India Considers Subsidies For Electric Trucks To Cut Industrial Emissions In Mining, Steel, & Cement

(MENAFN- KNN India) New Delhi, May 24 (KNN) The Central government is actively considering implementing incentives to accelerate the adoption of electric heavy commercial vehicles (e-HCVs) across crucial sectors like mining, steel, and cement manufacturing.

These industries currently rely heavily on diesel-powered HCVs, which contribute significantly to carbon dioxide emissions, reported BS.

Official sources have revealed that high-level consultations are underway among various ministries, including Mines, Steel, Heavy Industries, Coal, and the Principal Scientific Advisor's office.

The objective is to assess the demand and feasibility of providing subsidies or other incentives to promote the transition from conventional diesel HCVs to their electric counterparts.

"We are studying the viability and whether any subsidy is needed," stated a senior government official familiar with the development. Another official mentioned that formal meetings would commence after the formation of the new government, indicating the preliminary nature of the discussions.

Currently, only a handful of manufacturers have unveiled plans to introduce electric trucks in the Indian market. The Murugappa Group recently announced its intention to launch four e-HCV models, boasting battery capacities exceeding 250 kWh and a range of 185 km with one side loaded and one side empty.

HCVs play a crucial role in various sectors, including mining, ports, infrastructure development, construction, and inter-warehouse freight transportation. However, due to the limited range and lack of supporting infrastructure, their use is primarily confined to industries operating within restricted spaces like mines.

A source close to the initiative highlighted the government's aim to lower costs through subsidies, similar to the incentives provided for electric buses under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric (and Hybrid) Vehicles scheme. The Centre currently offers incentives of around Rs 50 lakh per electric bus, in addition to state government incentives.

Furthermore, the government has announced the Rs 57,000 crore PM e-Bus Sewa initiative and introduced a payment security fund of approximately Rs 4,126 crore to bolster the e-bus segment.

According to data from the Vahan portal of the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, 12,222 HCVs and 1,000 trailers were registered in 2023. However, with the infrastructure boom and surging demand for road transportation, the HCV market is poised for significant growth.

Given the limited application of electric trucks and the typically low fuel efficiency of HCVs averaging 2-5 km per litre, the government aims to incentivise this category to control pollution. "Since trucks are among the highest polluters, making HCVs green will be the first step in controlling pollution," remarked a person involved in the initiative.

The electric trucks targeted for incentives weigh over 55 tonnes, and the government's motivation is also driven by their high cost. Industry estimates suggest that while a diesel HCV costs a little over Rs 30 lakh, an electric truck can cost more than Rs 70 lakh.

In line with the global trend towards green mobility, Indian companies have started announcing plans to introduce electric trucks. UltraTech Cement, India's largest cement and ready-mix concrete company, introduced electric trucks in January for transporting clinker and plans to deploy 500 such vehicles.

Internationally, industries are increasingly shifting towards electric commercial vehicles to reduce pollution. Swedish mining group Boliden is among the first to utilise battery-electric trucks for heavy underground transport, employing Volvo trucks in its Kankberg mine in northern Sweden.

(KNN Bureau)


KNN India

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