While most of us would agree that air pollution is a concern that needed to be tackled yesterday, it seems, the idea of deputing electric buses on road to tackle air pollution may not have been that successful. A video doing the rounds on social media showcases an electric bus from Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) topping up its batteries not from an electric charger, but a diesel-guzzling generator instead. This comes after PMPML had inducted some electric buses to its fleet earlier this year in order to combat pollution.
As can be seen in the video, the PMPML logo on the bus is clearly visible and the electric bus itself is parked in an unidentifiable location. The charging cables are connected to the bus, however, the other end of the cables are sourcing energy from a generator.
Seriously? @PMCPune Using a diesel generator to charge e-bus?Why on earth someone would do that?Polluting atmosphere to charge bus battery and then using electronic bus to save atmosphere?@PuneCityTraffic@ThePuneMirror@punedaily@AnilShiroleBJP@MlaJagdishMulik pic.twitter.com/FQwvYBze9x— Himanshu Paliwal (@him_paliwal) October 9, 2019
While to be fair, PMPML is not directly charging the bus and it could be down to the driver who could have made a choice to charge the electric bus through a generator, it does clearly shows the lack of the availability of an infrastructure to support electric vehicles which could be one of the reasons why the drivers are resorting to such measures.
And this stems down to range anxiety, the underlying problem with electric vehicles that is perhaps the biggest hurdle that they are yet to overcome. While there has been a lot of innovation and improvement in the battery and charging technology used by electric vehicles in the past few years, the availability of the charging infrastructure is arguably still in its nascent stage. And the fact that an electric vehicle is charging itself through a diesel-run generator is ironic, at the least. Especially since the amount of range from the charge that would have been generated from the generator with proportion to the diesel it would have consumed, would have been significantly lesser than the distance the bus would have actually covered using the same amount of fuel. We also have to consider the fact that a diesel generator pollutes way more than a vehicle plying on public roads as the vehicle has to at least meet the current emission norms.