Electric vehicles for green transport

23 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

We welcome the news that the government is conducting a feasibility study on Developing Clean and Efficient Vehicles Policy for Bangladesh in support with UN Environment and Clean Air Asia. According to sources in the road and transport division, the feasibility study will help the country introduce reduction of energy in transport sector and reduce environment pollution as well. The road transport and highway division aims to encourage electric vehicles (EV) as part of the above policy.

Different countries have introduced green transport to reduce environmental pollution. India is planning production, marketing and registration of electric vehicles and plans to introduce 25 to 30 per cent EV on their road by 2030. The number of EV in EU is increasing at a pace subject to the individual government policies of different countries. Norway is the king of EV sales, thanks to generous purchase subsidies and other incentives by the Norwegian government. EVs also enjoy privileged status on Norwegian roads, with tolls exemptions, free ferry rides and, in some cities, free parking too.

In Bangladesh, to promote electric vehicles will also require a concrete government policy on consumption of electricity by EVs, provision of charging stations and tax exemptions similar to some EU countries. According to the road transport and highway division, a total of 3,713,889 motor vehicles have so far been registered in the country. Most of the vehicles are plying the roads of the cities of the country, majority being in Dhaka. Imagine the air pollution created by the deadly exhaust fumes of such a huge number of vehicles!

The emissions of hundreds of thousands vehicles in the jam-packed Dhaka roads release deadly poisonous heavy metals like lead and cadmium in the air making the air quality in Dhaka one of the worst in the world. The rain washes these pollutants into the rivers and soils of the countryside leading to contamination in our foods produced miles away from the cities. To improve the air quality that we breathe, introduction of EVs could be one of the measures.