Delhi, India, is one of the world’s top cities for air pollution. In fact, a research study found that fine particulate matter air pollution there contributed to almost 15,000 premature deaths in 2016. Particulate matter has been linked to premature death, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases.
To reduce toxic air pollution, the Delhi government has created a draft policy calling for 25% of new vehicle registrations to be EVs by 2023, “With vehicular pollution being a consistent source of air pollution in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (‘Delhi’) and contributing up to 30% of particulate pollution, rapid adoption of zero emission electric vehicles is of great importance to the city.”
About two-thirds of new vehicle registrations in Delhi are for two-wheel vehicles like motorcycles and scooters. The policy will incentivize the purchasing of new two-wheel electric vehicles and the scrapping of some gas-powered ones.
The policy does not stop there. It also includes rickshaws, which are quite a prominent mode of local transportation. “Delhi EV Policy 2018 will aim to incentivise the purchase and use of new electric autos with swappable batteries (‘e-autos’) instead of ICE equivalents and simultaneously promote conversion of existing CNG autos to e-autos.”
Two-wheelers and three-wheelers are very typical modes of Delhi transportation, but mass transit vehicles are also included in the draft policy: “The GNCTD commits to pure electric buses being at least 50% of all new state-carriage buses procured for the city fleet including for last mile connectivity, starting with the induction of 1000 pure electric buses in 2019. This will help achieve a target of making 50% of the public transport bus fleet zero emission by 2023.”
EV charging infrastructure, ride-hailing apps, and EV battery recycling are referenced in the draft policy as well, amongst other considerations.
Of course, Delhi is just one of many Indian cities with toxic air pollution. In 2017, over one million lives were lost due to air pollution in India.