How Travelling On Conventional Fuel Is A Major Contributor To The Lethal Air We Breathe

Some of the main disadvantages of conventional fuels are – emissions, land pollution and degradation, water pollution, global warming.

Considering the increasing and hazardous levels of air pollution in India and all over the globe, it is best to resort to green energy. Electronic vehicles are the future of the automotive world, a future that’s bright, clean, and energy efficient. 

The major markets of EVs are China, India, the US, and Japan. And unfortunately some of the most polluted cities in the world are also in these countries. India is one of the biggest developing economies in the world. The diversity in demographics and geography makes it difficult to introduce a new technology and thinking it would be accepted at once. But with increasing awareness and people becoming cautious about the environment and the air we breathe, it is the right time to introduce e-vehicles on a large scale in Indian market. 

How burning conventional fuel contributes to air pollution? 

Even today more than 80% of the energy needs are met by burning fuel – oil, gas, and coal. 

Some of the main disadvantages of conventional fuels are – emissions, land pollution and degradation, water pollution, global warming. A recent study suggested that 78% of global warming emissions were energy related emissions of carbon dioxide, 42% was from oil and other liquids, 32% was from coal, and 27% was from natural gas. Sources of nitrogen from human activities like power generation, transportation, industry, and agriculture can imbalance the nitrogen levels in the atmosphere. The presence of excess nitrogen in the atmosphere is deposited back onto land from which it washes off to water sources. 

Use of conventional fuels emits harmful air pollutants long before they’re even fully burned. Mining operations are no better, as they generate toxic airborne particulate matter. You can assess how bad the situation is by looking at the smog in Delhi. Factors like stubble burning, overuse of vehicles, industrial pollution, and surface mining makes situation worse. The sky laden with pollution, but still we are hesitant to make the switch. 

The need of the hour is to switch to greener and cleaner technologies and EVs are a great alternative for combustion engine. 

Some simple yet effective steps that can be taken – 

  1. One of the most common, use more of public transport whenever possible. 
  2. Share your ride or car pool. This is such an efficient way to save money and cut down on pollution. You can easily car pool with your friends to college or colleagues to work. These days you can also opt for shared rides in most online cab apps, so why not opt for it and save yourself and the environment? 
  3. Switching to cleaner and greener energy like electronic vehicles and solar energy is a great alternative. Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) are the solution. These include plug-in-hybrid vehicles, battery-electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell electric cars etc. 

The true cost of conventional fuel isn’t obvious, but it is disastrous for the environment. And now is the time to act before it’s too late. 

The good, bad, and ugly part of it 

India is a booming economy, but when it comes to e-vehicles the market is still virgin. A recent report by PwC states that Indian market sold 7.6lakh vehicles in FY19. Whereas, Sales of electric, CNG and hybrid vehicles in China reached nearly 1.5 Mn units in 2019, and the sales of all passenger vehicles reached 22 Mn in the country.

The success of these vehicles in countries like USA, Germany, and China are due to various factors. The most common ones being awareness and availability of resources. 

EVs have to be powered by electricity that’s generated by power plants. And in India most of the power plants run on coal which is one of the most polluting combustion fuels. In India we rely majorly on coal for power generation, which means realistically, it might take some time to make the switch from combustion engines to EVs. We must ensure that coal doesn’t remain the only predominant fuel to power EVs. Otherwise, the aim of zero emitting EVs doesn’t succeed. Another issue with EVs is battery technology. Limited charging stations and problems in batteries while charging are the factors that limit the acceptability of EVs in India. 

Current scenario for EV penetration and support by government 

The market of EVs is expected to show a rapid growth in the coming years. The e-mobility industry is growing at a tremendous rate and it is exemplary that government is showing full support. There are various government plans that provide resources and support for development of electronic infrastructure in the country. For example, the National Electric Mobility Missions Plan (NEMMP) 2020 aims to invest INR 140 billion in the next 8 years for the development of electronic infrastructure. Government incentives and subsidiaries and incentives from OEMs would also be beneficial in reducing the cost of EVs in the Indian market. 

People say that the steps taken are not enough or the development pace is slow, but in a country as diverse as India it is best to move at a slow and steady rate. It is also the responsibility of citizens to adapt to clean technology and accept EVs to reduce vehicular pollution and do their but in giving the future generation a clean and green India. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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