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Representational Image (Eco-friendly car), Pixabay

Nov 17, 2016: Being the home to 1.2 billion people, the increasing rate of pollution in India has become a very important topic these days. It has one of the largest road transport networks in the world. Almost 65% of the pollution in India is caused by automobile-induced pollutants.

Recently, for the sake of a greener and healthier environment, the idea of eco-friendly vehicles has been well-received in the Indian automobile market. For a long time, rickshaws and bicycles have been a part of daily transportation in the suburban and urban areas. Now these eco-friendly options are being much more valued than auto-rickshaws and engine-vans that produce a lot of carbon monoxide and other pollutant gases in a large scale. No wonder these eco-friendly vehicles have been commercially so successful in such a short span of time.


[bctt tweet=”Battery operated miniature autos, locally called “toto”, have gained immense popularity in India.” username=””]

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In West Bengal, the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has recently introduced the “Sabuj-sathi” scheme to distribute bicycles among the high school seniors. Hand-pulled and peddled rickshaws have been a common daily transport scenario in Kolkata and recently battery operated miniature autos, locally called “toto”, have gained immense popularity.


An Indian woman crosses a road as vehicles move through morning smog on the last day of a two-week experiment to reduce the number of cars to fight pollution in New Delhi, Jan. 15, 2016. VOA

These mostly six-seater vehicles are powered by solar-charged or electric batteries and these evoke no smoke, as in these cause no pollution. They are fast and light-weight and they make no sound as well- that’s why a number of auto drivers are drawn towards these too. In simple word, these “totos” are a much hassle free, faster, greener alternative to typical autos and such local transport vehicles.

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Mr. Shyam Sundar Bagchi, the founder of eco-friendly local transport vehicles’ drivers’ forum in Kolkata, said in an interview, “Pollution is not a joke. The way our daily vehicles are responsible for that is much more disheartening. Since we can’t cut down our daily transportation needs, we must cut down the rate of pollution we cause. That’s why we need more battery operated vehicles.”

Not only daily transport vehicles, even personal vehicles are being modified in the hope of a pollution-free environment. New and environment-friendly mobility solutions are engaging the automobile industry like never before. From two-wheeler to passenger and commercial vehicle manufacturers, companies are keen on exploiting the electric and hybrid technology. Companies like Toyota, Volvo, Hero even BMW have taken interest in these.

Here is a list of the top 5 hybrid/electric cars available in India:

  • Mahindra e2o
  • Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid | Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid | Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • BMW i8
  • Mahindra eVerito

Finally, all that can be said about these eco-friendly vehicles is that India needs more and more of these if we really wish to work on our pollution problem. In personal and local transport system, much more eco-friendly vehicles have to be introduced. A very small number of Indians are actively using these vehicles; the number must increase.

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The cost of such vehicles should be decreased so that more and more common people can afford them. We all should take initiative to inform people about the positive sides of eco-friendly mobility solutions. With pollution levels in our metropolitan cities on the rise, eco- friendly transport alternatives can help us accomplish our coveted goal of an environment free of pollution.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram with inputs from agencies. Twitter: @dubumerang


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