ZEV India Partnership - Driving Truck Electrification through Collaboration - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Net Zero by Narsi is a series of brief posts by Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi), on decarbonization and climate solutions.
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Read an interesting news – though almost a year old – about how 15 prominent companies have come together to accelerate go-to-market and commercialization of zero emission trucks in India.

Electrifying large trucks is tough; these are large beasts that could go beyond 50 tons in gross weight. It is tough to imagine these vehicles powered purely by batteries alone, the way we are seeing scooters and cars getting powered.

A car would weigh utmost 2 tons and would run on average much less than half the distance per trip compared to that for a truck. So one can imagine the amount of batteries that need to accommodated in a large truck to help it sail for long distances.

At the same time, truck electrification is critical as they spew out almost 40% of all CO2 emissions coming out from road transport – even though they account for just 2% of the vehicles on the road.

What a collaboration such as the one proposed in the news article is not clear, as most of the companies are users of trucks and not manufacturers. (The 15 companies include Aditya Birla Group, Amazon, Danfoss India, DHL Group, Gentari, JSW, Maersk, Nestle, PepsiCo India, Shree Cements, UltraTech Cement and Tata Chemicals, among others).

They will possibly assist electric truck manufacturers with some generous pilots, but beyond this, how they will help in accelerating e-truck development in India will be interesting to learn about. While quite a few other objectives for the collaboration are listed in the news item, some of them are quite vague and the rest might not directly drive electric truck commercialization.

When I spoke to many fleet owners last year on the topic of electric trucks and hydrogen trucks, most of them mentioned that their clients (end users such as the ones listed earlier) are very tight-fisted when it comes to paying a premium in logistics. I wonder if all the companies listed above will get more generous in their quest for green trucking.

While reading this, I’m also reminded about the US SuperTruck program that aimed to enhance the hauling efficiency of large trucks. In this program however, most of the collaborators were companies that were truck makers.


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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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