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Are we set for Electric Cars? Questioning the Environmental Readiness of India

Pinaki Roy, Manoj Motiani, Prem Prakash Dewani


Electric Vehicles (EVs) have been proposed as a means to reduce the
greenhouse emissions from the transportation sector. Despite the obvious benefits of
zero tail pipe emissions, EVs have a wide variety of environmental effects which
must be taken into calculation before a verdict can be passed on their effectively.
The systems used to generate and run these EVs also play a part in determining the
effect that they have on the environment and the market in which they are introduced.
Studies, however, show that despite the emissions due to the electricity produced
to run the EVs are still less than those due to burning fuel in Internal Combustion
Engine (ICE) vehicles. These studies use a Well-to-Wheel equation to determine the
efficiency of each vehicle type. We argue that this method is over optimistic, provides
only a general analysis, and is inadequate to answer questions about environmental
feasibility for different energy source mixes used in different countries. We perform
a country specific analysis for India. Additionally we provide a forecast, according to
four hypothetical energy scenarios, as to when it would be environmentally feasible
for India to introduce EVs into the market. We find that EVs can be used as a means
to reduce greenhouse gasses only after the year 2035 in the energy scenario where
carbon prices have begun to strongly effect energy decisions.


Electric Vehicle - Greenhouse Emission

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