New Delhi: India can see up to 14 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions in the small commercial vehicle segment with higher electric vehicle (EV) penetration in total sales by 2030, according to a study. The study — Roadmap for Electrification of Urban Freight in India — was conducted to assess the operational and financial feasibility of EVs in the urban freight (UF) segment by undertaking a survey-based analysis of five sectors in Delhi, Bengaluru and Surat.

It was released by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in association with Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF).

The study has come up with various recommendations, including setting up of a nationwide vehicle scrappage policy programme, with a focus on electric vehicle replacement.

The study has also called for a countrywide national programme for electrification of urban freight sector. It has recommended state and city-level action plans for electrification of urban freight segments besides establishing a financial credibility framework for the manufacturers and drivers.

The study also sought favourable terms of finance for electric freight vehicle by the lending institutions.

“Our key findings suggest that the total cost of operation is rapidly turning in favour of EV variants, and diesel prices, range of EVs and subsidies play a significant role in the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) of EVs,” TERI Centre for Sustainable Mobility Associate Fellow and Area Convenor Sharif Qamar noted.

Qamar, who has authored the study, also highlighted that a large proportion of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) currently plying in Indian cities are pre-BS-IV emission standards, and focus is needed to upgrade these to newer vehicles.

“EVs are increasingly being introduced in the urban freight/last-mile delivery services in Indian cities. Up to 14 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions is attainable in the small commercial vehicle segment with higher EV penetration in total sales by 2030,” Qamar said.

Niti Aayog Adviser, Transport, Sudhendu J Sinha while unveiling the report in a virtual event said with the increase in the country’s urban population, authorities need to address the transport sector.

“The urban freight sector is no more confined to four and three-wheelers; it also comprises two-wheelers with the advent of e-commerce,” he noted.

One of the most significant challenges in the three-wheeler segment is with respect to finances. However, that cost is now coming down to 25-30 per cent in India, he added.

Citing the success of the public-private partnership (PPP) model for the adoption of EVs in Kochi, he said that awareness campaigns should be taken up to promote the uptake of such electric three-wheelers.

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