Medium-term projections of vehicle ownership, energy demand and vehicular emissions in India

Rapid growth of private vehicle ownership in emerging economies like India has serious implications on its existing transport infrastructure, future energy demands and emission reduction targets. While vehicle ownership in India is considerably low compared to advanced economies, an expected economic growth, along with rising population and inability of public transport to meet the travel demands would lead to increase in future private vehicle stock, subsequent fuel demand and resulting vehicular emissions. This study contributes to the literature by projecting various medium-term future scenarios of vehicle stock, fuel demand and vehicular emission projections based on multiple economic growth rate and electric vehicle (EV) adoption scenarios. A non-linear Gompertz function has been estimated to describe the association between economic growth and vehicle ownership using time series data ranging from 1960 to 2019. Using an incremental addition to the vehicle stock based on past vehicle registration, study forecasts 107-145 million new vehicles will be added to existing stock by 2030. Subsequently, private transport fuel demand is predicted to peak around 60 million metric tons per annum during this period. Correspondingly, CO2 emission from private vehicle use is estimated to peak at 174 million tons per annum. Further, appropriate transport policy measures and investment spheres in terms of road network requirement have been explored which would facilitate reducing private vehicles dependency and regulate vehicular emissions.