India wants to have only electric cars by 2030

March 31, 2016 0 By Erin Kilgore
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The country has set a high green goal by aiming to put 100% electric-powered cars on the road in less than 15 years.

India’s Minister of State for Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal, is developing a plan to make every car on the road in the country an electric vehicle (EV) by 2030. Goyal announced this ambitious goal at the Conference on Young Indians. According to Goyal, under the plan, electric cars would be given with zero upfront payment, with the user paying for the vehicle over a period of time from the savings made on fuel, reported Gas 2.

The idea behind the goal is to make the program entirely self-financing.

Inspiration from the idea came from the government’s successful campaign to promote energy-efficient LED bulbs, which has resulted in costs plummeting by 80% over 18 months. The bulbs are distributed to consumers by power utilities and consumers pay for the bulbs over a period of time from their power bill savings.

Goyal wants to make the plan fully self-financing without any assistance from the Indian government. He wants to see if it is possible to give electric cars at no cost to drivers and monetize the savings from not using fossil fuels, which would pay for the vehicles.

The plan has the approval of the country’s automobile industry, which will – according to Vishnu Marthur, director general of industry lobby Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) – work with the government on promoting electric or hybrid cars. India’s auto industry is the sixth largest in the world and accounts for 22% of the nation’s total manufacturing output.

It has not yet been decided who will manufacture the electric cars.

Electric Cars - India TrafficGoyal noted that “We have not yet decided who will manufacture these vehicles and where. We are thinking of scale and of leading the world rather than following the world. India will be the first country to think on such a scale.”

It should be noted that the EVs that would likely be produced won’t be anything like the luxury EVs driven in the United States, like a Tesla. These cars would be designed with the bare bone basics.

That being said, even if India manages to achieve this goal, there are a few things worth pointing out. For starters, based on what has been revealed about the plan, it seems that the goal includes only cars and not vehicles as a whole. While it would definitely benefit the environment if every car on the road was electric, other vehicles, such as buses and other forms of public transportation would still be adding to greenhouse gas emissions unless cleaner fuel alternatives for these vehicles were implemented.

Furthermore, while the number of car owners is expected to rise as the economy grows, currently, the reported number of households in India that own a car is a mere 6%, which means that public transportation – in some form – is largely used.

Only time will tell if India’s electric cars goal is actually feasible or merely a pipe dream. Nevertheless, regardless of this fact, one thing is for certain, the country needs to boost its clean energy efforts now to help reduce its carbon emissions. Presently, New Dehli’s air quality is worse than Beijing’s. Pollution is rampant in the country and will only increase with the expanding economy.