While the world is still fighting against COVID-19, we have yet another problem to deal with. Delhi, the capital of our nation is choking because of severe air pollution. Only last week a thick grey haze enveloped the city which has left the country worrying. Delhi's Air Quality Index shot up to 494 (severe) and has created yet another mess where people are being taken to hospitals, flights are being cancelled and places are being shut down again. Studies have established that in 2019, over 1.67 million deaths in India were linked to air pollution. Hence a poignant question surfaces, what are the sources of air pollution and what can we do about it?
A direct cause of this situation are the emissions produced by vehicles, 60 percent of which comes from passenger vehicles. So far it's understandable that travel is a part of our daily life, which makes it rather imperative that we find a sustainable mode of transportation now. And what better solution than electric vehicles? In recent times higher authorities like the Government of India have realised the potential of EVs and are pushing forward initiatives to increase electric mobility in the country. The GoI has come up with various fiscal and non-fiscal measures to encourage faster adoption of EVs.
A clean vehicle and fuel technologies can provide us with an affordable, available means of reducing transportation-related air pollution and green house gases. These are none other than electric vehicles – fuel-efficient, cleaner that produces fewer emissions and are a better alternative for finding an eco-friendly way into the future. A study at Northwestern University quantified the differences in pollution generated from battery-powered electric vehicles versus internal combustion engines. The researchers found that electric vehicles have a net positive impact on air and climate change hence proving that EVs are in fact an essential adaptive measure and solution towards a better environment.
There is still a long road ahead of us and we are faced with key challenges in mitigating the environmental problems of the country but we need cleaner air to breathe, so the decision is ours to make. We know climate change is happening, so what can we do about it? One technologically available solution is to electrify our transportation system. We find that EV adpotion reduces net carbon emissions, thereby alleviating the hazards of pollution. The cities are screaming for help – let's rethink and take a step forward.