A very famous quote by Earl Nightingale says, “Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.” True to the quote, the environment is responsive to our behaviour towards it and if there is a negative approach then it directly or indirectly hampers the environment.
The transport sector is considered as one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide emission. Most of the world’s petroleum content gets burned through cars and that results in a large amount of greenhouse gas emission. Emission from cars produces a huge amount of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and other particulate matter that fuels long-term effects in the environment thus degrading the quality of the air. Moreover, Nitrogen Oxide is one of the major reasons behind ozone layer depletion. It’s not only the air that gets victimized by this pollution but it affects the water bodies as well. In 2019, environment think tank, Germanwatch released its Climate Risk Index 2020 where India’s rank in the vulnerability ladder decreased from 14th to 5th.
It is expected that the number of petrol and diesel cars will rise in the coming decades and there is a mere chance of improvement in the environment if this graph continues to rise. At least two new vehicles enter the road every second and as per estimation, this number will be four by 2030. By 2035, there will be not less than two billion fuel cars on the road. The only way to bring a permanent solution to this problem is moving away from fossil fuelled cars towards e-vehicles.
Increasing interest in E-vehicles
Electric vehicles, popularly known as E-vehicles, use one or more electric motors for power. It can also have a power collector system with power backup from extravehicular sources. These vehicles can also be driven by battery charge from solar panels and also by changing fuel power to electricity by a generator. The concept of E-vehicles has become more popular in the 21st century. The developments in technology over time and focus over renewable energy can be detected as a major reason behind this growing interest in E-vehicles. Most of the citizens including owners of popular automobile industries like Rajiv Bajaj of Bajaj Auto and Pratap Bose of Mahindra &Mahindra have been continuously expressing their interest in electric vehicles. In the financial year of 2020, sale of e-vehicles have increased by nearly 20% and have reached 1.56 lakh units. According to a report, the market of e-vehicles is estimated to increase by a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 36% by 2026 and the EV battery market is all set to expand by a CAGR of 30% in the same period.
Alternative energy and its economic impact
Currenttrends show that there is a continuous increase in demand for renewable energy not only to control unusual climate change and global warming issues but also for economic benefits. As a result, the industry of alternative energy is thriving. A report by the World Economic Forum has shown that investments of $286 billion has been made globally for alternative energy production in comparison to $130 billion invested in fossil fuel generation. A report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2014 has confirmed that it is more cost-friendly to use alternative energy for electricity production rather than using fossil fuels. Use of electric energy also creates job opportunities. Only in the United States, there are more than 1,00,000 lakh job opportunities created since 2010. Apart from this, there are millions of other opportunities in this field that contribute to the local economy.
Scope and popularity of E-vehicles in India
The electric vehicle industry in India is no doubt a growing one. The central as well as the state governments are promoting the use of e-vehicles by launching a number of schemes and incentives. Nitin Gadkari, the central transport minister has been vocal about promoting E-vehicles. He is taking initiative to support the automobile industry by promoting research in finding alternatives for lithium-ion batteries. The Government of India has also launched the scheme of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric vehicles (FAME) along with an amount of 10,000 crore for a period of three years. The cost of electric vehicles is lesser as compared to petrol driven ones and as the number of EV’s are rising so is the share price of companies producing these vehicles. Electric vehicles have already entered the Indian market resulting in a rise of GDP and it is expected that by 2030, import of petroleum and oil will gradually decrease.
The paradigm shift in the automobile industry is being fuelled by various reasons. Although the EVs cost higher than the petrol-driven cars, the increasing cost of petrol and diesel is making the alternative quite affordable as the overall running cost is quite economical. As per statements by investment banks, battery driven vehicles are approximately 5% lower than that of fossil fuels. Electric cars and bikes have witnessed a Year on Year (YOY) growth of 115.3% and 132.4% respectively. Ola has recently launched its first e-scooter and it has successfully achieved 90,000 bookings in his first booking window.
The pandemic is also somewhat responsible for the popularity of E vehicles. As soon as the lockdown got lifted, petrol prices started increasing. This is making the shift to E-vehicles more viable.
Targets and initiatives for encouraging the use of EVs
To give a massive push-up to the industry of e-vehicles, oil marketing companies like Bharat Petroleum Corporation ltd. and Indian Oil have planned to establish charging infrastructure at existing fuel pumps. BPCL has 19,000 fuel stations all over the world and the company is gearing up to set charging stations at 7000 outlets. Indian oil, on the other hand, is keeping a target to install 10,000 fuel stations in the next three years. Presently, the company has 448 EV charging stations and 30 battery swapping stations across the country. As per instructions by the National Mission for Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage, Indian Oil will be focusing on nine cities in the first phase i.e. Delhi, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Surat and Pune.
At the COP26 summit in Glasgow, India has proposed a website (e-AMRIT) that will act as a one stop destination for getting all information about e-vehicles. It will provide locations for charging facilities, purchasing options and investment facilities as well. To encourage the use of e-vehicles, the Indian Government has also reduced GST from 12% to 5% which is 22% for conventional vehicles.
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