Green drive: Kolkata's sales of electric vehicles increased four times between 2021 and 2022.

KOLKATA: The city made a clear shift toward going "green" in 2022, with up to 837 battery-powered vehicles registered throughout the year, the most in the previous five years and a jump of more than four times over the year before. At the same time, significantly fewer diesel vehicles were registered than in the years prior to the pandemic.

While diesel cars still outweigh harmful fuels, experts found the movement toward green fuel to be promising. Battery-operated electric vehicle registrations, particularly in the personal vehicle category, had a substantial increase in 2022, according to the Public Vehicles Department (PVD). Throughout the year, there were 837 such registrations, compared to 196 in 2021, 21 in 2019, and just 10 in 2018.

Again in the personal vehicle category, 2,931 diesel cars, among the most polluting, were registered within the same time period. This is a decrease from 4,498 in 2019 and 6,415 in 2018.

A senior transport department executive remarked, “The significant increase in electric vehicles, despite the lack of a solid network of charging facilities, demonstrates consumers have embraced the future fuel alternative well. A solid charging infrastructure over the entire city would have raised registrations to entirely new levels."

In fact, according to the PVD's statistics, there is a growing preference for greener fuels like Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Petrol/CNG, and Petrol/hybrids. Despite the fact that there are just a few CNG refueling stations and that CNG is delivered to the city through caskets rather than a pipeline, the city registered 20 CNG cars. Due to a lack of infrastructure for charging, a lot of consumers chose hybrid vehicles, according to sources.

Many analysts believed that the move toward electric cars was driven more by economic considerations than by environmental concerns. It's good news for the city's air, whatever it is.

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