India is set to become one of the largest global economy in the coming years and the entire world has eyes firmly on it. More than ever, India’s young generation is migrating to metro cities in search of a better life and livelihood, helping inject more energy into the cities’ economic engines.
It’s not just that we are one of the fastest developing economy on the planet, we are also the third biggest CO2 producing nation. Twenty-one of the world's thirty urban cities with severe air contamination are in India. Cities in India contribute nearly 80 per cent of GDP but at the same time are also responsible for nearly 80 per cent CO2 emissions. As a country, we are fast pacing our development at the expense of environmental deterioration.
As per Economic Times report titled Adopting electric mobility: The ride-sharing model (January 16, 2020) “India adds 30 million vehicles annually and has over 300 million vehicles crisscrossing the country. At the current growth rate, we are staring at doubling these numbers possibly to over 600 million by 2030”.
The rapid increase in purchase of motor vehicles comes with a high price. Motor vehicle contributes around 27 per cent towards India’s emissions of greenhouse gases and is slowly becoming the main source of air pollution in India.
With increase of vehicular pollution and resultantly CO2 emissions, India is heading towards a major environmental disaster. In the time of looming crisis, India needs to take a major step in right direction, one giant step towards Green India.
By signing the Paris Agreement 2015 and pledging to ensure cumulative carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030, India has shown its commitment towards responsible growth in the coming decades. As of late, our country propelled the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) to reduce carbon emissions by promoting electric mobility across the country.
Centre’s Focus on Electric Mobility
Since the launch of National Electric Mobility Mission Plan, 2013 to FAME II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles, Phase 2) 2019, government’s strategies and measures have been in the right direction.
Besides the Central policy, every State is racing to outline arrangement and formulate policies to advance electric mobility. However, keeping in view the extensive need of electric mobility in the country, a comprehensive policy and system for inevitable transition of maintainability and appropriation of electric portability is required.
Electronic Mobility – Success So Far
Since their launch in 2010, electronic three wheelers, that is e-rickshaws, a last mile solution for many citizens, is silently making India’s e-mobility transition easier and generating millions of jobs for semi-skilled workers. Likewise, two-wheelers – a preferred mode of transportation (every third household in India has one) being converted to e-two wheelers has given the transition policy a major boost.
Implementation of electric mobility plan requires careful planning. Apart from clean energy and reduced CO2 emissions, India’s main motive of transitioning to electric vehicle from fossil powered vehicle is to reduce dependency on fossil fuel-based economy that rely on multi-billion-dollar worth of crude oil imports.
In 2019, Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS International), a partner of FES India, put out a detailed analysis on Transition to Electric Mobility in Jaipur City and, challenges and opportunities surrounding this transition.
According to the analysis, a successful, comprehensive set of electric mobility regulations should be based on an electric mobility plan which has involvement of all concerned stakeholders. The plan should be prepared through a participatory, transparent and accountable process.
India has the potential to become a global leader in electric mobility. It needs to push for successful implementation of strategies in the next decade and channelise its resources to the optimum with a clear vision for mass transition to electric mobility. We are on the right path, however, much needs to be accomplished.
Anurag Shanker is Program Manager of the Economy of Tomorrow project at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung India office in New Delhi.