Slowly but steadily, the income available to the average Indian is increasing. With that, luxury purchases are up, including cars. According to the Hindustan Times, this has led to a 15% rise in driving holidays taken by Indians. This flexibility is great news, however, it has had effects on the environment, and India has seen its emissions grow to nearly 3000 megatonnes of CO2 per year, according to Climate Action Tracker. This coincides with worsening air quality across the major cities. If you’re looking to join the vehicular revolution, consider what steps you can take to limit your impact.
When going old is going green
It’s often thought that newer cars are more efficient given the better levels of technology they possess. However, this doesn’t always hold true and there is benefit to be had in previously used vehicles. This has been clearly demonstrated by classified retailer OLX; in a report published in Hindu Business Online, it was noted that OLX users have reduced their carbon footprint by 8 megatonnes. How? While the technology on board a new vehicle is more efficient today, it still requires a global chain of production that can create greater emissions. Looking for a second vehicle is a great idea, but perhaps focus on its emissions, too, to improve air quality where you are.
The benefit of newer vehicles
There are, of course, notable benefits of investing in a newer vehicle. Not all vehicles are equal, however, and it’s important to look at how your car is going to be powered. An electric vehicle will improve air quality on the road, but the electricity is likely to come from coal, which – according to IndianPowerSector.com – provides 53.7% of the entire country’s power. This varies from state to state; your electric vehicle is more likely to use renewable energy in Karnataka than any other state, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
What’s the alternative? There are (currently) only two ways to power a car; electrically, and through the gas. At the point of use, electricity will always be better, but there are options for gas that are more environmentally friendly. Relatively clean petrol and diesel have been available in Delhi since April 1st, according to the Times of India, and Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad are a few of the cities set to switch over in January 2019. While not a cure-all, these fuels are much better for local air quality and have a far lower net carbon footprint.
Joining the private vehicle revolution may be irresistible, and nobody should tell you not to buy a vehicle. It’s important to do your bit for the environment and everyone’s quality of life, however, so do it responsibly. Look into vehicles that will leave you driving green.
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