Sustainable Mobility: A Holistic Approach with Ethanol, Electric Vehicles, and Green Infrastructure

Tushar Chhabhaya-Director of Aarya Automobiles

By Mr. Tushar Chhabhaya, Director, Aarya Automobiles

The world is evolving, and our means of transportation are also undergoing transformation. It’s no secret that our current transportation systems contribute to pollution and the degradation of climate.

In response, sustainable mobility has emerged as a solution to make our journeys cleaner, more efficient, and kinder to the planet. Electric vehicles are a big part of the sustainable mobility puzzle. EVs have been gaining popularity because they produce zero emissions and are energy-efficient. Batteries have come a long way, making EVs more accessible with longer ranges and quicker charging times.

The push for electric cars and bikes not only helps reduce pollution but also reduces our reliance on fossil fuels. The Government through its various initiatives as well as auto manufacturing companies worldwide are investing heavily in EV development to make them a cornerstone of sustainable mobility.

But for EVs to really take off, we need a solid charging infrastructure. Charging stations are crucial to support the widespread use of electric vehicles. To encourage people to switch to EVs, governments, and businesses are working together to create a network of charging points that are easy to find and use.

These charging spots should be strategically placed in cities, highways, and neighborhoods so people can drive without worrying about running out of juice. New technologies like fast charging and wireless charging are also making recharging more convenient.

In addition to EVs, we’re also exploring alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. These biofuels come from renewable sources like corn and sugarcane, making them greener than regular gasoline and diesel.

Ethanol-blended fuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help keep our air cleaner. Promoting the production and use of ethanol can make a significant difference in reducing the environmental impact of transportation.

India has stated its intention to promote the use of ethanol, an important biofuel derived primarily from rice, maize, and sugar, in an effort to lessen its reliance on imported fossil fuels. In order to decrease demand and, by extension, consumption of fossil fuels, the Centre introduced the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme in 2003.

The National Policy on Biofuels was amended by the Union Cabinet in 2022, pushing back from 2030 to 2025 the requirement that fuel companies increase the ethanol content of petrol to 20%.

The EBP programme initially instructed oil marketing companies to sell fuels containing 5% EBP (ethanol 5%, gasoline 95%). At the moment, ethanol makes up 10% of the fuel mix. The National Policy on Biofuels-2018, however, set a target of achieving a 20% ethanol blend in petrol by 2030 under the EBP, so this percentage is expected to rise.

Green infrastructure is another crucial piece of the sustainable mobility puzzle. It includes things like bike lanes, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, and efficient public transportation. By prioritizing these options over cars and bikes, cities can cut down on traffic, lower emissions, and improve overall quality of life.

Plus, many green infrastructure projects use renewable energy sources like solar power to run public transportation systems and charging stations, making them even more sustainable.

Let’s not forget about hydrogen fuel cells. These nifty devices turn hydrogen into electricity to power vehicles, emitting only water vapor. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles offer long driving ranges and quick refueling times, making them a strong contender for clean transportation.

While they’re still getting off the ground, these vehicles have the potential to make a big impact in the world of emissions-free transportation.

In a nutshell, sustainable mobility is all about making our transportation system kinder to the planet. The development of charging stations, battery swapping stations, and the promotion of sustainable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel, along with advances in sustainable mobility technologies, hydrogen fuel cells, will not only drive growth in the private sector but also receive strong support from the government. 

As we move forward, it’s crucial that governments, industries, and individuals work together to make these innovations part of our daily lives. With these changes, we can look forward to a greener, cleaner, and more sustainable future for transportation.

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