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Last Updated : Sep 12, 2019 10:31 AM IST | Source:

Electric vehicles not exactly environment-friendly, Chicago expert details why

The scientist is helping Gujarat and Maharashtra cut down industrial particulate emission

Moneycontrol News @moneycontrolcom
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The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre has been aggressively promoting the use of electric vehicles to reduce air pollution. However, an energy and climate change expert from Chicago believes it to be a lost cause.

Michael Greenstone, a Chicago professor who is the faculty director at Tata Center for Development at UChicago, says that the belief that electric vehicles will help battle pollution is misplaced, vis-à-vis both emissions and the cost incurred to do so.

At present, the scientist is helping Gujarat and Maharashtra cut down industrial particulate emission, reported the Business Standard. Supporting his statement, he explained how most charging grids for such vehicles were coal-based, thereby worsening the net impact on emissions.


“The problem with EVs is where they are plugged in. If most of the grids remain to be coal-based, it will only worsen the pollution. For instance, in certain pockets of the United States, it makes more sense to invest in an internal combustive vehicle, as far as the environment is concerned. Why? Because the grid in such areas is largely coal-based, which is essentially carbon dioxide,” Greenstone added.

According to Greenstone, there are much more effective and direct ways to cur air particulate air pollution. Talking about the efficient alternatives to EVs, he favours the “cap and trade” emission permits drive which he is conducting for the industries located in Surat, Gujarat. Under this scheme, the industries are allowed to purchase and sell emission permits so as to comply with the existing cap by tracking data in real-time.

Notably, NITI Aayog’s roadmap for the country laid extra stress on the need for electric vehicles, stating all only electric automobile would be sold after the year 2030. Moreover, it exhorted all two-and three-wheelers to “go green” by 2023 whereas the deadline for commercial vehicles was the year 2026.


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First Published on Sep 12, 2019 10:31 am
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