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Mahindra commits to become carbon neutral company by 2040

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San Francisco, Sep 14: Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s leading manufacturer of utility vehicles and part of the $20.7 billion Mahindra Group, on Thursday announced its commitment to become a carbon neutral company by 2040.

For this, the company will be working with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to meet its carbon neutrality commitment.

Mahindra & Mahindra will focus on energy efficiency and the use of renewable power to achieve this target. Residual emissions will be addressed through carbon sinks, the company said.

“We are doing our part in the global fight against climate change with this ambitious new target. Mahindra will leverage the latest technological advances and its recently announced carbon price to work towards being carbon neutral by 2040,” Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra said.

He is in this California city to co-chair the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) that aims to encourage all stakeholders to raise their ambition with many new possibilities emerging out of the discussions.

Mahindra & Mahindra was the first company in the world to commit to doubling energy productivity by signing on to The Climate Group’s program EP100.

“We have already seen remarkable value in reducing emissions through the EP100 program which aims to double energy productivity in our main businesses — auto, farm equipment and holiday resorts,” Mahindra told IANS.

He said science-based targets are a way of ensuring that ambition is stepped up and action is aligned to the target set by the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Using energy efficient lighting, efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, motors and heat recovery projects, Mahindra & Mahindra has doubled the energy productivity of the automotive business almost 12 years ahead of schedule, the company said.

The farm equipment business is also ahead of schedule in achieving its goal and is more than half-way there, it said.

The company was also the first Indian company to announce its internal carbon price of $10 per ton of carbon emitted to fund investments required to pursue the path of carbon neutrality.

The price was carefully arrived at on the basis of international benchmarks and an assessment of what was required to achieve the goals set by the business on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The company has more than 10 years of experience in creating carbon sinks. It looks forward to using this experience to deal with residual emissions in a manner that is world class and follows the best established protocols.

The company is also a signatory of the science-based targets initiative which provides companies with a clear pathway for reducing emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. All these commitments are helping the company on its path to go carbon neutral.

“By pledging to reach carbon neutrality in its operations, Mahindra is sending a clear message that investment in climate-smart growth is good for business. This commitment can unlock collaboration, innovation, and results,” Senior Director for Global Climate at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Richie Ahuja told IANS.

The EDF is a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems.

IANS

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BS-IV vehicles needed for public utility services & purchased up to March 31 be registered: SC

The issue of pollution from vehicles had cropped up before the apex court which is hearing a matter related to air pollution in the Delhi-national capital region (NCR).

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New Delhi, Sep 18 : The Supreme Court Friday said BS-IV vehicles, which were purchased on or before March 31 this year and are necessary for municipal corporation in Delhi to carry out essential public utility services, should be registered.

The apex court had in October 2018 said that no BS-IV compliant vehicle would be sold or registered in India from April 1, 2020.

In 2016, the Centre had also announced that India would skip the BS-V norms and adopt BS-VI by 2020.

BS emission norms are standards instituted by the government to regulate output of air pollutants from motor vehicles.

The matter came up for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde which dealt with applications related to registration of three types of vehicles — CNG , BS-IV and BS-VI compliant — for being used for essential public utility services.

“Insofar as CNG vehicles are concerned, there cannot be any valid rejection to the vehicles, as the emission from these vehicles is within the limits. Therefore, we direct that these vehicles may be registered,” said the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

It noted that BS-VI norms came into force on April 1, 2020 and vehicles purchased up to March 31 this year were BS-IV compliant.

“Admittedly the emission from BS-VI compliant vehicles is within the norms and hence the vehicles purchased on or after April 1, 2020 and which are BS-VI compliant, should also liable to be registered,” it said.

The top court noted in its order that BS-IV compliant vehicles purchased up to March 31 this year must have been registered with the E-Vahan portal of the government before the cut-off date to establish the date of purchase.

“If the purchase had been made on or before March 31, 2020 and these vehicles are BS-IV compliant, such vehicles necessary for the municipal corporation to carry essential public utility services should also be registered. But such cases shall be scrutinized by the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA),” the bench said.

The bench said to avoid repeated applications being filed before the court just for the purpose of getting registration, “we direct that the EPCA shall scrutiny the pending cases and submit a report to this court so that a common order could be passed without the necessity for several interlocutory applications.”

The issue of pollution from vehicles had cropped up before the apex court which is hearing a matter related to air pollution in the Delhi-national capital region (NCR).

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Elon Musk says Bill Gates has ‘no clue’ about electric trucks

Gates further said that “you’ll even be able to buy an all-electric pick-up truck soon thanks to legacy companies like GM and Ford and new carmakers like Rivian and Bollinger”.

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San Francisco, Sep 13 : Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has hit back on tech billionaire Bill Gates who earlier cast doubt on his ability to develop electric vehicles for long-haul travel.

Reacting to a Twitter follower who asked Musk about his opinion on Gates’ comment on the viability of electric trucks, Musk replied: “He has no clue”.

Gates wrote in a blog post in late August that the problem with long-haul electric vehicles is that batteries are big and heavy.

“Even with big breakthroughs in battery technology, electric vehicles will probably never be a practical solution for things like 18-wheelers, cargo ships, and passenger jets. Electricity works when you need to cover short distances, but we need a different solution for heavy, long-haul vehicles,” Gates wrote.

He pointed to biofuels — rather than battery power — as a possible solution for commercial vehicles.

On the other hand, Musk is pretty excited about electric trucks and has reportedly directed Tesla to ramp up production of the Semi, a commercial vehicle with a range of up to 800 kms, for its upcoming debut.

Gates further said that “you’ll even be able to buy an all-electric pick-up truck soon thanks to legacy companies like GM and Ford and new carmakers like Rivian and Bollinger”.

Microsoft co-founder Gates told CNBC last month that “Elon’s positioning is to maintain a high level of outrageous comments”. He was referring to Musk’s comment on fake Covid-19 positive cases being reported, indirectly questioning the Covid testing process of the US government.

“He’s not much involved in vaccines. He makes a great electric car. And his rockets work well. So he’s allowed to say these things. I hope that he doesn’t confuse areas he’s not involved in too much,” Gates was quoted as saying.

Gates is the world’s second-richest person while Musk is now at fourth position.

The electric car maker Tesla is set to showcase “many exciting things” at its Battery Day on September 22, Musk has said.

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States entitled to decide fees for vehicle registration number: Supreme Court

Rule 55A was introduced in 2001. It prescribed four different fees – Rs 15,000 – for the registration marks 1 to 9 in any series prevalent within the jurisdiction of the registering authority, and Rs 12,000 for reservation of marks from 10 to 100 in any series.

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New Delhi, Aug 26 : The Supreme Court on Wednesday held that the state governments have the power to decide the fee in connection with the registration number allocated to motor vehicles registered in their territory.

A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat said: “This court therefore, holds that the assignment of ‘distinctive marks’ i.e. registration numbers to motor vehicles (which includes the power to reserve and allocate them, for a specific fee) is a distinct service for which states or their authorities (such as the registering authorities, in this case) are entitled to charge a prescribed fee.”

The apex court set aside the verdict of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, which quashed Rule 55A of the Motor Vehicles Rules, 1994, framed by the state government, allowing authorities to charge a specific amount for fancy registration numbers for the vehicles as desired by the owners.

“Rule 55A of the MP Rules is not therefore, in excess of the powers conferred upon the state, by the Act or the Central Rules,” it said, observing that the high court assumed the state was not competent to make the legislation.

Rule 55A was introduced in 2001. It prescribed four different fees – Rs 15,000 – for the registration marks 1 to 9 in any series prevalent within the jurisdiction of the registering authority, and Rs 12,000 for reservation of marks from 10 to 100 in any series.

“For reservation of large series of numbers indicated in Rule 55A (c), Rs 10,000 and Rs 2,000 for reservation of any other number or numbers within 1000 from the last number assigned in the serial order,” noted the top court.

The MP High Court, in its judgement, had said: “The field of prescribing the fee for an application for registration has been exclusively conferred upon the Union Government, thus excluding from its sweep any State power to claim any manner of fee or amount as part of that task.”

The apex court bench allowed the appeal of the state government and concluded the high court judgement should be set aside. “In the present case, the state of MP derived its powers to frame the concerned rules, through the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act itself,” it said.

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