Battery electric vehicles can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make renewable energy cheaper in India

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India’s National Mission on Electric Mobility (NMEM) sets a countrywide goal of deploying 6 to 7 million hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) by 2020. There are widespread concerns, both within and outside the government, that the Indian grid is not equipped to accommodate additional power demand from battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Such concerns are justified on the grounds of India’s notorious power sector problems pertaining to grid instability and chronic blackouts. Studies have claimed that deploying BEVs in India will only increase CO2 emissions because a majority (71% in 2011/2012) of India’s electricity generation comes from coal-­fired power plants.

In this study, we address the questions and concerns outlined above. First, we assess the grid impacts and economics of 5% and 15% BEV penetration in New Delhi. We assess the following scenarios, (1) BEV owners charge their vehicles whenever they desire without consideration for the cost of power provision in any hour, (2) BEVs are charged in a smart manner to reduce the cost of power provision in a scenario where there is no intermittent, renewable generation (solar and wind) and, (3) BEVs are smart charged to reduce the cost of power provision where 20% of the generation comes from wind and solar. Smart charging, for the purposes of this study, is altering the start time and length of BEV charging 1 events within a 24-­‐hour period to provide valued load-­‐shiftingwithout affecting the mobility needs of the BEV driver. Second, we also calculate the net greenhouse gas and primary energy impacts of increasing BEV penetration in New Delhi. Although our analysis focuses on New Delhi, for reasons we outline in the report, we believe that our conclusions can be extended to the nation as a whole.

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