- Where We Work
- Who We Are
- Info & Tools
Because its vehicle fleet is small relative to its large population, India has very low per capita transportation emissions. But that fleet is growing rapidly: total vehicle sales (including motorcycles) increased from about 10 million in 2007 to almost 16 million in 2012, and the total number of vehicles on the road is expected to double to 250 million by 2025.
Air pollution, particularly in the form of particulate matter (PM), is a serious challenge in India, and transportation is a significant factor in the nation’s air quality problems. According to the World Health Organization, some 600,000 people in India die prematurely each year from diseases directly related to air pollution, making it the sixth largest cause of death in the country. Transportation sources account for approximately a third of PM pollution in India, and a somewhat higher proportion of nitrogen oxides, another set compounds harmful to human health.
The growth in India’s vehicle fleet has global as well as local implications. Relatively small though it may still be, India’s is the largest light-duty fleet in the world without efficiency or CO2 emission standards. And particulate emissions have climate as well as health implications: a component of particulate matter, black carbon, is second only to CO2 as a climate-forcing pollutant. India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has put forward a proposal mandating a 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption by 2020 for LDVs, which would result in an average fuel consumption of 20 km/L for the new vehicle fleet. This standard would open the door to energy-efficiency standards for two- and three-wheelers and heavy-duty vehicles, which account for a greater proportion of fuel consumption in India than passenger vehicles.
Vehicle emission standards have aided progress over the last decade. India implemented Euro IV equivalent standards in 13 major cities and Euro III standards in the rest of the country in 2010. But the nation still lags in terms of clean vehicle and fuels policies, and much remains to be done to mitigate the harmful effects of vehicular air pollution.