Driving towards a sustainable future - Hindustan Times

Driving towards a sustainable future

ByVarun Goenka
Apr 19, 2024 03:41 PM IST

This article is authored by Varun Goenka, CEO & co-founder, Chargeup.

Living in a clean environment where one can breathe air with confidence and watch the sunset on the horizon, instead of the typical smog that shrouds most metropolitan cities these days, is every person’s dream. Imagine a scenario where every mile driven by a driver not only generates revenue for them but also helps us get closer to that dream. This goal of alleviating pollution is being driven by continuous sustainable innovations in the electric mobility segment. The tide is now turning in favour of electric vehicles (EV) as the collective ecosystem approach of the government and private sector stakeholders is rapidly bringing down costs and eliminating range anxiety. Let us look at how a driver-centric approach to sustainable innovations is benefiting the drivers and supporting the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDG).

Climate crisis(Representational photo / Creative Commons) PREMIUM
Climate crisis(Representational photo / Creative Commons)

For drivers, the feasibility of any vehicle is determined by the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Typically, one might feel that the upfront purchase cost of EVs is much higher than the cost of similar conventional internal combustion engine (ICE), fossil-fuel-driven vehicles. However, from a TCO perspective, it becomes an entirely different game due to the long-term financial benefits of EVs. The first consideration is the fuel expenditure, which is lower in the life of EVs compared to ICE vehicles running on fossil fuels. Falling battery prices due to constant innovations are further helping reduce TCO, making EVs the sustainable and viable long-term option for drivers.

The ongoing advancements in battery technologies have led to heightened efficiency and alleviated concerns about limited driving range. Enhanced battery performance and efficiency mean vehicles can now travel further on a single charge, while continuous innovations are progressively reducing charging time. As a result, the overall driving experience has been significantly improved, instilling greater confidence in EV drivers regarding their vehicles' operational capabilities.

One of the best things about EVs is that their engineering is less complex, and they use fewer moving parts compared to conventional vehicles. This simplification of mechanical systems enables easier and more affordable maintenance. EVs are smart vehicles, and their operating systems continually gather performance data and have the ability to become even more intelligent over time. This prevents vehicle breakdown scenarios and optimises efficiency. This works to reduce downtime and helps in extending battery life for drivers.

The transition to EVs is primarily aimed at reducing vehicular emissions, and these vehicles are doing a great job at that. With each conventional vehicle replaced, EVs save tonnes of annual emissions, helping to create a healthier living environment for the drivers, their communities, and future generations. This contribution to cleaner air and mitigation of the climate crisis is in alignment with SDG 13 (climate action).

One of the concerns about EVs is that the end-of-life disposal of lithium-ion batteries must be ensured. However, modern EV makers in the United Kingdom (UK) now focus on putting clear frameworks in place to handle end-of-life propositions and even assure EV drivers of the resale value of their batteries and vehicles. This boosts their confidence in EV adoption and improves sustainable mobility.

EVs enable drivers to convert transportation services into an eco-friendly business. With the opening up of affordable financing options and companies introducing energy-as-a-service models, EV ownership is becoming increasingly lucrative, empowering drivers to take better control of their incomes and well-being whilst contributing to sustainability.

To ensure sustainable mobility’s growth, it is important to make it more accessible for all. This is where the ongoing innovations and technological advancements, as well as the ecosystem approach of collaboration, easy financing options, and infrastructure development, are steps that make a positive impact on the SDGs.

Apart from these operational benefits, EVs also make a significant contribution to the SDGs. The innovations in this arena are specifically relevant to SDGs 7,11 and 13. The promotion of clean energy adoption also makes positive contributions to other SDGs such as SDG 9, 8, 10, and 12.

Sustainable innovation is essential to create a better life for the drivers because they are the changemakers who are the key to making the environment better and cleaner. With their support, we can and we will definitely drive towards a greener, healthier, and prosperous world for future generations.

This article is authored by Varun Goenka, CEO & co-founder, Chargeup.

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