Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal announced late last week the government’s plan to provide electric vehicles on zero downpayment to buyers, with the aim of making the country’s streets 100% electric by 2030, according to The Hans India. At an event organized by CII Young India in New Delhi, Goyal explained that the government intended to develop a self-financing program whereby buyers would pay for the cars out of the savings made on petroleum products.
He explained that a small working group made up of Road Minister Nitin Gadkari, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar would meet in early April to assess whether or not the goal of making 100% of India’s vehicles electric by 2030 was feasible.
India struggles with some of the highest levels of pollution globally, and the World Health Organization (WHO) recently named Delhi the most polluted major city in the world. In January, the capital conducted a two-week trial, allowing private cars with even and odd number plates to drive on alternate days in an experiment to curb the city’s high pollution. According to authorities, the trial resulted in a “more than 50% drop in air pollution caused by vehicular traffic,” although those numbers have been contested, with some experts attributing the drops to weather. It remains to be seen whether the city will adopt a longer-term policy to permanently limit the number of cars on its streets.
In the meantime, the Indian government has promised to speed up the introduction of tighter emission standards for private cars and is considering similar action for two- and three-wheelers.
India, which is the third largest emitter of carbon in the world behind the US and China, pledged to reduce its carbon intensity ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris last December. India set as its 2030 energy targets reducing the rate of emissions by 33-35% relative to gross domestic produce by 2030 from 2005 levels, mainly by boosting the share of electricity produced from sources other than fossil fuels to 40%. The country’s current targets promise to decrease emissions relative to economic output by 2030.
Earlier this year, India overtook China as the world’s fastest growing economy, with expectations that the country will hit a high of 7.6% growth in 2016.