Environment concern on vehicle pollution opens new emission control biz opportunities in India

Devvyaani Jaishankar writes how the environment polluted by vehicle emission has driven the government to control emission that inturn created new business opportunities for the players in clean energy vehicle sector.

Among other means of pollution, the vehicle pollution is much talked by the public these days while the government is taking various measures to control it.

Although per capita vehicle ownership in India is far lesser than the developed markets like Europe and America, the dense of vehicle on road have grown at alarming levels, particularly in urban areas like Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai in the past decade.

Growing Vehicle Population

According to a recent study by the International Energy Agency (IEA), passenger car ownership in India will grow by 775 percent in the next 24 years.

The study adds that the number of vehicles will grow from the current 20 per 1,000 persons to 175 by 2040

The number of registered vehicles in Delhi surpassed the one crore mark, Data accessed from the Delhi transport department puts the total number of registered vehicles at 1,05,67,712 till May 25. There are 31,72,842 registered cars in the city. The biggest chunk of the registered vehicles – 66,48,730 – in the city is, however, motor cycles and scooters that are known as major air polluters due to poor emission standards.

The number of vehicles registered in Bengaluru has climbed to 70.28 lakh including 48.69 lakh two wheelers and 13.58 lakh four wheelers.

Bengaluru is home to the second highest number of vehicles in India, next only to Delhi.

Government Proposals

While the European countries have been already following Euro 6 emission norms, the Indian vehicle industry switched over to Bharat Stage 4 (equivalent to Euro 4) from April 2017. Now the government has mandated the Indian auto industry to follow Bharat 6 norms (Euro 6), skipping Bharat Stage 5 from 2020.

The experts say enforcing BS VI standards will restrict petrol and diesel fuels to 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur, thus allowing India to be at par with the global leaders in fuel sulfur standards.

New Emission Control Biz Opportunities

Now several auto technology players are pitching a variety of emission control solutions related to Bharat Stage 6 solutions for the domestic vehicle manufacturers to utilize.

Business opportunities are rising not only related to vehicle technology, but even in the space of traffic control, transport management and urban planning in India.

Even the foreign funding also are being pumped in to improve the traffic conditions in the Indian cities like Bengaluru.

For instance Japan has pledged to provide India with a grant of around Rs 72.86 crore to fund a project, which is expected to reduce traffic congestion in Bengaluru by 30 percent in the next five years.

Kenji Hiramatsu, Tokyo’s envoy to New Delhi, and S Selvakumar, joint secretary in the Ministry of Finance in the Government of India, have recently signed and exchanged the notes for the Japanese government’s grant for the implementation of the Advanced Traffic Information and Management System in Bengaluru.

Tokyo’s grant will be used to install the system, including signaling devices and traffic congestion length measurement sensors in Bengaluru.

“It is expected that this project will contribute to strengthening connectivity and industrial competitiveness of the local economy by improving traffic congestion and urban environment,” the Ministry of Finance statement says.

A note issued by the Embassy of Japan in New Delhi stated that the Advanced Traffic Information and Management System would cut the length of the traffic congestion in Bengaluru by 30 percent by 2022 – three years after the completion of the project – particularly at those interchanges currently witnessing the worst traffic jams.

The new system in Bengaluru will utilise the advanced technology provided by Japan.

A spokesperson from the embassy said that the new system would “contribute to enhancing the convenience of urban transportation and revitalising the local economy.

Government bats for green vehicle


Already the union government has been implementing the subsidized FAME scheme to encourage the alternative fuel driven vehicle in India. Now the focus is more on growing the electric vehicle numbers in India.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), an apex body representing all major vehicle and vehicular engine manufacturers in India, has submitted a White Paper on Electric Vehicles to the central government recently in line with the Vision of Government of India of 100 percent electric for public mobility and 40 percent electric for personal mobility by 2030 and taking it further for a complete shift to electric vehicle regime by the 100th year of India’s independence towards achieving the objective of the India Energy Security Scenario 2047.

Dr Abhay Firodia, President, SIAM in a statement said that to make sure that this vision is realized, the industry, government and various stakeholders will need to collaborate and invest with 100 percent commitment. He emphasised that the proposed policy measures in the White Paper would be needed for creating a robust market and manufacturing eco-system for electric vehicles in the country and such a policy must be sustained over time to remain stable to enable industry commit to investments with full confidence.

Pure electric vehicle penetration currently remains quite low in India, ~0.1% in PVs, ~0.2% in 2Ws and practically nil for commercial vehicles due to several reasons including significant affordability gap and low level of consumers’ acceptance, low level of electric vehicle manufacturing activities, lack of comparable products (especially in the 2W category), non-existent public charging infrastructure etc.

In 2013, the government launched a National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020. Under the mission plan, the FAME India Scheme (a scheme for faster adoption and manufacturing of hybrid & electric vehicles), was launched in the financial year 2015 for 2 years as Phase-1 (now extended until 31st March 2018). A phase-in approach will be needed to bring policy changes in the FAME Scheme to promote electric vehicle technology. Therefore, the FAME scheme should be extended until March 2020 as per the original plan to keep the momentum going and the proposed new measures should be phased-in over the next 2-3 years for a smooth transition to the next level, the SIAM said in its White Paper.

SIAM’s Roadmap

  • All new vehicle sales for intra-city public transport fleets to be pure electric vehicles by 2030.
  • Forty percent of new vehicle sales in the country to be pure electric vehicles by 2030.
  • Sixty percent of new vehicle sales in the country to employ greener technologies like hybrids & other alternate fuels by 2030; To ensure smooth phasing in of pure electric vehicles and to sustain the transition to cleaner fossil fuel vehicles, the IC engine upgradation must continue over the next decade or so. Progressively cleaner fossil fuel vehicles would be an essential stepping stone in this journey towards hundred percent pure electric.
  • All new vehicle sales to be pure electric vehicles by 2047.

Meanwhile Karnataka has become the first state in India to issue state wide “Karnataka Electric Vehicles & Electric Storage Policy 2017” to develop the ecosystem for Evs. This is first of its kind electric vehicle policy issued by the state and aims to develop Bengaluru as the EVs capital of India. Government of Karnataka (GoK)  approved the policy on 13 September 2017.