The British daily ‘The Guardian’, dated 25th July, 2017 published a news item with headlines “Britain to ban sale of all diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040”. This is being done by British government owing to the effect of poor air quality on people’s health. This step follows a similar pledge by France to safeguard against the rising levels of nitrogen oxide which poses a major risk to public health. France has decided to end sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 and Paris has already banned plying of diesel vehicles registered before 1997. Other countries are also planning to go green to check rising levels of vehicular pollution. In this series, the countries like Norway has plans to allow sale of only electric cars by 2015, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland has mooted ban of diesel and petrol cars by 2025, German cities like Berlin, Cologne and Munich are keen on a banning diesel vehicles by 2030, Madrid (Spain) has decided to ban diesel cars by 2015 and Barcelona will start phasing out of old cars by 2019. India is also not far behind and wants to switch over to battery operated cars by 2030.
Emerging Scenario for Electrical Vehicles in the World
The Swedish multinational automaker company, Volvo has recently became the first major auto maker to set a date for phasing out internal combustion engine cars by 2019 and will only manufacture electric or hybrid cars. Other manufacturers like Audi, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz have also started working on electric cars in their efforts to replace internal combustion engines. All these efforts put together signal towards the beginning of the end of petrol and diesel vehicles which are responsible for 12% of global green house gas emission.
Scenario of Electric Cars in India
The Indian electric car manufacturer, Reva Electric Car Company which was acquired by Indian conglomerate, Mahindra & Mahindra in 2010 had introduced its Reva electric car in the Indian market in 2001. Today, it has presence in 26 countries with more than 4000 of its different models sold worldwide. Some of the electric/hybrid cars available in are Mahindra e2oPlus and Mahindra e-Verito, Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid, BMW i8, Mahindra Scorpio MicroHybrid, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Diesel SHVS and Maruti Suuki Ertiga Diesel SHVS. The electric motor cycles and scooters segment has manufacturers like, Tunwal E Vehicles private limited, Lohia Auto Industries, Heroelectric, BPG, Bsa motors, TVS, EKO and Okinawa Autotech Pvt. Ltd. The e-Rickshaws are already becoming more and more popular in India as an affordable mean to achieve last mile connectivity in metro cities. The government of India’s think tank, NITI Aayog has recently recommended to offer incentives to electric auto manufacturers in order to facilitate growth of electric vehicle industries. Further, with the government’s push towards cleaner technology in energy and transport sector, it is expected that the electric auto industries will get a further fillip.
As per a news item in The Economic Times dated 31st July, 2017 Mr. Roland Folger, the head of Mercedes Benz in India has raised doubts over the Indian government’s intention towards entirely switching over to electric vehicles by 2030 saying that the cumulative pollution due to electric cars is higher than BSIV compliant vehicles. Folger’s logic is that the electric car uses largely electrical energy generated from the power plants using fossil fuels which pollute the environment to a greater degree. In his opinion, a mix of around 30% for diesel, petrol and electric cars could be a better option. It seems that Folger make a sense with the present scenario of electricity generation in the country. India has total installed power generation capacity of 3,29,231 MW as on 30.06.2017 from all resources. With 1,01,874 installed capacity of hydro plus renewable energy, the renewable power has a share of about 31% to the total installed capacity. However, as the government is aiming towards accelerated capacity addition through clean energy technology to tap the vast potential of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources available in India, this share is going to change. Also, as the cost of installing and producing solar power is already on steep decline, the focus of electricity generators is shifting greatly towards solar energy. Such a scenario offers great business potential to electrical vehicle manufacturers and allied industries in automobile sectors. Therefore, it is certain that the shift of preference from diesel & petrol vehicles to electrically driven vehicles is not a distant dream.
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