DAINIK NATION BUREAU
Strange but true, India will witness a reform shortly like the advanced countries. As the advanced countries moves towards alternate of fossil-fuel vehicles with electric ones, India wants to take a leap. It has set an ambitious target of having only electric cars by 2030. The target may be more daunting than many advanced countries. For example, Britain will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars 10 years after India, from 2040.
India may lag the developed world. The fast-evolving technology can turn India’s technological advance into a regressive trap. Electric cars are still evolving and the best has yet to come. Framing long-term policy for an evolving technology will be challenging for the government.
Hydrogen-powered fuel cells or any other alternative clean energy might prove to be better than electric cars. CNG, once considered the fuel of the future, has now become outdated.
Fast-evolving technology can disrupt long-term policies.
When future is so fluid, a policy that sets a 13-year-long target is likely to run into a a dead end. Imagine, the government setting a 15-year target in 2005 to turn every vehicle to CNG within 15 years, that is by 2020. The emerging electric-vehicle technology would have turned that plan useless.
There are doubts if cars fuelled by lithium-ion battery are really the future of mobility when options like fuel cells are emerging. Hydrogen cells are not the only option.
Running counter to the government’s ambitious policy, the government’s own policy-making body, Niti Aayog, has found electric-battery-driven cars might not be the future of India. It has firmed up a hybrid vehicle policy that challenges the electric vehicle mission that’s being pursued aggressively, pitching methanol as better alternative for india.
The Aayog has reasoned that electric vehicles are neither cost-effective nor sustainable. Methanol-based hybrid vehicles, it proposes, would run on electricity that would be generated on board from the chemical. This would not put additional pressure on electricity demand in the country.
Niti Aayog argues that methanol could replace gasoline as it is easily available, does not cause pollution and has higher electrical mobility and efficiency besides being highly cost-effective vis-a-vis electric vehicles, which would run on lithium-ion batteries. It would reduce pollution and India’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Talking to media, an official said “Lithium is not an easily available resource and the world will run out of the basic resource if all switch over to lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Hence, it is not a sustainable solution.”
Niti Aayog’s new idea can make the government to have second thoughts about its only-electric-cars target.
NB–CREDIT TO ET