This is an ambitious project but possible. I have featured stories on India having the largest solar farm in the world, and the willingness to reinvent itself. This is another ambitious goal and I believe they may be able to do it.
Not a single petrol or diesel car should be sold in the country
India is looking at having an all-electric car fleet by 2030 with an express objective of lowering the fuel import bill and running cost of vehicles. “We are going to introduce electric vehicles in a very big way. We are going to make electric vehicles self- sufficient like Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA). The idea is that by 2030, not a single petrol or diesel car should be sold in the country,” power minister Piyush Goyal said while addressing the CII Annual Session 2017 in New Delhi on Saturday.
Goyal is of the view that initially the government can handhold the electric vehicle industry for 2-3 years to help it stabilise. Citing the example of Maruti, which has logged over 30% profit this time, he explained that the government had supported India’s largest car maker initially, which eventually led to development of the big automotive industry in the country.
Goyal said that the ministry of heavy industries and the NITI Aayog are working on a policy for promotion of electric vehicles. The minister pointed to the cost factor, saying people would like to buy electric vehicle when they find it cost effective. About offshore wind projects, Goyal said these are more like an R&D project. The minister suggested that big public sector undertakings (PSUs), including NTPC, can initially invest in such projects that will lead to development of this segment in coming years.
Goyal said that in the last 3 years, India’s energy consumption has grown by about 6.5% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR), more than the figure for the last 10 years. He said, “Through UJALA, the LED distribution programme, we have already seen about 500 million LED bulbs sold in the last two years. My job is to improve India’s energy efficiency to reduce consumption wherever it is wasteful and ensure that demand is met fully.”
He made a point that Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) has not been just about financial re-engineering but financial discipline. The UDAY scheme is meant for revival of debt stressed discoms.
The key driver to any paradigm shift like this is not environmental but economic. Many countries have a major trade deficit caused by the importation of fossil fuels often crippling internal finances. The shift to renewable energies not only stops the bleeding, but helps lower pollution levels in the cities (forget about global warming). The shift to all electric fleet is an extension of this.
To do this they need energy and a lot of it. They already have the worlds largest solar farm, are building offshore wind turbines and have the world first safe Thorium nuclear reactor being commissioned for electricity production.
They may not achieve the goal, but it is a good ambition to have.