A Baojun E100 electric vehicle stands plugged in to a charging station in China. (Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Electric Vehicles Won’t Make India’s Air Cleaner

India’s plan to push electric vehicles will not make its air cleaner.

Electric vehicles can lead to a net increase in carbon emissions in countries like India and China where power generation is mainly dependent on coal, according to a report by International Energy Agency. Battery-powered transport offers limited advantages compared to internal combustion engine vehicles in terms of well-to-wheels emission analysis, it said.

Electric cars will be run on batteries charged by power plants, instead of petrol or diesel. So, to bring down the level of carbon emission, it is important to lower the dependence on thermal power plants for electricity.

India plans to turn about 30 percent of vehicles electric by 2030, scaling down its earlier ambition to ensure most of the cars are battery-powered by then. But it’s yet to start building infrastructure for cleaner mobility.

In fact, the country pushed back the deadline to put thousands of battery-driven cars on the road by nearly a year, according to a Bloomberg report. State-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd., responsible for procuring electric cars to replace the petrol and diesel vehicles used by government officials, will roll out the first 10,000 vehicles by March 2019.

Also read: Electric Vehicles on the Road Are Set to Triple in Two Years

Globally, according to IEA report, the number of electric vehicles is likely to more than triple to 13 million by the end of the decade from 3.7 million last year, the Paris-based institution said.

Electric two-wheelers are projected to form 39 percent of the global two-wheeler stock by 2030, according to New Policies Scenario. The EV30@30 Scenario estimates the share to be around 50 percent. Electric two- and three-wheelers are expected to take over most of the vehicles sold in China and India, according to the report.

IEA said the lack of consistency among visions and measures suggests that India needs to ensure greater coordination in defining its electric vehicle policy.