Government allows retrofitting old cars into Hybrid Electric vehicles; global automotive technology companies like Bosch and Cummins were approached for possible electronic kits
Pollution has been the major concern for any growing economy. India in particular, where large cities are densely populated, the soaring amount of pollution scale is nothing short of aggravating the health of the citizens. In a recent survey released by WHO (World Health Organization), it was said that half of the world’s top twenty most polluted cities are in our country.
Citing the industrial and vehicle pollutions, the Indian cities rated were Gwalior (2nd position), Allahabad (3), Patna (6), Raipur (7), Delhi (11), Ludhiana (12), Kanpur (15), Khanna (16), Firozabad (17) and Lucknow (18). New Delhi’s pollution slightly improved as PM 2.5 concentration fell from 153 microgram per cubic metre of air in the previous WHO report, where it was stated as the number one polluting city on earth, to 122.
However, it was still six times above the safety limit of 20 mg/cu m. Putting it into perspective, the tiny particulate matter causes lung cancer, strokes and heart disease over long term while triggering fatal heart attacks.
The Delhi Government, NGT (National Green Tribunal) and SC (Supreme Court) took the issue profoundly and implemented the diesel vehicle ban but it has created negative criticism among fleet operators, auto manufacturers, industry analysts, general public and environmentalists.
Most of them argued that cars aren’t the only factor behind the soaring air pollution as more credible measures needed to be devised. After a serious re-think, the government has now announced retrofitting which allows conversion of old vehicles into hybrid electric vehicles. The auto manufacturers will be certified with the necessary kits and authorised installing parties are given permission by the electronic makers.
The ministry approached global automotive technology firms like Bosch and Cummins to avail retrofitting technology and costs will be reduced with economies of scale as the system spreads across the country. Under national electric mobility mission, the vehicle owners will be given incentives as the BS II and BS III motor vehicles should be stopped from generating emission causing particulates. The move follows the voluntary modernisation scheme policy for scrapping older vehicles in which discounts and tax relaxation will be provided for owners buying new cars.