An Indian court has banned older diesel cars from the streets of capital city New Delhi.
New Green Tribunal, India top environmental court, has ordered New Delhi officials to immediately cancel registrations of diesel cars manufactured 10 or more years ago. The sudden decision seems to emanate from increasing concern over the harmful impact of air pollution in India, according to Reuters.
New Delhi’s transport office has also been ordered to provide the NGT with a list of all diesel vehicles removed from the roads.
New Delhi’s air was ranked 11th worst in the world by the World Health Organization (WHO) in May. India’s middle class has been pressuring the government to improve air quality in the country, Reuters reports.
Local and national governments have taken steps to improve air quality and increase sales of green cars.
The Delhi territory has restricted cars to driving on its roads on alternate days of the week. India’s Supreme Court may add a further tax on the sale of diesel cars as well, potentially making them less attractive to buyers. That same court last year temporarily banned the sale of “large” diesel cars in New Delhi, according to Reuters.
In March, Power Minister Piyush Goyal announced plans to develop a strategy to make all cars on India’s roads electric by 2030. Goyal’s plan would heavily-incentivized plug-in electric vehicles that citizens could purchase cheaply, and then pay off by using the money they saved on fuel costs.
Another challenge is that India lacks a comprehensive and reliable electricity infrastructure, making charging PEVs more difficult. Overall, India’s electricity grid is fairly dirty, which would limit the environmental gains of large-scale PEV adoption.