Switching to electric vehicles for ‘cleaner air’
Air pollution is a global crisis. Many people for the first time ever in their lifetime, saw clear blue skies during the Covid-19 lockdown and probably the cleanest air they ever breathe. How did it happen? Vehicles were not on the road (compared to usual traffic) and factories were shut down which resulted in the lowering of local pollution.
This gave us a glimpse of what it would be like without all these sources polluting our environment. What is the solution to all this? For vehicular pollution, the answer is Electric Vehicles.
Vehicular pollution is around 40% of all the pollution in Delhi. Not a small percentage. Electric Vehicles, unlike traditional combustion engine vehicles, don’t use any fuel to run. They use electricity. They can be recharged, just like your phone. Not having any tailpipe means ZERO tailpipe emissions. An electric vehicle is also way more efficient than an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine).
Further, adopting electric vehicles could improve overall air quality and lower carbon emissions, according to a study by researchers from Northwestern University in the US in 2019.
What are the benefits of an EV?
- No tailpipe pollution
- No noise pollution
- Better than an ICE in term of driving and features
- Never visit a fueling station again. You can charge your EV at night at home, at the office, while shopping. You don’t have to waste your time going for a tank fill up.
- Lower maintenance cost & Cheaper to run. Electric vehicles have very few moving parts & don’t require any oil changes. Braking is mostly via regen also. So the maintenance cost is low. Electricity is way cheaper than fuel, hence cheaper to run also.
- Makes financial sense. Owning an EV is cheaper than owning a comparable internal combustion engine during the vehicle’s lifetime thanks to things mentioned in point 5.
What’s holding on EVs?
- Buying Price. The upfront Cost of an Electric Vehicle is higher than an ICE because of battery. But people are looking at the wrong direction. The Total Cost of Ownership of an EV is lower than that of an ICE. People need to be educated on this. They just see that upfront cost, which in my view is not the right way.
- Charging infrastructure. We lack chargers. This adds up to the range anxiety a potential EV owner might have. However, chargers are starting to show up. Considerable work is being done in this regard.
EV Revolution is starting in the country. Companies like Ather, Revolt, Tata, Hyundai, MG have launched their respective 2w & 4w EVs. More products are set to launch. State governments are implementing their EV policies. Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra have announced 0 road tax on EVs with additional incentives and focusing on the establishment of charging infra.
However, for reduction in air pollution, electrifying personal vehicles aren’t going to be enough. A great deal of focus should also be on electrifying commercial vehicles like delivery fleets, public transport & trucks.
Delhi aims 100% of the 2w delivery fleet of food & e-commerce delivery to be electric by 31 st March 2025. Also, the government aims 50% of all new buses to be electric. Other states are also including E Buses in their new bus purchases, which is a great sign. Flipkart aims to go fully electric by 2030.
In the end, I would just say that for cleaner and better air, going electric is a must.