The future of mobility is going to be clean and sustainable, and electric mobility has gained unprecedented importance in India over the last few years, largely because of the increased consumer awareness, government initiatives, and big brands entering this segment.
According to the UN, transport contributes approximately one-quarter of all energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, which is set to reach one-third, growing faster than any other sector. The pandemic did play a major role in making people aware of the importance of a clean and green environment. The global lockdown gave the world’s most polluted countries and cities clear skies and clean air. Live Air Quality Rating across the world shows a remarkable drop, especially in Indian cities. Only 3 cities (Delhi NCR, Mumbai & Kolkata) are in the top 50 with moderate air pollution, vs. India’s average AQI (Air Quality Index) score in 2019, which had 22 Indian cities in the top 30. One of the top reasons for poor air quality in India is vehicular pollution. This gave impetus to the demand for EVs in recent times.
As more and more EVs hit the roads, more consumers are becoming aware of the benefits – like the quality of ownership, ease of riding, and quality of life. EVs today are smart, connected, and customers are starting to see them as a natural technology and experiential upgrade over their older ICE alternatives.
Compared to ICE vehicles, EV motors are more efficient with higher performance and zero emissions. Most EV platforms are being built with connectivity and improved HMI baked in from day 1. Advanced features like OTA (over the air) updates, predictive maintenance, remote servicing of a vehicle are all available on modern EVs whereas traditional ICE vehicles have architectural limitations that prevent an easy introduction of technology while they continue to carry the burden of higher vibrations, noise and heat generation – factors that negatively impact their end customer experience. From a product and end-user perspective – EVs are winning the battle on all fronts.
EVs reduce emissions that contribute to climate change and also remove dependence on petroleum. They typically produce fewer life cycle emissions compared to ICE vehicles because of the efficiency differences between central electricity generation vs efficiencies of small form factor petrol or diesel engines. Typically, even with a coal heavy electricity generation – like India’s – a comparable performance electric scooter will lead to half the CO2 emissions vs their petrol counterparts. And this is a number that’s getting better every year with an ever-improving mix of clean energy in our grid. Clean energy sources are expected to account for more than 50% of our electricity generation by the end of this decade
In the coming years, India will witness a drastic change on-roads, notably with the shift in heat and sound generated by all the vehicles. With more electric vehicles on the roads, our environment and our daily commute will be noticeably more peaceful, limited just to the sound of electric.
The future of mobility will be clean, green, and less noisy.
About the author: As CEO at Ather, Tarun drives strategic thinking for the company while being closely involved with the close-knit Ather team in reviewing every aspect of vehicle development. He also represented Ather in the ‘Technical Advisory Group for Electric Mobility’ to the Government of India. And also lead the Electric Vehicle group in the Champions of Change program organised by Niti Aayog.
(TOI AUTO Green Talk celebrates the green weekend between June 3 and 5, 2021, bringing to you a cluster of news reports, explainers and interviews on sustainable mobility. Key an eye on the space for more …)