India is a country that is expanding and growing into becoming the world’s most abundant country with development and innovation across different sectors. Amidst this growth, lies one crucial aspect of the environment and public health and that is the critical levels of air pollution, necessitating urgent and sustainable solutions. The infrastructure in India too needs careful attention as it plays a key role in the overall traffic congestion and bad air quality.
In the pursuit of cleaner air and more efficient urban mobility, industry leaders and the government are joining hands to together mitigate this problem with effective and sustainable solutions. This is why EVs hold the potential to transform urban transportation in profound ways.
Air Quality & Congestion in the Indian Landscape.
The country has been struggling with battling high air pollution levels in many of its urban cities. A recent report by NDTV stated that 39 of the 50 most polluted cities in the world are in India. Infact even IQAir states that the nation ranks a dismal 8th globally for countries with the worst air quality.
This situation is a reality because of the exacerbated traffic congestion prevalent in India’s sprawling cities and towns. The mediocracy of urban planning, inadequate intra-city highways, unserious traffic regulations, and carelessness by drivers contribute to the chaotic road conditions. As a result, intersections become bottlenecks, leaving vehicles idling and polluting the air. Often the pollution levels recorded near major junctions are noticeably higher than elsewhere.
However, it is good news that Delhi, which is known to be India’s most polluted city has seen some improvement. As per the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, after 7 long years and since 2016, Delhi has seen a maximum number of Good to Moderate air quality witnessed during the first four months of 2023 alone. This includes many efforts taken by the government along with some contributions coming from Electric Vehicles.
The Role of EVs in Changing the Environment
While good air quality is the primary concern for all, EVs are becoming the catalyst for changing the urban dynamics in leading Indian cities. They have emerged as a promising solution, buoyed by the growing support and enthusiasm of the public.
This is evident in the rising demand for Evs. This BizzBuzz News report states that the three-wheeler segment leads the EV market with a 4% share, closely followed by two-wheelers at 3.5% and passenger vehicles at 1.3%. Moreover, 20 cities across the nation have already made bold commitments to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles entirely by 2030. These encouraging developments underline the country’s embrace of EVs as a pivotal step toward a cleaner future. Not just this, the effect of Electric transportation is also seen in the public transportation landscape.
Public Transportation & Smart City Integration
Since Public transportation has a wide network across the country, this segment holds immense potential to bring about faster adoption. The electrification of public transit offers a multitude of advantages, including reduced emissions, lower operational costs, and an enhanced passenger experience. These initiatives not only combat air pollution but also lay the foundation for a more efficient and sustainable urban transportation network.
As all of these factors witness a change coming though, there is also a direct need to unlock and integrate a broader framework of smart cities in urban transportation. This will enable EVs to seamlessly connect with smart grids, enabling bidirectional energy flow and grid stabilization. This integration motivates the integration of renewable energy sources and effective energy management strategies. By leveraging the capabilities of EVs in smart cities, urban centers will be able to optimize their transportation systems while minimizing their carbon footprint.
Government Policies and Incentives
Supportive government policies and incentives play a pivotal role in accelerating the widespread adoption of EVs. Well-crafted policies by the Government Of India are further helping address critical factors such as charging infrastructure, financial incentives, and regulatory frameworks. Several cities have successfully implemented policies that promote EV usage, serving as beacons of inspiration. This collaborative effort between governments and industry stakeholders is bringing a transformative era of electric mobility.
With all of these and the support of Indian citizens, the future of urban transportation shines brightly with the widespread adoption of EVs. These vehicles hold the key to a cleaner, more sustainable future and as EV technology advances and charging infrastructure improves, the barriers to adoption will gradually dissipate.
(The author is Mr. Pritesh Mahajan, Co-Founder, and CEO of Revamp Moto., and the views expressed in this article are his own)