|Engines of the devil|
|Wednesday, 20 July 2016 05:17|
Get the ideal fleet fuel mix, then plan taxes/bans
Apart from the obvious hardship that Delhi’s citizens will face with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ruling that all diesel vehicles older than 10 years have to be de-registered, it is not clear on what basis the NGT reached this conclusion—the same, naturally, applies to the Supreme Court’s ban on registering diesel vehicles of more than 2000 cc in the National Capital Region or the Delhi chief minister’s on-off odd-even scheme. If it is the particulate matter (PM) that is the issue, as the IIT-Kanpur report brings out, under 9% of PM10 pollution in the capital is caused by vehicles (20% for PM2.5) and of vehicles, four-wheelers account for a tenth of pollution—that, of course, is the reason why there was no discernible reduction in pollution levels during the period in which odd-even was being implemented. If it is NOx, vehicles account for 36% of Delhi’s pollution but, within this, four-wheelers account for 17% of the load and two-wheelers (that do not run on diesel) account for 27% according to IIT-Kanpur—indeed, few measure the NOx levels of CNG buses/taxis/3-wheelers. It doesn’t help that, as the government affidavit in the Supreme Court shows, certain 3000cc+ diesel vehicles have lower PM emissions than even 1500cc vehicles. If you look at the carbon footprint that India has made ambitious reduction commitments for, these are based on fuel efficiency of vehicles—the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFÉ) norms—where diesel is obviously superior to petrol, since it emits less CO and CO2.