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The vehicles that could make Delhi almost half as smoggy4 min read

June 24, 2021 3 min read


The vehicles that could make Delhi almost half as smoggy4 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes
SC asks Centre to ensure no smog in Delhi-NCR | Cities News,The Indian  Express
Image: The Indian Express

Just by looking at this picture, can you name the city that you’re looking at?

If your first thought was New Delhi as well, then welcome to the club. Unfortunately, in recent years, Delhi has become infamous for its horribly, horrendously, atrociously terrible air. Winter smog days have become city-wide yearly holidays, and while it’s hard to complain about a day-off, this isn’t exactly how we pictured it.

New Delhi is the most polluted capital city in the world!

While there are several suspects behind Delhi’s dry smoke and smog, one of the main culprits is vehicular pollution. Vehicular pollution is air pollution that is caused by motorised vehicles that burn diesel and petrol to run. The black soot that spews out of the exhaust pipes of vehicles slowly fills the air to the point that it becomes hard to breathe.

Fossil fuels:

Diesel and petrol come from an oil known as petroleum. It is found n pockets deep under the surface of the Earth and is known as a fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are great for creating energy. When they are burnt, they produce energy for several purposes, including the running of your car. However, there’s a catch. And that catch is pretty much the main reason why our planet is warming, and we have to worry about apocalyptic doom and gloom most of our time. Yup, when fossil fuels burn, they generate toxic substances such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide. These substances mix with the air and create pesky and unhealthy smog.

If you’re a citizen of Delhi, you can blame 41 per cent of your smoggy plight on plain old, run-of-the-mill, school-going vehicles.

And for a while now, Delhi’s government has been taking note. 

That is why the government has launched ‘switch Delhi’. Switch Delhi is an initiative that helps Delhi’s citizens switch from cars and two-wheelers that run on polluting fossil fuels to electric vehicles. You guessed it! Electric vehicles or EVs run on plain old electricity. Unlike diesel and petrol cars, scooters, and bikes, they do not pollute the air every time someone takes them for a ride. 

While there are some simple steps that we can take to reduce pollution, such as take public transport, walk, cycle and carpool. Unfortunately, Delhi’s extreme heat and awful air have made all of that rather difficult.

Here are some of the steps that the government is taking under the Switch Delhi program: 

  1. They’re paying a portion of the price of your next electric vehicles.
  2. All of the Delhi Government’s official vehicles will be electric by the end of the year.
  3. The government is urging large businesses that use several vehicles to switch to ones that run on electricity. A great example of such a business is the food delivery company Zomato. They have committed to switching all their delivery vehicles to electric ones by 2030. 
  4. Lastly, the Delhi government has planned to make charging EVs easier than ever. Before we find out how they plan to do that, let us look at what makes charging an EV such a challenge. 

Charging an EV

When you need to refuel your car to keep it running, you head to your nearest petrol pump. Well, not you, but the adult in the car does. You’ve probably noticed that petrol pumps aren’t hard to come by. In fact, they are everywhere. In contrast, can you remember a time when you saw an electric vehicle charging station? 

If you live in India, you probably haven’t ever seen one. And that is because even a massive city like Delhi has a meagre 77 charging stations. Moreover, charging a car takes a while. In fact, it takes, on average, eight whole hours!! So, each station can only charge very few vehicles in a day. But now, the Delhi government has a plan to make recharging your Electric Vehicle easier than ever. 

You can now buy an electric charger simply by giving the Delhi government a single phone call. What’s more, is that the first 30,000 people to order car chargers will get them completely free! 

With Excerpts From: Hindustan Times, The Hindu, Wikipedia, HT Auto and NDTV.

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