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Hybrid Vehicles and Sustainable Mobility

Published: 2nd Feb, 2024


In the pursuit of sustainable transportation solutions, the journey towards electrification in India has encountered diverse perspectives. However, research suggests a collective embrace of hybrid vehicles as a more pragmatic and environmentally friendly option for the next 5-10 years. This shift not only aligns with India's ongoing decarbonization efforts but also reflects a shared commitment to a greener future.


  • While India's electric mobility plan predominantly focuses on battery electric vehicles (BEVs), Research highlights the practicality and lower environmental impact of hybrid vehicles in the medium term.
  • The holistic approach considers overall carbon emissions, emphasizing the need to balance our decarbonizationdrive with feasible solutions.

Advocacy for Hybrid Vehicles: A Shared Belief:

  • Research asserts that embracing hybrid and compressed natural gas cars aligns with India's decarbonization goals over the next 5-10 years.
  • This approach not only addresses the cost of ownership but also resonates with the broader objective of reducing carbon footprints collectively.

Environmental Impact Comparison:

  • The research indicates that, at present, hybrids exhibit lower overall carbon emissions (wheel-to-wheel) compared to both electric and traditional petrol/diesel vehicles of similar proportions.
  • This suggests that, for the time being, hybrids are at least 16% less polluting than their electric counterparts.

Collective Medium-Term Solution:

  • The rationale behind advocating for hybrids extends beyond individual choices; it's a communal effort to navigate towards eventual electrification.
  • Emphasis should be on the importance of a shared journey, not just from a cost perspective but as a crucial step in India's larger decarbonization narrative.

Projected Timeline for Convergence:

  • The research estimates that emissions from EVs and hybrid vehicles might converge after 7-10 years.
  • This aligns with the evolving landscape of India's power generation, where a shift to 44% non-fossil power could bridge the gap between these two technologies.

Global Push for Battery Electric Vehicles: Challenges and Considerations:

While the world accelerates towards battery electric vehicles, the Research underscores certain challenges that need collective consideration.

- Upfront Subsidy: Acknowledging the need for subsidies, the research emphasizes the importance of aligning incentives with broader societal benefits, avoiding concentration among a specific demographic.

- Charging Network: The emphasis is on investing in charging infrastructure, a collective responsibility that significantly influences EV adoption. India, with its unique mix of vehicles, requires a nuanced strategy.

- Electricity Source: The origin of electricity becomes a shared concern. In India's case, the predominant use of coal-fired thermal plants urges a collective call for transitioning to cleaner energy sources.

- Value Chain Diversification: The exploration of alternatives to lithium-ion batteries becomes a shared quest, reinforcing the idea of reducing dependency and nurturing a diversified, sustainable value chain.

As India contemplates its journey towards a sustainable future, the advocacy for hybrid vehicles emerges not just as a choice but as a collective endeavor. It reflects a shared commitment to environmental stewardship, prioritizing community-driven solutions over individual pursuits. In this collective pursuit, every choice, every initiative contributes to a greener, more sustainable tomorrow for us all.

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