India hopes to have an all-electric vehicle fleet by 2030 in order to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and reduce the costs associated with fuel imports. India is the third-largest crude oil importer in the world. According to the country’s energy minister, Piyush Goyal, there should not be a single gasoline or diesel vehicle sold within India by 2030. Instead the country aims for electric vehicles to become the primary form of transportation with the Indian government providing subsidies and low interest loans to car buyers to make EVs more accessible as well as to increase the number of charging stations in the Asia country. India’s passenger vehicle market is projected to grow to 13.4 million by 2026, making it the world’s second-largest market, after China. There will be some major hurdles before a country like India goes mostly electric. High battery costs would push up car prices and a lack of charging stations and other infrastructure could deter automobile makers from making the necessary investment in the technology.

Demand for gasoline in Asia may peak much earlier than expected as millions of people in China and India buy electric vehicles over the next decade. Change is being prompted by government policy moves in both countries where their governments are trying to reduce pollution, cut oil imports, and compete for a slice of the alternative car market. Last month, China said it wants alternative fuel vehicles to account for at least 20% of the 35 million annual vehicle sales projected by 2025. India is considering even more radical action, following the advice of an influential government think-tank, Niti Aayog, which supports electrifying all vehicles in that country by 2032. The think tank said India could save as much as $60 billion in energy costs by 2030 by adopting more electric and shared vehicles.  Niti Aayog recommends limiting the registration of petrol and diesel cars through public lotteries, providing fiscal and monetary incentives and subsidies to increase sales of electric vehicles, and using tax revenues from the sale of petrol and diesel cars to build electric charging stations.

While India may be focusing on electric vehicles for its future, they will be using electricity made from coal. A recent report by Indian think tank NITI Aayog concluded coal will remain the country’s main energy source for the next three decades although its share will gradually fall as more renewable power generation is brought onstream. Currently India depends on coal for about 60% of its energy needs and aims to double its domestic output to 1.5 billion tonnes by 2020. This number is expected to drop to around 45% by mid-century.

German car maker Daimler sees electric vehicles contributing 15-20% of its overall sales by 2025 and at least an additional 10% of sales coming from hybrids. Wilco Stark, vice president for strategy and product planning, said: “We will see a clear shift to electric cars. It’s driven by legislation so electric cars are coming, it’s not a niche anymore.”

With gasoline accounting for up to 45% of oil refinery output, and one of the highest profit-margin fuels, a slowdown or fall in demand for this fuel will have far reaching implications. Credit agency Moody’s warned that direct financial effects on refiners from falling oil demand, including gasoline, “could be material by the 2020s.” Moody’s also noted that rising pressure on refinery margins and cash flows will potentially lead to stranded oil industry assets. “Technology is moving fast. In 10-15 years… our gasoline market will not be the same as it is today,” said Dawood Nassif, board director at the state-owned oil company Bahrain Petroleum Company. Abdulaziz al Judaimi, senior vice president for downstream at Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil export company, sees the oil market moving away from transportation products and shift towards producing more petrochemicals like plastics or household chemicals.

Royal Dutch Shell said this week that it is considering putting electric vehicle charging points at its petro stations in several countries.

The Egyptian government is investing billions of dollars in new renewable energy projects in order to increase its share of renewables in the country’s electric power mix to 20% by 2022 and 37% by 2035. Presently the African nation sources some 3% of its electricity generation from renewables. A number of solar and wind projects are scheduled for development in the Western Desert, on the north­ern coast and near the Suez Canal. Egypt is hoping to have 2.7 gigawatts of PV solar capacity installed by 2020.

The world’s largest and most powerful wind turbines have begun generating electricity off the coast of Liverpool, England. The 32 195 meter-tall turbines produce 8 megawatts of electricity each and stand 50 meters taller than most offshore wind turbines.

 

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