The Indian government is now actively pushing a goal to sell only electric vehicles (EVs) – in fact, it also has a goal of completely barring petrol and diesel cars by that time. It is expected that if this is realized then India would be the hottest market for such cars by 2030.
Piyush Goyal who is the Union Minister of State with Independent Charge for Coal, Power, Mines and New and Renewable Energy, has stated that electric vehicles are going to be introduced in a major way by then. This is the reason why the government is looking to make these vehicles self-sufficient.
It is for this reason that the union government is building on a model named Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and Appliances for All (UJALA). As things stand now, there is indeed a strong case to be made for pushing and promoting these cars in the Indian market. However, the execution is not going to be as easy.
The reason for such push
India happens to be the third biggest importer of crude oil in the world. Crude oil also takes up around 33.33 percent of the total value of the goods that are imported by India.
This is also one reason why oil prices tend to fluctuate so much and are now so important to the national economy. In a report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that if the oil prices are in the region of 60 dollars per barrel then India is able 70 billion dollars in its import bill.
However, if the prices head north of 100 dollars per barrel, as has happened in the years between 2011 and 2014, then the Indian government could lose as much 14 times the money that it allots each year to healthcare in the union budget.
The report has gone further and stated that for India the demand for oil would increase a lot more than its economic growth. Worse still, it would be more than any other country till 2040. 65 percent of the oil thus imported is expected to be used for the purpose of transportation.
This is the reason why India needs to promote the usage of alternative fuels along with high standards of fuel efficiency. The second major reason, in this case, is the way India’s population is proliferating. Estimates state that each year outdoor pollution claims around 1.2 million lives in India.
To sum it up
It is true that cars and vehicles are not the sole contributors in this case. They remain the major ones nonetheless and regularly contribute lethal gases and other pollutants to the environment.
There are some other ills of air pollution as well. It leads to premature deaths as well as impedes productivity in general. This leads to increase in welfare costs as well.
As far as India is concerned it has incurred welfare losses to the tune of around 7.59 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). The estimates have been provided by the World Bank adjusting for PPP as per 2013 standards.