With diesel accounting for two-fifth of refined fuel consumption, this ban, if it comes into effect, could significantly bring down emissions
As per a recent post on the Oil Ministry website, cars and heavy vehicles running on diesel need to be phased out. The ban on diesel powered four wheelers could be introduced across major cities in India by 2027.
India is among other nations that have targeted zero emissions and intends to significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2070. However, at the other end of the spectrum, India’s dependence on fossil fuel such as coal, diesel and petrol cannot be overlooked. It will take tremendous initiatives and efforts along with stringent regulations to achieve this goal.
Ban on diesel four-wheeler vehicles
Electrification is the only answer to ensure that this ban is a success. A special panel formed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas known as the Energy Transition Advisory Committee and headed by former Oil Secretary, Tarun Kapoor, has been set up for this purpose. Kapoor had stated that no diesel buses should be added to the fleet from 2024 onwards. Impetus will be allotted to electric vehicles with added initiatives for manufacturers of electric vehicles and towards the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles scheme (FAME).
It may be recalled that the FAME scheme was introduced in April 2015 under the National Electric Mobility Mission. It provides financial support and other benefits so as to encourage purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Over the last couple of years, the Indian government has drafted policies and plans like the FAME (scheme) with the aim to achieve 30 per cent EV sales penetration for cars, 70 per cent for commercial vehicles and 40 per cent for buses as well as 80 per cent for two- and three-wheelers by 2030, it said.
Suggestions by the Panel
The panel has suggested use of electric vehicles for city deliveries, use of railways and gas powered trucks for movement of cargo and a complete ban on diesel cars and buses, all of which will go a long way in cutting down carbon emissions. The panel also added that all long distance buses and the railway networks should be fully electric in the next 2-3 years.
Suggestions have also been put forth building of underground gas storage facilities that would be sufficient to 2 months of demand. This demand is set to increase at an average rate of 9.78 percent by 2050. For this storage purpose, the panel suggests use of depleted oil and gas fields, salt caverns and aquifers.
India is well on its way to achieving this goal. Electric vehicle sales are already on the rise in India. It is set to cross the 1 crore sales by 2030. It is likely to continue at this same or accelerated pace through the decade, particularly so due to development of new infrastructure, several government incentives and launch of new EV models.