India oil panel urges diesel vehicle ban in big cities by 2027

India should ban diesel powered vehicles in cities with over a million people and highly polluted towns by 2027 as part of the nation’s green transition, according to a report commissioned by the oil ministry.

The recommended ban relates to four-wheeled vehicles, according to the report compiled by a committee headed by former Indian Oil Secretary Tarun Kapoor. The panel also suggested phasing out motorcycles, scooters and three-wheelers — or tuk-tuks — with internal combustion engines by 2035.

The shift away from gasoline and diesel in India’s transport sector would dent global crude demand, but the nation’s transition to electric vehicles is lagging behind others such as China. The panel was established in December 2021 by the country’s oil ministry to help industry develop net zero plans.

Diesel and gasoline accounted for just over half of India’s total oil consumption during the year ended March 31, according to government data. From 2024 onwards, all new registrations for city-delivery vehicles should be electric, according to the report, titled “The Green Shift.”

An oil ministry spokesman didn’t immediately comment on the next step following the release of the report and its recommendations.

Committee head Kapoor is an advisor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The panel made other suggestions including a target for 25 per cent of households to use electricity in cooking by 2030, which would help cut reliance on imported liquefied petroleum gas, and to promote the use of sustainable aviation fuel.

Since the industrial and power sectors are a key source of India’s emissions, renewable generation, electrification of heating and energy efficiency are seen as key pathways to a green transition. However, the nation has an abundance of coal and it may not be possible to discontinue its use totally for the next 15 to 20 years, according to the report.

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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