India govt panel suggests ban on diesel vehicles by 2027


India should ban the use of diesel-powered four-wheeler vehicles by 2027 in cities with more than a million people and polluted towns and switch to electric and gas-fueled vehicles to reduce emissions, the Energy Transition Advisory Committee is recommending.

The oil ministry panel is also considering a ban on internal combustion-powered motorcycles, scooters, and three-wheelers (also known as tuk-tuks) by 2035. This is part of the country's green transition, according to Bloomberg.

India, one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, aims to produce 40% of its electricity from renewable sources to achieve net zero by 2070.

"By 2030, no city buses should be added which are not electric...diesel buses for city transport should not be added from 2024 onwards," a report published by the panel on the oil ministry's website said.

In India, diesel makes up around 40% of the consumption of refined fuel, with 80% of that being used for transportation purposes. 

To promote the use of electric vehicles in the country, the report recommended the government consider a "targeted extension" of incentives given under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles (FAME) scheme to beyond March 31.

On June 25th, 2021, Phase II of the FAME India scheme was extended for two years, until March 31, 2024.

The panel said that only electric-powered city delivery vehicles should be allowed for new registrations from 2024 and recommended increased use of railways and gas-powered trucks for cargo transportation. The railway network is expected to be fully electric in two to three years.

Long-distance buses in India will, eventually, need to be powered by electricity, the report said, adding that gas can be used as a transition fuel for 10-15 years. As part of its energy strategy, India plans to increase the share of gas in its energy mix from the current 6.2% to 15% by 2030.

The report covered more than just automotive issues. The panel also suggested a target for 25% of households to use electricity to cook by 2030. This would cut reliance on imported liquefied petroleum gas and promote the use of sustainable aviation fuel.

The panel said India should consider building underground gas storage, equivalent to two months' demand as demand is expected to rise at a compound average growth rate of 9.78% between 2020 and 2050. It suggested the use of depleted oil and gas fields, salt caverns, and aquifers for building gas storage with the participation of foreign gas-producing companies.

It is uncertain whether the petroleum ministry will request cabinet approval to carry out the proposals of its Energy Transition Advisory Committee.

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