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Electrification of medium and heavy-duty freight vehicles in India

Climate Group's initiative will kickstart crucial conversations and build long-term ambition on 100% electric mobility within the Indian business ecosystem. 

Electric truck

Climate Group has developed an initiative to accelerate the electrification of the medium and heavy freight vehicle (MHDV) market in India. It will leverage our existing business network of EV100 and determine pathways for MHDV electrification. This initiative has been conceived with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. 

While driving corporate electrification of light-duty vehicles (weighing <3.5 tons), we noticed how specific use-cases such as last-mile deliveries, ride-hailing and employee transport solutions became first-movers: where the switch to EVs simply made most economic and environmental sense. Similarly, through a dedicated deep-dive engagement with industry experts, our partnership will identify beachheads that will lead to the initial deployment of zero-emissions medium-and heavy-duty trucks in India. 

This initiative will kickstart crucial conversations and build long-term ambition on 100% electric mobility within the Indian business ecosystem. 

Overview 

The transport sector is the fastest-growing contributor to climate change, accounting for about a quarter (23%) of global emissions. It is one of the major sources of GHG emissions in countries such as the US, the UK and India. Accelerated EV uptake is essential to keep the world on a 1.5 Deg. Celsius pathway.  

In India, medium and heavy-duty trucks comprise only 2% of the total vehicle population but contribute to 30% of the overall vehicular road transport emissions. Given this disproportionate share of GHG emissions, there is a specific critical need for increased ambition and a faster transition for medium and heavy-duty freight vehicles. Accelerated electric vehicle uptake across industry sectors and vehicle types are essential for India to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement and ratchet up its ambition on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). 

A clear demand for medium and heavy-duty vehicle electrification from businesses in India in key vehicle applications can jumpstart a transition. Being the third-largest truck market after China and the United States, India’s early adoption of zero-emission trucks can be instrumental in not only accelerating its domestic climate imperatives but also supporting global climate action  

Our Approach 

Like the electric transition that is unfolding in the passenger segment, early adoption of electric medium and heavy freight trucking will be propelled by business adoption. Increasing fuel costs, the imminent withdrawal of concessions for diesel in key industry segments, and increasingly stricter emission norms will enable companies to consider switching to EVs for freight. However, it is unlikely that this transition will be fast without ambition and action to build momentum. 

We are uniquely positioned to help elevate India’s EV uptake and policy ambitions through our strong partnerships, and our active relationships with businesses and governments. This inclusive approach means that government, businesses and end-users are not only stakeholders in the transition to electric mobility but also beneficiaries. Our interventions seek to establish widespread approval for EV adoption through enabling business ambition, leadership with pilots, and knowledge creation and sharing, all of which need to begin now to ensure timely action against climate targets. 

Dialogue Series 

We are organising India-wide convenings for the electrification of MHDVs to prepare the Indian market (both supply and demand) for greater commitment and action. Key emerging topics will be covered such as strategies for the supply of fit-for-purpose freight vehicles and regulatory interventions that make sense for India. Fuel efficiency norms and how they can drive the electrification of freight will also be covered. Optimisation of freight applications to achieve economic viability, global policies and regulations shaping electrification of freight will be another key focus. 

E-Trucks Leadership Group 

This Leadership Group will be the primary industry engagement engine for the initiative, promoting knowledge and policy advocacy while aiming to establish itself as a progressive business voice on the electrification of medium and heavy freight vehicles in India. We will invite OEMs, service providers, and businesses looking to electrify their freight fleets. Businesses joining this Group will pledge to accelerate the supply and adoption of electrified freight vehicles in India. As part of this Group, these businesses will co-develop case studies, specific applications for the Indian trucking market, and preparation of sectoral adoption roadmaps. 

To know more about the Dialogue Series or to join the E-trucks Leadership Group, please write to [email protected]