Electrification of Urban Freight in India

Undertaken By: The Energy and Resource Institute,    Recent Publication: 2021

Urban freight movement forms a fundamental part of the overall transportation supply chain. Movement of goods originating from or outside the urban periphery which enter into an urban area through commercial road vehicles forms the urban freight network. Such movement is usually catered by both light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M/HCVs) depending upon volume of goods carried, distance travelled, and the service area to be catered. Urban freight comprises both essential and nonessential commodities which are required by individual households, businesses, and industries on a day-to-day basis.

At present, freight vehicles in India primarily rely on diesel and account for the highest share of diesel consumption within the sector. This not only has an impact on energy security of the country but also is a cause of several negative externalities such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, air pollution. Electrification of urban freight vehicles can help decarbonize the sector to a large extent and also maximize economic savings at national level and at an individual owner/driver level.

Presently, much remains unknown about the technology adoption rate, barriers, consumer awareness, market scenario, etc. in the freight vehicle segment. This study aims to assess the operational and financial feasibility of electric vehicles in the urban freight segment by undertaking a survey based analysis of different sectors across cities.