.

Electric vehicles not only contribute to reducing pollution , but they even have the potential to scale back emissions of climate change-causing Greenhouse Gases (GHG) like CO2.

Electric transportation offers ideal opportunities for the broader introduction of renewables to the transport sector. As energy-consuming technologies, electric vehicles (EV) create new demand for electricity that can be supplied by renewable sources.

Standing as a trophy, electric transports can help government take some control over the air pollution. Therefore in 2017, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari took an initiative to bring EV market in India into existence and emphasized on making India 100% electric cars by 2030, promptly before changing it to 30%

From drafting a policy for electric vehicle (EV), and disbursing Rs. 100 crore for EVs in annual budget to plying electric cars in urban local bodies for senior officials and installing public charging stations at areas like government offices, metro stations in Dwarka, market places such as Sarojini Nagar and others, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) has been undertaking initiatives to drive transition to electric mobility and fight air pollution caused by vehicular emissions.

India aims to possess 175 GW of installed Renewable Energy (RE) capacity by 2022, and up to 450 GW by 2030. The country’s current weighted average emission factor for the national grid has been nearly constant over the past few years at 0.82 tCO2 / MWh (as of 2018-19). This is only slightly better than Poland’s, which is that the EU’s biggest consumer of coal. Assuming Poland’s electricity wont to manufacture and charge electric cars and their batteries, CO2 emissions are seen to be ~29% less than average emissions from both diesel and petrol, falling to close to ~50% by 2030.

This indicates that EVs charged with India’s electricity grid emit lower lifecycle emissions already. As coal power capacity continues to shrink and therefore the share of renewables increases, India’s grid emission factor is predicted to fall flat the last decade also , successively resulting in gradually decreasing overall EV emissions.

Furthermore, the recent framework proposed by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) on the switch to Market-Based Economic Despatch (MBED) of electricity and power scheduling is poised to shift to national merit order discovered on markets—which may be a system that prioritizes the dispatch of the most cost effective power first. This will help expand our renewable energy (RE) procurement (including hybrid RE stations) on priority and increase their share within the national power mix. Thus, EVs result in a reduction of lifecycle CO2 emissions even with the current Indian grid. Policy and market interventions should specialize in accelerating EV adoption instead of expecting the facility grid itself to become green.

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