Widespread adoption of electric vehicles with robust power plant emission controls,power sector decarbonisation policies will yield net air quality in India in 2040, new study states
Electric vehicles (EV) have held a promise of building a cleaner world: From world leaders to car manufacturers, everyone stated has unique reasons to move to faster adoption of electric vehicles.
A new study has added one more to the list: Widespread adoption of electric vehicles with robust power plant emission controls and power sector decarbonisation policies will yield net air quality and health benefits in every state in India in 2040.
The strategy may also help avoid 70,380 avoided premature deaths, equivalent to avoided health costs of up to $80.7 billion in 2040 alone.
The study was conducted by International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT Kanpur).
The results will hold even under the conservative assumption that the additional power demand from EVs is met entirely by fossil fuel-based power plants.
The study estimated vehicle and power sector emissions, air quality, premature mortality and avoided health damages in India under an ambitious EV sales scenario between 2020 and 2040.
It found that stricter emission control strategies were more effective at avoiding premature deaths than ambitious decarbonisation strategies.
Under the stated scenarios, the particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) concentration will decrease nationally. At the state level, barring a slight worsening in air quality in Ladakh, air quality improves or is steady for all states in all 2030 and 2040 under all scenarios compared to baseline of the same year.
"The idea that electrification without cleaning up the grid would backfire in terms of air quality is largely untrue,” said Arijit Sen, associate researcher at ICCT and the study’s lead author.
He added that the findings highlight the societal benefits of EVs, which can be maximised when policies for power sector emission control and decarbonisation are implemented in parallel with vehicle electrification strategies.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.