India

India

Air pollution, particularly in the form of particulate matter, is a serious challenge in India, and transportation is a significant factor in the nation’s air quality problems. According to the 2017 Global Burden of Disease, some 1.1 million people in India die prematurely each year from diseases directly related to air pollution, making it the fifth leading 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 of compounds harmful to human health. 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 over 21 million in 2016, and the total number of vehicles on the road is expected to nearly double to about 200 million by 2030.

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Air pollution, particularly in the form of particulate matter, is a serious challenge in India, and transportation is a significant factor in the nation’s air quality problems. According to the 2017 Global Burden of Disease, some 1.1 million people in India die prematurely each year from diseases directly related to air pollution, making it the fifth leading 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 of compounds harmful to human health. 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 over 21 million in 2016, and the total number of vehicles on the road is expected to nearly double to about 200 million by 2030.

Vehicle emission standards are making progress in India. In 2016, India adopted Euro 6/VI equivalent standards that will go into effect in 2020. While this is a major step forward, much remains to be done to mitigate the harmful effects of vehicular air pollution.

India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency has finalized passenger car fuel efficiency standards that would result in an average fuel consumption of 20 km/L for the new vehicle fleet by 2022. This standard opens the door to energy-efficiency standards for two- and three-wheelers, light-commercial vehicles, and heavy-duty vehicles, which account for a greater proportion of fuel consumption in India than passenger vehicles.

[India] Challenges ahead and what lessons India can learn from other parts of the world

Anup Bandivadekar, ICCT's India program lead, reflects on the challenges that lie ahead for India, and the lessons it may take from other regions' experiences in formulating effective policies to promote clean vehicles and fuels.

Recent publications

Low-carbon technology pathways for soot-free urban bus fleets in 20 megacities

Evaluates well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions from soot-free urban transit bus types in 20 megacities.

2017.08.31 | Working paper
Status of policies for clean vehicles and fuels in select G20 countries

Reveals that the efforts made by multiple Transport Task Group (TTG) countries to promote and support policies and programs—including stringent tailpipe emissions standards, fuel economy standards, low sulfur fuels, and green freight programs—are in good alignment with the long-term perspective and pathways of the Transport Task Group defined in the G20 Energy Efficiency Leading Programme.

2017.08.15 | Briefing
Laboratory and on-road emission testing of in-use passenger vehicles in India

Results of a project by the International Centre of Automotive Technology (ICAT), in India, to conduct laboratory and on-road testing of three in-use vehicles, using a portable emissions measurement system, over a variety of drive cycles and routes.

2017.06.26 | Consultant report
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Staff blog

A sneak preview of future stages of Indian emission standards for non-road engines reveals a tractor-sized loophole

In short, it’s welcome news that Indian regulators have set their sights on catching up with best-practice emissions standards for non-road engines. Here’s hoping that in aiming for that goal in 2025 they don’t overlook a simple fix that will bring even more immediate help in solving the persistent air pollution problems facing the country.

Staff