Financial Express

How India can drive forward decarbonization of mobility with EVs?

Carbon emissions have been extremely hazardous to the environment and climate change globally has been a major contributor to the rising effects of global warming. The transportation industry has been one of the highest areas generating CO2 emissions and the increasing urbanisation is only worsening this effect.

As we move ahead into the future, living with the consequences of this rapidly increasing pollutant is going to be extremely difficult. This is why more and more countries across the world have started to shift their focus on the decarbonization of Mobility with ecological solutions like Electric vehicles. However, when it comes to a country like India, industry leaders, the government and the end users will together need to join hands towards switching to Green Mobility.

India is the fifth largest car market in the world and has the potential to become one of the top three in the near future — with about 40 crore customers in need of mobility solutions by the year 2030. Taking this into account, the Indian government wants to achieve complete carbon neutrality by 2050, and decarbonisation would have to be a crucial step in that direction. Here are some steps that will ensure the acceleration of this goal and drive India to revolutionalise sustainable mobility in India.

1. Seamless and Shared Mobility

Although private vehicles have a huge demand in India, we cannot overlook the fact that shared mobility would massively help reduce carbon emissions. Mumbai has already introduced Electric Busses for public transport and soon, we will be able to see more of those across the country. With such a large population that depends on public transport, building EVs that can accommodate sustainable mobility and shared transportation will drop the carbon footprint to a great extent. Moreover, better designs and accessibility will encourage more people to use them.

2. Efficient and multiple Charging Stations

When one talks about encouraging EVs, multiple charging stations are a prerequisite. India has in fact initiated subsidies in deploying EV charging stations across the country and 20 states have set up their draft or final state-level electric vehicle policy. However, making these easily accessible to every street will require time.

3. Building an Ecological Infrastructure

Electric Vehicles alone would do no justice when the transportation and road infrastructure are not taken care of. We definitely need more walkways, spaces that cater to bicycle riding and parking and promote more non-fuel modes of transportation for shorter distances. Wider roads and footpaths, green roadways will further encourage more people to travel on foot thus, in small ways, contributing to the elimination of carbon emissions. Moreover, better roads, not just in urban setups but also for towns and villages will ensure people have better EV mobility and further promote its usage.

4. Regulating E-Waste

While we plan to encourage the use of EVs across the transportation sector, it is also important to design systematic disposal and recycling units for efficient E-waste management. The government will have to frame strong policies and develop a roadmap for industry leaders and end users that would ensure EV production is not leading to any major and hazardous waste dumping. Recycling plants are absolutely essential and an early setup for these will prevent further rectifications.

5. Hybrid vehicles and multiple fuels

Another aspect that will help drive the decarbonization of mobility is by opting for energy dependence on other fuels. Many areas in green or electric mobility are still developing and slowly shaping up the transformation. While this evolution continues, we could also have more fuel options that are free from carbon emissions. The government too is encouraging options in bio-fuel (ethanol and compressed biogas ) including flex-fuel vehicles, compressed natural gas (CNG), hydrogen, and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) apart from EVs. Each of these will have a role to play and would be acceptable to different categories of vehicles.

As the vision to achieve zero carbon emission stays strong for many, India needs to incorporate solutions for multiple areas in order to fast-track the journey of EVs being a part of every household.

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