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Green concern

Quashing fears expressed by environmentalists that a "People's Car" would add more vehicles on the road and air pollution, Ratan Tata says the Nano's engine meets Bharat Stage-III emission norms and can also meet the Euro 4 norms.

autos Updated: Jan 11, 2008 05:25 IST

Quashing fears expressed by environmentalist R.K. Pachauri and green activist Sunita Narain that a “People’s Car” would add more vehicles on the road and air pollution, Ratan Tata said the Nano’s 624 cc, 33 HP petrol engine meets Bharat Stage-III emission norms and can also meet the Euro 4 norms.

47 per cent is what all vehicles in India will guzzle from the primary oil demand by 2030. It is at present 27 per cent.

57 per cent of carbon dioxide emission in the country is thanks to oil consumption by the transport sector.

But India needs to worry, and here's why...

The International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook 2007 sounded the alert on India and China. If existing policies continue, China and India's fuel use would double between 2005 and 2030.

China is expected to overtake the US to become the world's biggest emitter in 2007, while India will take third position by around 2015.

The increase in oil consumption will largely be driven by cars — the fastest growing segment — at an annual average growth of 10 per cent by 2030.

Oil consumption is responsible for 57 per cent of the CO2 in India today, with emissions from transport increasing at the fastest rate — over 6 per cent per annum.

Globally, no other vehicle can rival the energy efficiency and CO2 benefits of two-wheelers. Indian two-wheelers have CO2 emissions as low as 45 gm/km compared to the global best achieved by hybrid cars at 104 gm/km. The share of two-wheelers, however — nearly 80 per cent of vehicles in India, but which consume only 15 per cent of the total transport fuels — will plateau to 50 per cent in 2030 (WEO, 2007).

On average, by 2030, Indians will travel thrice as many kilometers as they did during 2000-01. If neglected, the share of public transport may drop from 75.7 per cent in 2001-02 to 44.7 per cent in 2030-31.

The Asian Development Bank projects that Bangalore can save 21 per cent of fuel consumption if it increases its share of public transport from the current 62 per cent to 80 per cent.

Fuel efficiency gains made by car manufacturers have been lost to the number and increased power of vehicles on Indian roads. Already, mini cars have dropped nearly by half since 2000, allowing the steady shift towards bigger cars.

More than 70 per cent of Delhi's incoming traffic comprises personal vehicles. Warped policies also allow trucks to ferry more goods than railways even though trucks spew the deadliest pollutants.

Source: World Energy Outlook 2007, and Centre for Science and Environment