The third episode of the Dialogue Series was held virtually on 6 October 2022. The series is part of the electrification of medium and heavy-duty trucks (e-MHDT) in India initiative, developed in partnership with pManifold Business Solutions. The episode spotlighted the different supply-chain dynamics, opportunities, and barriers faced by supply-side manufacturers and demand-side logistics service providers in the electrification of trucking industry.
The episode opened with key insights into the Indian truck market and the present status of OEMs and fleet operators. It was followed by an engaging panel discussion by eminent speakers from the two sides of the aisle.
Speakers highlighted barriers including high upfront cost, lack of adequate charging infrastructure, reliability issues, space utilisation (battery vs payload conundrum), and model availability. Some of these could be addressed by lowering the cost of capital, policy interventions, market forces and infrastructure availability (fast charging, battery swapping, and fuel cells, etc.) as the E-trucks ecosystem evolves. They also spotlighted other concerns such as the need for capacity building of driver-partners and fleet managers along with maintenance personnel.
Panellists further underlined the potential opportunities associated with the electrification of medium and heavy-duty segments such as operational cost-saving, transfer of foundation technologies (e-bus powertrains to e-trucks), auxiliary applications, customisation opportunities, decentralised assembly, and retrofitting (with the caveat of safety).
Developing favourable financing models and services for e-trucks was discussed along with the need for awareness among the lenders, policy intervention, risk assessment, and the role financial entities can play in supporting the transition.
The e-MHDT initiative in India is supported by ClimateWorks Foundation, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation & We Mean Business Coalition.