Are E-cars really environment-friendly?

Considering the CDM benefit analysis, environmental friendliness of e-car comes under the scrutiny

E-cars: While the issue is already under the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) scanner, findings from a study seems to have whitewashed the underlying intentions of promoting electric vehicles-zero emission and curbing the fuel imports.

Although the country has cheap and clean source of energy, most of the upcoming hydropower projects are lobbying for clean development mechanism (CDM).

In case of the first CDM project, the 126MW Dagachhu, the project design document for CDM benefit states that for every one unit (kilowatt hour) of electricity exported to India, around 1kg of carbon would be reduced from neighboring states of India.

The basis was that if Bhutan did not export electricity to neighboring Indian states, India would resort to dirty energy generation from coal and fuel.

The case in point is that, when Nissan leaf for instance uses 21.3 units of electricity to fully charge the car that could run 117Km, roughly 0.182 units of electricity is consumed per kilometer.

So, diverting even a small amount of electricity export for domestic consumption would come at a cost of carbon emission in India. And pollution has no boundaries.

Taking into account the Dagachhu CDM benefit, about 0.183 kgs of carbon is indirectly being emitted in the region in charging one Nissan leaf.

On the contrary, similar calculations on conventional car reveal that a Maruti Alto with a mileage of about 18km per litre would emit about 0.121 kg of carbon a kilometer, indicating that conventional cars are more beneficial to the environment in terms of carbon emission, hypothetically.

The calculations were based on carbon emission from petrol as per the CDM data published by the United Nations.

With regards to financial benefit of curbing the currency outflow, it is found that purchasing a combustion car worth Nu 500,000 would save around the same amount over a 10-year time.

For instance, a new Leaf costs around 1.4M and the difference in capital cost comes to around Nu 900,000. At the current price of petrol, assuming the a fuel car runs about 30 km a day with mileage of about 15 km a litre, fuel bill over 10 year would amount to more than Nu 420,000.

Considering the same mileage for Leaf, the electricity bill would come to about Nu 26,000 in 10 years, which means, total investment in electric car over 10 years would amount to Nu 1.426M while the conventional car would amount to Nu 922,467.

Assuming the maintenance cost of about Nu 200,000 for the fuel car and zero for electric car, the difference is still about Nu 300,000.

By Tshering Dorji

2 replies
  1. thinktwice
    thinktwice says:

    … so then your conclusion is to bring the pollution to Bhutan instead !?!?!? I am sorry, but are you Bhutanese? Or are you just selling combustion cars made in India?
    Bhutan can not be responsible for the mistakes in energy production of other countries – in this case India. Bhutan deserves the highest respect for the efforts to not only produce 99.9% clean and affordable energy for it self, but also share with others.
    No government around the globe is perfect, but most are trying hard to give their best. Promoting emission free transportation at affordable rates for the people, is definitely one of the best ideas any government can ever have. Improving the trade balance and keep out dirty combustion engines at the same time is just an additional benefit to the nation.
    A word to the press and the opposition: If you want to discuss about ACC, why don’t you raise the question why cars made in India have 55% import tax and others 180%? Cars made in India are very well known to be less fuel efficient and less durable – a lifespan of 30-40%. Not mentioning the noise pollution. Do we want to become the junkyard for cars made in India – including their emissions?? Let’s think about our children who some day have to live here on planet earth.

  2. chowkila
    chowkila says:

    GOVT. is the heighest authority although it is a democratic form of govt. no power to public. no say. no good governence. no compassion. ULTIMATELY NO VOTE. THE RETURN SHOW TO GOVT.BY VOTERS.

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