Can EVs be as practical as ICE vehicles in India?

The carbon footprint of EVs is substantially lower compared to conventional vehicles, further emphasizing their role in achieving carbon neutrality.

March 28, 2024. By News Bureau

Transport is a fundamental requirement of modern life, but the traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) is quickly becoming outdated. And in recent years, the world has experienced a shift towards electric vehicles (EVs). With EVs gaining momentum, a new era of sustainable transportation has dawned upon us. With technological advancements and growing environmental consciousness, EVs have emerged as a promising solution to combat climate change and enhance energy security. Let's delve into the myriad benefits that EVs offer and how it could be even more practical than ICE vehicles.
Environmental Benefits:
One of the most significant advantages of EVs lies in their ability to reduce air pollution and improve air quality. Petrol or diesel vehicles are highly polluting and are being quickly replaced by fully electric vehicles. Fully electric vehicles (EV) have zero tailpipe emissions and are much better for the environment. By eliminating tailpipe emissions, EVs play a crucial role in mitigating the adverse effects of vehicular pollution on public health and the environment. Over a year, just one electric car on the roads can save an average of 1.5 million grams of CO2. That’s the equivalent of four return flights from London to Barcelona.
Energy Security:
EVs contribute to reducing dependence on imported fuels by leveraging renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. By shifting to EV, a huge chunk of the oil consumption can be also avoided. As per BloombergNEF’s recent findings, electric and fuel-cell cars would lead to about 1.8 million barrels of avoided oil every day in 2023; equating to more than 4% of road transport sector’s oil consumption, compared to last year. This will cause a shift towards domestically sourced energy, enhance energy security and reduce vulnerability to fluctuating global oil prices, thus making us more energy secured as a country.
Maintenance Costs Efficiency:
Operating an EV is remarkably cheaper than traditional fuel-powered vehicles; they have lower maintenance costs due to their simpler mechanical design and fewer moving parts. This translates to savings for consumers and reduced environmental impact from manufacturing and disposing of vehicle components. The servicing requirements for electric vehicles are lesser than the conventional petrol or diesel vehicles. Therefore, the yearly cost of running an electric vehicle is significantly low.
Carbon Neutrality and Energy Efficiency:
EVs contribute to lowering CO2 emissions, aligning with global climate goals to mitigate the effects of climate change. The carbon footprint of EVs is substantially lower compared to conventional vehicles, further emphasizing their role in achieving carbon neutrality. Toxic emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles lead to long-term, adverse effects on public health. The emissions impact of electric vehicles is much lower than petrol or diesel vehicles.From an efficiency perspective, electric vehicles can convert around 60% of the electrical energy from the grid to power the wheels, but petrol or diesel cars can only convert 17%-21% of the energy stored in the fuel to the wheels. That is a waste of around 80%.
Quieter Roads:
In addition to reducing air pollution, EVs also contribute to reducing noise pollution on roads.  Electric vehicles have the silent functioning capability as there is no engine under the hood. No engine means no noise. The electric motor functions so silently that you need to peek into your instrument panel to check if it is ON. Electric vehicles are so silent that manufacturers have to add false sounds in order to make them safe for pedestrians.
Technological Advancements and Smart Integration:
The rapid advancements in battery technology are extending the range and enhancing the performance of EVs. With ongoing research and development, battery energy density is steadily increasing, making EVs more practical and appealing to a broader range of consumers. In recent years, the electric two-wheeler industry has tremendously evolved, marked by advancements in technology that are reshaping the riding experience. These innovations ranging from more sophisticated digital displays to remote diagnostics and seamless connectivity features with smartphones are making electric motorcycles and scooters more performing, safe and connected. These innovative features improve their overall usability and efficiency. Advances in battery technology have also boosted electric two-wheelers, making them affordable, appealing for passengers and resolving the range issue. The current energy density of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) batteries is already between 180 and 250 Wh/kg, respectively, which is capable of giving 80 to 120 kms per charge.
Government Initiatives:
Bеhind thе scеnеs of this EV rеvolution liеs a concеrtеd еffort by both cеntral and statе govеrnmеnts to activеly promotе еlеctrification on Indian roads. Initiativеs likе thе National Elеctric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) havе bееn instrumеntal in crеating a roadmap for thе adoption of еlеctric vеhiclеs in India. Thе ovеrarching goal is to rеducе thе nation's dеpеndеncе on crudе oil, a vision that aligns with both еnvironmеntal sustainability and еconomic rеsiliеncе.
Thе Fastеr Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Elеctric Vеhiclеs (FAME) schеmе, anothеr kеy initiativе by the Indian govеrnmеnt, is dеsignеd to facilitatе highеr adoption ratеs in thе coming yеars. In a stratеgic movе, thе Financе Ministеr of India announcеd a rеduction in customs duty and taxеs in thе 2023 budgеt, providing a boost to thе domеstic production of lithium-ion battеriеs—a critical componеnt powеring еlеctric vеhiclеs.
In conclusion, there are multiple benefits of electric vehicles over ICE vehicles and they extend far beyond individual convenience to encompass environmental sustainability, energy security, and technological innovation. As we navigate towards a greener future, embracing EVs is not just a choice but a collective responsibility towards building a more sustainable and resilient world and with all the advantages it gives it's no doubt that EVs are here to stay. With continued support from governments, advancements in technology, and growing consumer awareness, the era of electric mobility can revolutionize the transportation landscape for generations to come.

Hari Kiran, Co-Founder & COO at eBikeGo
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