Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
Recently, the top three oil PSUs advertised to open 78,493 new petrol pumps throughout the country in addition to the already existing 64,624 petrol pumps. This sudden jump in the numbers of petrol pumps indicates that petrol/diesel sales are being ramped up across the nation. This panic in oil companies was caused by emerging news that demand for petrol/diesel may drastically reduce across the world in the next few decades. Fearing this slump in demand for oil in the near future, the oil PSUs may have decided to increase petrol/diesel sales substantially.
Just a few weeks back, Ola Electric declared sales of its electric scooters worth over Rs 1,100 crores in just two days, caused by huge demand! Many electric vehicles are already available in the market, including four-wheelers, 3/2 wheelers. Presently, electric vehicles’ sales are about 7.2 percent of the total vehicle sales. Experts say that by 2025, 20 percent of all new cars sold globally will be electric, which would rise to 40 percent by 2030, and by 2040 virtually every new car sold globally will be electric. The problem areas of electric vehicles, like lesser ranges and longer battery charging times, are being resolved by scientists.
Many countries have set deadlines to stop manufacturing vehicles running on petrol/diesel, with targets varying from years 2025-2040. India has mandated that sale of new petrol/diesel cars will be banned from 2030, which is just nine years away.
It is important to realize that India is the world’s third largest crude oil importer and imports 84 percent of its oil requirements worth more than $100 billion every year. It is estimated that the transportation sector alone consumes more that 60 percent of the total oil consumption.
Extensive use of fossil fuel is the major cause of global warming, due to emission of greenhouse gases. The main causes of greenhouse gases are burning of fossil fuels for industries, transportation, households, etc. The last decade has been the hottest decade ever recorded. Many parts of the world are experiencing extreme weather like super cyclones, heat waves, cold waves, etc, all caused by global warming. Shifting to electric vehicles would cut down emission of greenhouse gases by almost 50 percent and help in preservation of earth’s environment.
Although oil would still be needed for running industries, power generation, running ships, aeroplanes, trains, etc, the major polluters of cities/towns would be greatly reduced by shifting to electric vehicles. Reduction of large-scale use of fossil fuel like oil, gas, coal, etc, would lead to a cleaner, fresher earth and thus rejuvenate our ailing planet.
If humans do not act now to cut down oil consumption, the world may not remain suitable to live in for our next generations. The following quote sums up the global warming threat very aptly:
Only after the last tree has died
And the last river has been poisoned
And the last fish has been caught
Will we realize that we cannot eat money!
(The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)