Ambitious EV policy expedites the e-waste and socio-environmental impacts in India

In Resources, Conservation and Recycling
Volume (Issue): Volume 190 (106829)
Peer-reviewed Article

There is limited knowledge on the potential impacts of electric vehicle (EV) deployment in developing countries to date. India is a rapidly industrializing country with a national policy to promote EVs, but does not have the waste management infrastructure to process battery waste. Through a model analysis for India, we projected that the sale of two-wheeler EVs will peak in 2030 at around 20 million units while the sale of four-wheeler EVs will steadily increase to 10 million units in 2050. Meanwhile, the volume of lead-acid battery waste is projected to peak in 2027, and lithium-ion battery waste from two-wheelers and four-wheelers will exceed 500 kilotons in 2044 and 1000 kilotons in 2050, respectively. Given these projections, it is imperative to create a safe environment for workers and surrounding communities, an extended producer responsibility (EPR) system and a national mechanism to track waste crimes related to batteries in the future.