A wave of electric change in personal mobility is currently sweeping the globe. The most obvious and practical area for improvement in the reduction of emissions from fossil fuels is intra-city personal mobility. After some initial hesitation caused by concerns about range and the availability of charging stations, electric vehicles are already selling in ever-increasing numbers. Even at the lowest price point, the hefty initial cost of an EV is weighed against its low operating costs, which are steadily increasing its market share.
There is no getting around the fact that the source still has a substantial carbon footprint, despite the electric mobility industry's praiseworthy efforts to usher in a new era of green transportation and its broad adoption. In other words, the electricity used to run or charge these electric cars still comes from conventional sources, namely the combustion of fossil fuels. India currently produces more than half of its electricity from coal.
Businesses are consistently increasing Electric Vehicles' (EVs) ability to store energy. At the same time, rapid charging stations are appearing all over urban areas and EV charging infrastructure is considered as a significant opportunity. The issue of whether the EV is indeed "green" is relevant at this point. Off-grid power is used by many charging stations. Coal-fired power stations provide the majority of the grid power in India. There may be sites where this can be used for EV charging, making it a truly "green" offer. The promotion of solar power at all scales has led to a noticeable increase in its availability. But most people are not. So, is there a substitute?
Power derived from biofuels is one alternative. In order to address fundamental concerns connected to improving living conditions and means of subsistence for its inhabitants, India has implemented numerous national programmes. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is one of them, and it has promoted and occasionally required the adoption of better waste management and waste processing practices. One technique is bio methanation, which turns organic waste into biogas, a renewable fuel. The SATAT initiative is encouraging the large-scale purification and conversion of biogas into Bio compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for use as an automotive fuel (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation). On the other hand, creating biogas on-site at a facility level utilising organic waste produced there is one way to comply with solid waste management regulations. At this size, biogas production is utilised to supplement the internal use of fossil fuels like Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Piped Natural Gas (PNG) for cooking.
Biogas-powered EV charging stations
The best example of an EV charging station powered by biogas produced from a biomethane plant nearby is a recent installation in Haji Ali, Mumbai. In this specific EV charging station in Haji Ali, biogas, a green fuel substitute, takes the place of diesel or gasoline. Purified biogas is fed into a generator set (Genset) made specifically to use biogas as fuel, which creates current. This renewable energy is subsequently used as the source of renewable energy for the EV charging station, which provides electricity to charge the electric automobiles.
Combustion engines are being gradually but steadily phased out of the transportation sector in favour of environmentally-friendly electric ones. Only when the source, the electricity used to power these hybrid cars, is produced in an environmentally friendly manner will the entire concept be considered fully green.