July 13, 2020

Electric vehicles to combat air pollution

Electric vehicles to combat air pollution


The best way to reduce urban air pollution is to curb it at its source. Electrified vehicles would eliminate all the emissions from vehicles, since the end use of electricity is 100 percent clean. Electrifying even a small share of our vehicle fleet will lead to a sharp decline in petroleum use and oil imports

Air pollution is the fifth leading cause of deaths in India. Over the last few years, the level of air pollution has gone up rapidly in Indian cities. The pollution caused by petrol and diesel vehicles is cited as the main cause of worsening air-quality in these cities. India, the world’s fifth-largest auto market is also readying for a stupendous transformation: moving completely towards electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030. A signatory to the Paris climate agreement, India is obligated to bring down its share of global emissions by 2030.

Air pollution challenge

Clean air is birth right for human wellbeing. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 also targets to “Ensure healthy lives and promotes well-being for all at all ages”. The sub-goal 3.9 targets to substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses caused due to air pollution by 2030.  

Globally, air pollution is recognised as one of the major health hazards. Ambient air pollution, which consists of high concentrations of small and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), is the greatest risk to health causing more than 3 million premature deaths worldwide every year (WHO, WHO, 2014).

Electric vehicles as alternate

In recent years, the popularity of electric vehicles has increased significantly in India and other countries. With more and more people realizing the environmental benefits of electric vehicles, the demand for electric motor bikes and cars has gone up. Electric vehicle manufacturers have come up with better, improved models that are more energy-efficient and provide excellent performance on road.

Electric vehicles don’t require gas. Instead, they run on electrically powered engines and are eco-friendly. As they don’t burn fossil fuels, electric vehicles don’t release harmful carbon emissions. An increase in the number of electric vehicles will go a long way when it comes to improving air-quality in urban places.

Differences between electric and conventional vehicles

  • In a conventional vehicle, there is a gasoline tank where the fuel is stored. This fuel is used to run the vehicle. An electric vehicle, on the other hand, doesn’t have a tank. Instead, there is a battery that supplies the electricity required to move the vehicle. This battery needs to be recharged regularly. In a conventional vehicle, gasoline engine provides the force to move the vehicle. In an electric vehicle, there is an electric motor that provides the force to move the vehicle.
  • Also, conventional vehicles require a lot of maintenance. Right from frequent oil changes to exhaust system repairs, there are many things that have to be taken care of with precision. This is not the case with electric vehicles. As an electric vehicle has just one moving part (electric motor), it is easy-to-maintain. 
  • Electric vehicles are not just cheaper to maintain, but they are also more energy-efficient. As a result, an electric vehicle owner can save a lot of money over a period of time.

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