Electric vehicles pollute more than regular cars according to Roland Folger, head of Mercedes India
Roland Folger, who is the head of Mercedes-Benz in India, has raised doubts over the Indian government's intention to entirely switch over to electric vehicles by 2030.
He maintains that the cumulative pollution in the production of electric cars is higher than other regular combustion engine vehicles. He claims that the electric cars pollute more because the electricity used to power electric cars is produced using fossil fuels, which pollute the environment to an even higher degree.
Folger has questioned the Indian government's ultimate target of having an entire fleet running on electric by 2030.
"So far, no one has been able to dispute the fact that electric vehicles would be dirtier than a Bharat Stage 4 vehicle,"
"How can it make sense? I think there will be an equal distribution of around 30% for petrol, diesel and electric. That would make a lot of sense."
In India, 65% of electricity is currently produced using sources such as gas, oil, and coal and these resources being processed at the country’s power plants power do not have any cleansing filters. All the smoke produced is just blown straight up into the air, which is why they can produce electric power very cheaply.
The price of diesel and petrol fuels will inevitably go down with less usage across the world, which will make the traditional combustion engine fuels far more affordable than they are today.
There is also the expense to the Indian economy with the transition to all electric vehicles by 2030 as they make investments into cleaner and more renewable power sources. There will be a massive demand for more electric power which will put a huge strain on the electric infrastructure if not managed correctly.
Folger went on to say that the developed economies, such as Germany, have themselves not been able to afford the transition.
"The investments in a nuclear power plant, or into greener technologies like wind, hydro and solar, can only be re covered by charging more for the electricity... electricity price could easily become more expensive than the equivalent in diesel. So, what are people going to buy?"
"It doesn't happen in Europe, and now Europe has tonnes of more money for these kinds of issues, but it still doesn't work... India is still a country that does not have these kinds of budgets, even post-GST."
Pointing to a large amount of CO2 emissions during the manufacture of batteries, Folger said,
"... the production of the battery leads to heavy CO2 emissions ... that it takes nearly 7-8 years until they can lay out their benefits."
He said that safe disposal of batteries will be another critical issue as the government pushes for electric vehicles.