India Wants to Sell Only Electric Cars by 2030

Jessica Miley

If you thought the US or Australia would lead the way in electric cars, think again. India’s government has laid out plans to ensure every car sold in India from 2030 will be electric.  

Even electric car giant Tesla's CEO Elon Musk tweeted on India's plan, hours after quitting President Trump's advisory board over his decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement.

The bold idea is vital to reduce intensely harmful air pollution. India’s poor air quality reportedly contributes to 1.2 million deaths a year. India’s massive growth has seen it rise to become the third-largest oil importer, spending over $150 million annually for the black gold. The radical move to switch to electric cars would radically reduce India’s demand for the resource.  The ambitious strategy could save the country $60 billion in energy costs by 2030. The costs to owners would also significantly decrease.  

The reduction in both cost and pollution are deemed to be enough of an incentive to make the switch. India’s Energy Minister Piyush Goyal says the initiative will be supported by the government financially for the first few years. But after that, the market will be driven by demand.  

India Wants to Sell Only Electric Cars by 2030

[Image Source: -tarat- via Flickr]

Air pollution is choking India

Over a million people die annually in India from inhaling toxic fumes. Greenpeace has investigated and found that the number of deaths caused by smoking is only slightly higher than those caused by toxic air pollution.  

The research by Greenpeace also found that 3% of the country's gross domestic product was lost due to the levels of toxic smog. The World Health Organisation reported in 2014, that 13 out of the top 20 cities with the highest amounts of air pollution are in India.

Incremental reduction

Some efforts have been made in the past to reduce the levels of toxicity and improve air quality. In New Delhi it was recently mandated that cars could only be driven on alternate days depending on the number of their registration plate. Odd numbers were allowed one day and even numbers the next.  

In an interesting move, this rule only applied to men, with single women being allowed to drive every day. While these small measures do have an impact. Making the dramatic leap to a fully electric fleet would have a massive environmental impact. The switch to electric cars will decrease carbon emissions in India by 37% by 2030.

Oil exporters feel the pinch

Oil exporters must be feeling the pressure as plans for India's electric future begin to take shape. The switch to electric will dramatically decrease demand for oil in the region and have long term impact on the oil industry.  

India isn’t the only country to start the breakup with oil. China is preparing to move away from petrol dependent cars too. They recently announced plans to forge ahead with a rollout that will see 7 million electric car sales by 2025. Oil executives believe it is too early to accurately project the effect of these moves by these two powerful countries. But the stress must be high as India and China have been the key to continued oil demand in the last decade.