Economy to starkly reshuffle its priorities post COVID period with a restart button
COVID19 virus can’t float in the air but what if an air born VIRUS takes over all our cities, where air quality has reached a maximum level that a human body can handle. We will then have less than 48 hours, to airlift people, abandon cities or make oxygen chambers. So it’s time we understood nature’s warnings and move towards affordability of sustainability.
Lockdown is an unfortunate occasion that has proved many speculations wrong like vehicular pollution alone contributes very little in the overall air quality of Delhi, therefore economically E-mobility was considered is less effective and more expensive and unaffordable.
But the fact that the reduced vehicle emission on roads has led to a dramatic improvement in air quality of Delhi with PM 2.5 level dropping to 20 micrograms per cubic meters and logging its lowest AQI of the week tells another story. And that is for Delhi to switch to 100% Electric Mobility. It’s only then that maintaining the same AQI and PM levels are possible in the longer run.
According to estimates by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., to define affordability of E-mobility, assuming a moderate level of adoption, India needs about $6 billion for charging infrastructure, $4 billion in incentives and a further $7 billion to build out battery capacity,. That’s a far cry from the enlarged $1.4 billion outlay, with its $140 million for charging alone.
‘The affordability of electric cars in India is just not there. I don’t think the government or the car companies expect that in the next two to three years there will be any real buying of electric vehicles.’, said R.C. Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., maker of the sales leader Alto.
‘The infrastructure for electric vehicles is still ambiguous and uncertain, which would affect the price and acceptability of the vehicle among Indian consumers’ – Rudratej Singh, President and CEO, BMW Group India. Toyota too has recently halted the manufacturing of electric and hybrid cars for the Indian market, citing inadequate charging infrastructure.
We look at COVID19 warning as an opportunity to see invisible cry of our economic revelations and previous reservations with an urgent need to redefine affordability from climate and natural disaster angles. Corona has hit the reset button of the world economy. Now the system reboot depends upon new definitions of affordability for sustainable alternatives rather than exploiting ones; and global transparency on geo- climatic exploitations or bio- experiments. Otherwise we will surely be facing more attacks in future.
It’s a wakeup call to adopt 100% electric or zero emission transport. Let’s act now!
E-mobility’s advantage are well known today to Govt., it’s PSUs and the Industry. The ice based auto industry has been a good revenue earner for the Govt. Under their pressure, Govt. has been denying/delaying the permission for Imported second hand cars business and sudden closing down of ice based automobiles business to favour the e-vehicles. Gradual policy support accentuation to e-mobility is being done without letting cudgels be raised by the conventional industry. Of course, they are being asked to pull up their pants in terms of BS VI compliant engines only being allowed henceforth. There would be some setback to the capex requiring EV proliferation program by the Indian Govt. owing to Corona setback in the economy and Govt. budget. Some more patience will have to be kept to see the desired result of a comprehensive sustainable E-mobility ecosystem. It’s only a matter of time, say 3-5 years as per my guesstimate.