By Snehil Sharma-
In this crucial point of time where every country is taking initiatives for minimizing the load of carbon emission upon mother earth, India is also expected to make relevant contribution to make the ecology cleaner and greener through switching mobility to Electric Vehicles. The organic growth of Electric Vehicle sector and promoting it amongst the general public will eventually aid in minimizing the mobility of vehicles which are fossil run and emits carbon.
During these times of Covid-19, it was observed that how the environment showed improvements because the emission from vehicles which are run by petrol & diesel was less in India. The problem of smog in many cities got vanished completely. The residents of higher altitude were able to see distant mountains which are not visible because of the atmospheric hindrance caused by the vehicles which are run by fossil fuels.
This situation has highlighted the need of appropriate policies which will promote the use of electric vehicles and regulate the use of such vehicles.
What are electric vehicles?
The electric vehicles (EV) inhibits onboard batteries as a substitute to fuel tanks and such batteries can be charged through electricity. These batteries are useful in storing and providing the power needed to run the electric motor which will eventually run the vehicle.
The electric vehicles don’t have any gearbox, clutch and exhaust pipe and is comparatively smoother and quieter than the vehicles which runs on fossil fuels. Such electric vehicles are capable to run upto 150-170 km if it has been fully charged.
Why electric vehicles are crucial for India?
India is considered to be the hub of leading automobile industries as its contribution in the global car sales is outstanding. The primary mode of transport in the country is vehicles and as per the statistics 1.2 million deaths occur as a result of pollution due to smoke emission by vehicles. It is the need of the hour for India to keep its focal view towards opting alternative sources of energy which are eco-friendly and renewable.
Keeping in mind the rapid growth in population, the Indian Government has been taking initiatives towards creating awareness concerning the alternative mobility solutions including the electric vehicles. As the electric vehicles are emission-free, they can play a crucial factor towards preventing the issue of burgeoning pollution in India.
As the situations in India hurtles towards a future which is apocalyptic, the union government is planning to switch towards all-electric cars regime by the year 2030. It might seem to be overly optimistic as far as India is concerned but at the same time one cannot ignore the mammoth strides the electric vehicle sector has made within the country in the last decade or so.
However, irrespective of myriad of hindrances and obstacles, electric vehicles industries are steadily gaining traction in India and government has played a vital role towards the same by taking initiatives which are favorable for the such industries. Well established international players such as ford, Toyota, MG, Volvo etc. have entered Indian markets with their eco-friendly vehicles. Apart from international player, Indian companies such as Mahindra & Tata Motors are leading the eco-friendly revolution within India.
However, the Vehicles are still amongst one of the highest contributors of pollution within India, as a result of which various cities are shrouded in smog every winter including the country’s capital Delhi.
Pros & Cons of Electric Vehicles
As the global environment is highly affected by the vehicle exhaust, the electric vehicle can surely be a contributing factor to curb the menace of air pollution as the electric mobility alternatives have several advantages as compared to vehicle run by fossil fuels such as:
- Zero Carbon Emission: Since the electric vehicle do not have any fuel combustion for its functioning, it has zero carbon emission. They do not emit any toxic gases which can have adverse effect on the environment.
- Cheaper Maintenance: The electric vehicle is manufactured through fewer components as compared to other vehicles due to which its manufacturing is much cheaper and easier which eventually cuts down the overall price of vehicle. Since, the engine of electric vehicle is not powered by any sort of fuel, its monthly spending is much lesser.
- Zero Noise Pollution: The electric vehicles do not have any sound as compared to the vehicle which have internal combustion engines. It helps towards curbing the menace of air pollution specially in those areas which are highly crowded.
- Smoother functioning: Due to its lighter weight, the electric vehicles offers smoother rides, better pickup and covers longer distance as compared to other vehicles.
However, there are few disadvantages to electric vehicle as well which affects the impact of electric vehicle as an alternative such as:
- Charging Infrastructure: Even after higher advancements in technology, appropriate charging infrastructure for electric vehicle is still not available in every part of the country which makes it hard for electric vehicle owner to cover long distances without such infrastructure.
- Distance anxiety: The distance covered by the electric vehicles are not certain and keeps changing which results in distance anxiety in the minds of vehicle owners while using such vehicles as there are possibilities of getting stranded mid-way.
- Battery Life & Cost: The battery life is based upon its manufacturing and has a life between 3-10 years. Lower battery life has a direct impact upon the vehicle performance. Additionally, higher cost of batteries is another problem faced by the electric vehicle owners.
- Charging Time: The charging time of vehicle can vary based upon the charging facility and it can take upto 24 hours to be fully charged in worst cases. However, the average charging is 4-6 hours, it is still much longer than the time required for refueling other vehicles.
Electric Vehicle Policy, 2020
The government of Delhi introduced its ambitious Electric Vehicle Policy, which has its focal point towards boosting the economy, reducing air pollution levels and generating employment possibilities within the transport sector of Delhi. This policy also inhibits numerous incentives regarding the promotion of electric vehicles purchase in Delhi.
This decision has been taken after impact which Delhi has witnessed during the times of pandemic. The city which was not able to curb the problem of air pollution and smog has observed a drastic change in pollution level such as PM 2.5 & PM 10, just because the carbon emission was less due to lockdown.
Objectives of the Electric Vehicle Policy, 2020
- Reducing the Air pollution level of Delhi.
- Providing additional benefits to economy through spurring the demand of electric vehicles.
- To curb the problems concerning electric vehicles such as higher costs and charging infrastructures.
- To meet the aim of five lakh electric vehicles registrations in next 5 years within Delhi.
Features of Electric Vehicle Policy, 2020
The features of the newly introduced policy is as follows:
- It has a focal view towards replacing the buses & auto rickshaw with electric versions of the same. Incentives worth Rs. 30,000 shall be provided on purchase of every new electric auto.
- The delivery services operating within the country will also be ensured to be done through electric vehicles. The delivery services providers are prescribed to change 50% of their fleet into electric vehicles by 2023 and 100% by 2025.
- It will increase the road taxes for those vehicles which are fuel based. It also prescribes a specific congestion fee which will be exempted from the electric vehicles.
- It has introduced a scrapping incentive for the vehicle owners who are willing to switch from fuel based vehicle to electric vehicle.
- Low interest loans shall be offered to those people who are willing to purchase electric vehicles for commercial purposes.
- Appropriate subsidies will be provided coupled with waivers for vehicle registration and road tax for the electric vehicles.
- First thousand electric four wheelers are supposed to get subsidy of 10,000 rupees per kWh upto 1.5 lakh rupees.
- Additional subsidy of five thousand rupees per kWh shall be provided upto thirty thousand rupees with every purchase of electric vehicle.
- Two hundred charging stations are aimed to be established within next one year, which will provide a charging station within a distance every one kilometer within the city.
- All the grants provided above will be provided in addition to the existing subsidies being provided by the central government through FAME India scheme P-II.
- State Electric Vehicle Board will be established for the purpose of policy implementation and fund management. Separate state EV fund is supposed to be setup which will inhibit every expenditure concerning the Electric Vehicle Policy.
If we observe the time frame between 1837 (when the first EV was invented) to 2020, massive advancement has been witnessed by India as far as technology is concerned. Indian people have also started giving appropriate emphasis upon safeguarding the environment through opting eco-friendly alternatives including electric vehicles.
The electric vehicle industries have turned to be a lucrative option for corporate houses and startups for investment. However, there are numerous hindrances which are supposed to be curbed by electric vehicles in order to be considered for mass adoption.
Governmental initiatives such as electric vehicle policy will eventually lead towards faster adoption of electric vehicles. Such initiatives can be considered as stepping stone towards creating a transport infrastructure which is advanced enough to cater the mobility needs of Indian population in an eco-friendly manner.
 Rupesh Kumar, 2020. Why India Needs to Switch Quickly to Electric Vehicles for Greener Future. [online] YourStory.com. Available at: <https://yourstory.com/2020/07/india-electric-vehicles-sustainable-greener-future?utm_pageloadtype=scroll>.
 Sukanya Mukherjee, 2020. Ushering in an Age of Smart Transport: An Overview of Electric Vehicles and Why They Are Crucial for India. [online] Inc42 Media. Available at: <https://inc42.com/features/electric-vehicles-overview-indiae evs/#: ~:text=The%20plan%2C%20essentially%2C%20aims%20to, electric%20vehicle%20nation%20by%202030.>.
 The Hindu. 2020. Govt. Launches Electric Vehicle Policy to Boost Economy, Reduce Pollution. [online] Available at: <https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/govt-launches-electric-vehicle-policy-to-boost-economy-reduce-pollution/article32299188.ece>.
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