Are Electric Vehicles really eco-friendly?

Electric vehicles or EVs are at the forefront of next-generation mobility. Regarded as a sustainable alternative to mainstream vehicles, this solution is being widely discussed at global summits, which focus on clean energy consumption. With global pollution levels on the rise, governments are relying on electric vehicles to be the differentiator.

Electric vehicles promise zero tailpipe emission and a significant reduction in air pollution in cities. Compared to internal combustion engine vehicles running on petrol or diesel, electric vehicles do not pollute the air. Neither do electric vehicles put a strain on non-renewable resources. According to a survey done by Economic Times in 2019, 90% of the car owners in India are open to the idea of switching to EVs. But in contrast, the EV market penetration remains at just 1%. The government is also seeking to grow the momentum with its Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles schemes to reach 30% EV penetration by 2030. With the government’s push for green mobility and a rapid shift in consumer mindset, a bright future lies ahead for India’s EVs. But what makes EVs such an eco-friendly option?

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A better alternative

EVs have fewer moving parts than conventional ICE. Additionally, there’s no need for liquid fuels or transmission and timing belt. Even when your EV is fuelled by electricity generated by coal, it has a better emission rate that petrol/diesel-powered engines. If you have a solar PV system, you can charge your EV during the day, leading to further reduction in your greenhouse gas emissions. The reduced harmful exhaust emissions mean better health for the public.

Better air quality leads to fewer health problems. Not only does clean air lower the cases of cardiovascular ailments, but it can also improve cognitive health. Much like other parts of the human body, the brain depends on healthy doses of oxygen to function correctly. Green mobility can enable us to maintain our brain’s integrity and prevent cognitive decline associated with air pollution.

The electricity that powers EVs can come from multiple sources such as natural gas, wind, solar, and hydro. By running on clean energy, EVs can lessen the burden if the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. Additionally, you can be free of worries regarding price hikes in petrol and diesel.

One also does not have to spend a lot on EV maintenance. There is no engine oil to be flushed or air filters that need to be replaced. All that is required is a regular battery check. Running costs are lower too. This is because of the absence of fuel costs, which keeps fluctuating as the government exported oil from other countries. Consequently, the running cost of EV comes to Rs 1/km as compared to Rs 9/km for petrol or Rs 6/km for diesel. This translates to more monthly savings.

Enabling a brighter future

Whether it be low maintenance and operating costs or improved performance, electric vehicles hold the potential of transforming the automotive industry in India. With an increasing number of consumers looking for alternatives to conventional vehicles, what is now required is a strong common vision and an objective framework that will enable this mass transition to electric mobility.