I guess you all are very much aware of the situation in Delhi, right? I have read somewhere that living in Delhi is equivalent to smoking twenty plus cigarettes every single day just by breathing the air around. Whether you agree with me or not, the air quality in Delhi is destitute. There is no such thing as fresh air in the capital city. Not only Delhi, the neighbouring cities like Varanasi, Ghaziabad, etc are even more polluted than Delhi. It’s just that Delhi is in the limelight. The air pollution in Delhi is primarily caused due to industrial waste and vehicles. These, added to the power plants that are located within city limits are the major causes of air pollution in Delhi. The lovely fog which you see outside is not so lovely after all. It’s going to kill you. Period! Pollution in Delhi claims the lives of more than 10,000 people every year.
Green Cars for Better India
To tackle the problem, the government introduced the odd-even rule, implementing 100% green, imposing a ban on luxury SUVs above 2000cc. These rules did bring down the air pollution, but these can’t be considered as permanent solutions. PM10 is caused by 50% road dust, 23% industry and 7% vehicles. There are around 7.2 million cars in Delhi. This only includes the private cars. All the public transports and taxis run on diesel and diesel is the biggest culprit in polluting the environment.
Sunlight combines with nitrogen dioxide and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) to create ground-level ozone, exposure to which is equivalent to rubbing sandpaper on the insides of our lungs. A busy road or a highway is equivalent to Hitler’s gas chamber. Our exposure to VOCs, Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and ground-level ozone while on the road is well past any tangible safety levels.
One solution could be the introduction of green cars and make public transport mandatory. If the government makes it compulsory that all the public transport and taxis should be electric, then that will easily bring the carbon emission drastically. Now, changing from fossil fuel to green fuel will take time, but the government can make the change and probably could influence the public. If you don’t use the public transport and need your own car, then a more viable solution is electric or hybrid cars. Electric cars are the cleanest zero-emission vehicles in the world. In India, the market still hasn’t completely accepted electric and hybrid cars, the mindset of buyers is slowly yet steadily changing. There is a growing acceptance for hybrid cars.
Some of the top hybrid/electric cars available in India are:
- Mahindra e2o Plus: This electric rear wheel drivetrain produces an amazing 40 bhp power and 91 Nm torque. The car gives 140kms at full charge.
- Mahindra eVerito: The eVerito is powered by 3-phase 72V induction motor producing 30.5kW of power and 91Nm of torque. The eVerito is more spacious than the e2o Plus. The car can run for 110km after one full charge.
- BMW i8 plug-in hybrid: This hybrid from the German makers produces 128 bhp power and 250 Nm torque with a mileage of 48kmpl.
- Volvo XC90 t-8 plug-in hybrid: This top line hybrid from Volvo is one of the most luxurious SUV from the Swedish company. The XC90 produces 225 bhp horsepower and 470 Nm torque and a mileage of 17.21 kmpl.
- Maruti Ciaz Sigma 1.3L hybrid: This hybrid produces 89bhp power and 200Nm torque and gives a mileage of 20kmpl.
- Honda Accord hybrid: This sedan produces an astounding 212 bhp horsepower and 315 Nm torque. This is one of the most powerful hybrid sedans available in India.
All the above mentioned cars are the best alternatives for the present petrol and diesel engines. But when it comes to price only Mahindra is found to be affordable.
Although not in large concentrations, fuels such as CNG, LPG etc have created a smart pollutant called PM 2.5 which consists of particles under 2.5 Microns in size. The safe concentration of these particles according to WHO is 25 micrograms per cubic meter. In Delhi, it’s around 500 micrograms per cubic meter. Therefore, converting to LPG/CNG will be cheaper, but will not reduce the pollutants. So, the best and affordable solution for consumers is the electric cars. Two years ago, to promote eco-friendly vehicles, the government formally launched the FAME India- Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India, scheme offering incentives on electric and hybrid vehicles of up to ₹29,000 for bikes and ₹1.38 lakh for cars. The scheme envisages ₹795 Crore support in the first two fiscals.
Two questions that people always ask is the charging time and the charging stations for these cars. Quick charging methods are adopted in many public transport buses. A lot of charging stations are being placed in the country. For instance, KSEB (Kerala State Electricity Board) recently announced setting up electric car charging station in its headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram, which can accommodate 50-100 vehicles at a time. With enough government support, more charging stations can be set-up.
The transformation will take time and to achieve 100% e-vehicles over the next decade is unlikely, but there will be a significant increase in the EV market. Now we have only 2 fully EV in the market, and that is E20 and E-Verito. If other manufacturers can take initiatives like Mahindra did, then it is possible to bring down the emission rate, a cleaner environment for us to live. A lot of support is required from the government regarding this issue. And it is true that it is the responsibility of the government, but we can’t just sit back saying ‘let the government deal with this’. We all are responsible and need to be part of this change to bring forth the change. If we don’t act now, soon come a time when we have to buy oxygen cylinders for personal use like how we buy bottled water! So let’s join our hands and work together for a better tomorrow. GO GREEN, SAVE THE WORLD.
Author: Racheal J is a serial coffee drinker, fish and chips eater. Although she doesn’t consider herself as a wanderlust, she loves exploring the world around with her 4×4 and guitar when she is not blogging.
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