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NITI Aayog & WRI India launches e-FAST – India’s first national electric freight platform

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NEW DELHI : NITI Aayog, in collaboration with World Resources Institute (WRI), India, launched the country’s first national electric freight platform – e-FAST India (Electric Freight Accelerator for Sustainable Transport – India) on Thursday.

Supported by the World Economic Forum, CALSTART and RMI India, the platform brings different stakeholders together, from across the freight ecosystem. It will help strengthen partnerships and identify and support innovative freight solutions.

The platform also aims to raise awareness on freight electrification bolstered by on-ground demonstration pilots and evidence-based research. It will also support scalable pilots and inform policies aimed at accelerating freight electrification in India.

“The freight sector plays a key role in India’s economy enabling the delivery of goods and critical resources. During the COVID crisis, the freight sector sustained its growth, despite disruptions, ensuring a steady movement of essential goods and medical supplies across India,” said Sudhendu J. Sinha, Advisor (Infrastructure Connectivity & E-Mobility), NITI Aayog.

The launch of the e-FAST India platform witnessed participation from major automobile industry players, logistics companies, development banks and fin-tech companies.

“With India being the third-largest truck market, after China and the United States, early adoption of zero-emission trucks would be instrumental in not only accelerating domestic climate imperatives but also in supporting global climate action,” said Dr. Surendra Ahirwar, Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).The launch was followed with WRI India unveiling its Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) EValuator.

The TCO Evaulator is an intuitive excel-based application. It analyses cost components and performance parameters of light/medium/heavy-duty freight, and compares electric variants with its diesel/petrol/CNG counterparts, to identify their impact on TCO per km. This comparison offers valuable insights to policy makers, fleet operators, manufacturers and owners.

OP Agarwal, CEO, WRI India, said, “Road freight is a high-impact area for reducing transport emissions. Expanding fleet sizes and operations, with its implications on greenhouse gas emissions and fuel price volatility, underline the imperative to transition to electric freight.

“During the event NITI Aayog and RMI also released a report that highlights how India can capture the far-reaching benefits of a zero-emission trucks (ZETs) future through a blend of technology advancement, innovative business models, policy, and financing.

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