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27th November 2023 (12 Topics)

Fleet electrification to tackle urban pollution

Context:

Mitigation strategies have to be prioritised for increasing Air pollution.

Air Quality Index (AQI) Monitoring

  • Centralized Monitoring: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) uses AQI to streamline diverse air quality data from pollutants like PM 10, PM 2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb into a single, comprehensive index.
  • Urban Smog Contributors: Seminal studies highlight PM2.5 and PM10 pollution from the transport and construction sector as major contributors to urban smog, emphasizing the need for targeted interventions.
  • Truck Emissions Challenge: The exponential increase in the truck fleet poses a threat to air quality. Over 9 lakh new trucks annually, primarily diesel-powered, contribute significantly to PM2.5 pollution and CO2 emissions.

Electrifying Truck Fleet for Clean Freight Transport

  • Critical Transition: As India faces a surge in the truck fleet, urgent electrification becomes imperative. While the electrification of buses is underway, attention must shift to diesel trucks and dust mitigation for immediate PM reduction.
  • Sustainability Impact: Swift adoption of electric trucks, with a recent demand for 7,750 e-trucks by 2030, could save over 800 billion liters of diesel till 2050, aligning with energy security and sustainability goals.
  • Private Capital Engagement: Public funding alone is insufficient. A strategic approach involves creating bankable projects to attract private and institutional capital, accelerating the transition to electric trucks.

Green Freight Corridors for Accelerated Transition

  • Strategic Declarations: Designating expressways and national highways as green freight corridors can serve as a national model. Accelerated feasibility studies and a conducive regulatory environment are crucial for their success.
  • Demonstration Effect: Green freight corridors, starting with shorter 500-kilometer stretches on heavily trafficked routes, can demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of electrified freight transport.
  • Financial Innovation: To accelerate truck electrification, a combination of innovative financial instruments, robust charging infrastructure incentives, and a supportive regulatory framework is essential for transformative change.
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