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This is with reference to “Clean mobility start-ups find a new highlight” (February 9). The Auto Expo witnessed a large number of EVs and hybrids—from big manufacturers as well as new, unknown and small players—and, hopefully, will create enough hype and awareness about the benefits, by way of running cost and also mitigating environmental pollution. India has always taken pride in the capacity of its young innovators—at times unfairly called jugaad—and I’m confident that the price of our hybrids and EVs will certainly come down. It is also a sobering thought to learn that our well-meaning but over enthusiastic, ebullient and just-do-it minister has clarified his earlier statement to bulldoze the established manufacturers to stop the production of diesel and petrol vehicles after 2030. So all is well on that front. I am also confident that this government will push for the creation of the infrastructure required for a smooth transition to a low-carbon passenger vehicle fleet. Charging stations, preferential parking, toll concessions etc. will all fall in place.
Even the new green background number plates, mentioned some time ago, is a good idea. These could in fact become a sort of status symbol. As far as sources of electricity is concerned, I feel the great work on solar energy production will, with some tweaking of grid parity concerns, ensure that the EVs and hybrids actually reduce our carbon footprint significantly. However, in all the ambitious drive for personal EVs and hybrids, we seem to be forgetting that we also need to improve our mass transit systems. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, we need to declog our roads and make sure that our average speed on the roads doesn’t go further down from the already abysmal level. We just don’t have enough space on our roads, especially in the big cities, for all the millions of new vehicles that are joining the race. Krishan Kalra Gurugram
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