These days Indian Government has been constantly batting for the adoption of electric vehicles and ditching conventional fuels. By 2030, the government is planning to ban the petrol and diesel vehicles in India. Many auto giants have disapproved the idea and termed it as an impractical move. The Government wants to cut down its petroleum imports because of the steeply increasing demand and the price of import and processing. Government is also not happy with the fact that WHO has identified 15 most populated cities in the world and India has 6 of them.
We can’t deny the fact that we as Indian have failed to contain our gifted atmosphere and demography. Our utter negligence towards environment for our greed and comfort has proved that we fail in sustainability quotient. So, the government says we don’t have a choice other than the ban.
The real conflict between the auto companies and the government policies arises from the question that how viable it would be for India by completely switching from conventional fuel to electricity. While auto companies have their own calculations to counter the policy, the government is no mood to entertain their concerns.
The companies have three major concerns. The first one is basically a doubt over the government’s assertion on how pollution can be marginally checked by banning diesel and petrol vehicles. Companies say the electricity for the electric vehicles will come majorly from the thermal plants that use coal to generate electricity. The thermal plants vent out a huge amount of hazardous gases and wastes to the atmosphere. The plants will be over-burdened after the ban and so does the environment due to the emissions. If we compare the emissions by the vehicles now with the emissions by the plants after the enforcement of the ban, we would find the later one costs more to the environment. With the current solar-powered technologies we have, it is impossible to meet the need of the power required to run all the vehicles on the road.
The second concern is that company is skeptical of the survival of the electric-run vehicles in future. Companies propound that the hydrogen fuel has more sustainable future than electricity. Roland Folger, MD of Mercedes-Benz India, claims that by 2040 hydrogen cars would be common on roads.
The third concern the companies are their doubt on Indian government if the government will be able to electrify every corner of the country by 2030. Still, a large part of India has not seen electricity ever and the regions that have electricity have been suffering from regular power cuts.
Even if the companies have put forward some impressive but unapproved points, the government take on electric cars seems viable but needs some serious infrastructural and strategical change in the country before the implementation of the plan. Today we don’t have enough charging stations in the country. So, most of the travelers do not prefer to have electric vehicles these days. Electrification should be the first priority of government with an optimum supply of electricity. The technology of the electric cars should match up with their conventional counterparts. There are many petroleum-based companies running successfully in this country, which together employ over lakhs of employees. After the ban, India might suffer some serious mass unemployment. So, the government should make sure to generate or save the employment.
We should keep our fingers crossed and anticipate some real innovations that will help in ditching the conventional fuels.