The Indian government has set itself a goal of making 15% of all its vehicles electric by 2023. With Statista reporting that the country currently has more than 230 million vehicles on the road, there are multiple opportunities opening up for engineers up and down the country. And, it’s not just engineers who will benefit from the government’s pledge, as the logistics industry will also gain from utilizing electric vehicles.
Boosts the supply chain
One of the government’s biggest investments will be in the engineering of the technology required to keep electric vehicles on the road. At present, there is very little charging infrastructure in situ in India. However, the government aims to ‘aggressively focus on finding solutions for developing indigenous technology for charging electric vehicles in the country,’ according to The Asian Age. As a result, the transport industry will benefit as electric trucks can travel greater distances than petrol or diesel-fueled trucks and so the supply chain is boosted. One study even found that electric trucks could increase efficiency in the transport sector by a whopping 43%.
One electric manufacturer claims that electric trucks can save $2,000 USD per 10,000 miles in operational costs. At today’s exchange rate, that’s 144,480.00 INR. When considering a new commercial vehicle, the cost is an important factor to transport businesses. A typical full-size truck can cost upwards of INR 8.55 lakh and running costs must also be factored in. And, while the infrastructure involved in the engineering of electric trucks make their off-the-shelf price more costly, it also keeps running costs down. Therefore, they’re a more cost-friendly option for logistic operations looking to save cash.
A trucker driver shortage in India of between 20% (Rathi, 2016) and 26% (Dasaraj, 2016) means that the transport sector needs to do their utmost to retain existing drivers and secure new ones. In 2016, 16,876 trucks were involved in fatal accidents on India’s roads, reports the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. Thankfully, the state-of-the-art technology engineered within electric vehicles helps to protect truck drivers and other road users. Typically, they are structurally safer and due to having fewer but smarter components under the hood, there’s less chance of something going wrong. Therefore, truckers are less likely to be involved in road accidents and this can only boost the logistics and transport industry.
Both the engineering and logistics sectors will benefit from the government’s promise to incorporate more electric vehicles on India’s roads. But it’s the transport sector which will really gain as supply chain efficiency will be greater, costs will be lower and safety will be boosted.