Autogas can make an immediate difference in air quality of several Indian cities

With a lack of urgency to respond to air pollution crisis, an overwhelming policy thrust on electric vehicles and a complete dearth of focus on immediate clean air solutions, millions of Indians are likely to continue breathing toxic air for years, according to the Indian Auto LPG Coalition (IAC).

Indian government should incentivise vehicle conversions to immediately available alternative fuel options. In this regard, rolling out clean fuels such as Autogas can bring about an immediate difference in air quality of several Indian cities. LPG is an under-utilised solution that can bring about immense benefits to urban air quality by controlling hazardous vehicle tailpipe emissions.

“Delhi’s residents breathe toxic air for most part of the year. Hazardous vehicle emissions continue to be a major source of poor air quality in urban India. Yet, the fact that policymakers do not display any urgency in addressing the above and focus only on long-term deployment of EVs is frustrating. Lack of use of immediate clean energy solutions such as Autogas implies that millions of people have no hope of breathing clean air any time in the near future,” said Suyash Gupta, Director General, Indian Auto LPG Coalition.

It is important that near and long term measures are initiated to address the pollution problem. The capital and other polluted Indian cities need to shift a substantial part of their private vehicles to cleaner fuels like LPG in the short term until EVs become widely viable. A policy thrust towards cleaner fuels will also push automakers towards investing in more Autogas variants, offering greater options for consumers.

“We already have readily available and clean alternative fuels that can help us achieve significant gain in air quality in a short span of time. With much lower emissions of not only carbon but also nitrogen oxides and particulate matters, LPG is such a readily available alternative to petrol and diesel. What we need is a clear policy tilt towards clean alternative fuels and a plan to incentivise vehicle conversions. The government must do this by subsidising conversion costs, reducing GST on LPG as well as on conversion kits to encourage use of the eco-friendly fuel”, added Gupta.

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6 January 2021