India’s Plan To Recycle Old Cars Must Tackle This Challange

June 13, 2022
The lack of public interest in getting rid of polluting automobiles could be a setback for India's goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2070.

India's goal to remove millions of older polluting automobiles from its roads in order to clean up some of the world's most toxic air faces multiple obstacles, according to a recent survey that shows the majority of vehicle owners aren't interested in trading in their vehicle based on its age.

Consumers' View

According to 57 percent of the 10,543 vehicle owners polled by LocalCircles, whether a car should be retired or not should be determined by the number of kilometres on the odometer rather than its age. Last year, the government ruled that personal automobiles older than 20 years and commercial vehicles older than 15 years must pass fitness tests in order to stay on the road.

Furthermore, just over half of those polled stated they plan to cut the number of automobiles they own because they feel India's cash-for-clunkers policy will make maintaining an old vehicle more expensive. Since April, authorities have increased the cost of auto fitness tests, requiring owners of vehicles older than 15 years to pay eight times more to renew their registration.

The lack of public enthusiasm in getting rid of polluting automobiles could be a setback for India's goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2070. Because electric vehicle adoption is lacking due to a lack of charging infrastructure and the expensive cost of battery-powered transportation, recycling existing cars is critical for India to reduce pollution.

Government's View

According to the nation's Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India will have up to 20 million aged automobiles nearing the end of their lives by 2025, causing massive environmental damage.

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the project to attract new investment worth more than $100 billion ($1.3 billion) and reduce India's dependency on external countries for metals. Scrapping end-of-life vehicles in India is now unproductive, according to Prime Minister Modi, because precious metals are not recycled and energy recovery is insufficient.

Automkers' View

Automakers however appear to be siding with the public.

"Age is not a good criteria for scrapping a vehicle," Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. Chairman R C Bhargava said in an interview. "The logic has to be the car's ability to ply roads safely so it doesn't put other road users in danger. A vehicle gets scrapped when the user finds it isn't economical to repair it to get a fitness certificate."

R C Bhargava believes that personal automobiles should be tested at least every three years. When a car is first put on the road in India, there is usually no subsequent examination to ensure that the safety criteria set at the time of sale are met. According to him, a big percentage of accidents occur as a result of flaws in vehicles that aren't regularly verified as fit.

Potential Solution

With recycling currently dominated by informal small-scale companies, India requires more major scrapping facilities. Maruti Suzuki and Toyota Tsusho Corp. have partnered to build a facility worth 440 million rupees that will shred and recycle over 24,000 end-of-life automobiles every year. Mahindra MSTC Recycling Pvt., which operates a recycling factory in Pune, is constructing four more scrapping units with a capacity of 40,000 vehicles per year in Maharashtra's western state.

Info & Image Source:  NDTV

About the author, Sunderdeep Singh

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