Greenpiece: Key Steps That Can Help Promote Green Travel | Latest India News
Electric and hydrogen cars have been the subject of much talk today. But who can afford an electric car? Someone with at least ten lakh rupees more and easy access to a charging point: a rich person. Others always use what they can afford. To effect real change, we need safe, affordable and reliable public transport, powered by clean technologies. The question is what is clean?
Let’s start with the electric. We need a robust system to manage used batteries. India has a terrible record so far. Not only have lead acid battery manufacturers evaded responsibility for years, so have other battery and cell manufacturers. What we need is not just a law, but strong deterrents to breaking it and public transparency in its implementation. Critics of hydrogen have pointed out the problem of flammability and electric shock. Both can be treated by refined technology.
But, a study by Logan et al from the UK indicates that full capacity hydrogen buses generate 1.8 times less emissions per person than a car. Yet, he says, electric buses produce fewer emissions than hydrogen. Fortunately, Indian states are turning to electric buses. What more can they do?
Other than that, recharging any bus or car requires electricity, which is often polluting. This needs to be dealt with urgently. We need the cycle to be green, not just road emissions.
Indian states can lead this transformation. Many have started to buy electric buses. Now let’s get green energy and expand the charging stations to national standards, so we can actually travel green.
(The author is founder and director of the Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group)