In Conversation with Vineet J Mehra, MD, DOT on Use of Electric Vehicles in Logistics
DOT provides first and last mile delivery services to major E-comm and Food-tech aggregator companies using three and two-wheeler Electric Vehicles.
Image for representation only. (Image: Reuters)
News18: Tell us about DOT and its business model
Vineet J Mehra: ‘DOT’ is a cutting-edge delivery enterprise which offers unique and innovative mobility solutions through its fleet of E-Cargo Vans and Electric Bikes. Founded in 2015, DOT is a green logistics company which focuses on sustainable business solutions for the delivery and logistics requirements of the businesses. DOT operates in B2B space which makes it a unique service provider offering plug and play delivery solutions.
As of now, DOT provides first and last mile delivery services to major E-comm and Food-tech aggregator companies using high speed three and two-wheeler Electric Vehicles using latest technologies.
News18: How important are electric vehicles for last mile connectivity?
Vineet J Mehra: The use of e-vehicles for last mile connectivity will contribute to a wide range of sustainable goals including – better air quality, reduced noise pollution, enhanced energy security as well as low carbon power generation mix, reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Also, electric vehicles are as much as 90% efficient with zero emissions at tailpipe levels. The cost of 2W is around 0.25p/km and for 3W it’s around 0.75p/km against the conventional vehicles which costs Rs. 2.5/km and Rs. 3.5/km respectively.
Apart from emissions, electric vehicles have fewer moving parts or components and batteries with a life time of up to 15 years. This drastically reduces their maintenance costs.
News18: DOT’s contribution to greener environment
Vineet J Mehra: The sad state of pollution in the Indian cities has been mainly brought to this stage due to the unregulated movement of IC engine vehicles with a huge leaning towards diesel vehicles. With ‘DOT’ we, intend to solve the age-old problem of urban logistics, especially in a country like India, where we are struggling for space and clean air.
Conventional transport vehicles are a proven source of carbon emissions and this challenge can be addressed by adopting DOT’s EV-based solutions. Innovative transport solutions for first-and-last-mile deliveries are areas where EV’s will prove to be a boon for the future generations. For instance, a fleet of 250 EV’s will save around US $1 Million worth of fuel and can reduce the carbon emission by 4,000 tonnes annually. A strong impact that our business has made is zero tailpipe emissions, thus offering greener modes of transportation helping corporates in off-setting CO2 emissions. ‘DOT’ has contributed to the reduction of carbon emission to the tune of 16,000 tonnes in the past two years.
News18: Tell us about the DOT fleet
Vineet J Mehra:Currently we have more than 500 2W and 125 E-Cargo vans operating in different parts of India. We source our E-Cargo Vans from an Indian EV manufacturer based out of Gujarat. Pertaining to the 2W, we have our sister concern Li-ions Elektrik Solutions, from whom we source high speed two-wheelers.
News18: Challenges to operate EV fleet
Vineet J Mehra: Well if you talk about challenges then there are lots of them. One major challenge is the lack of infrastructure for electric vehicles. We had to create our own vehicle charging and parking stations which involved extensive capital investment. Further on our course of expansion, we witnessed the absence of policies related to financing of e-vehicles. This is one of the reasons for us to bootstrap our operations. Another challenge that we encounter is to convince the users to use these vehicles and to educate them about the benefits gained from the usage of an innovative, environment friendly and cost-effective mode of transportation.
News18: Current EV scene in India
Vineet J Mehra: India is aiming to achieve deeper penetration of EV’s by 2030 yet, sustainable mobility is not just about replacing fossil fuel-powered vehicles with modes of transportation propelled by Electricity, it is all about a shift in cultural thinking, coupled with the global technical revolution around e-thinking in transport systems.
On the vehicles side, 2W and 3W offer a ready market for EV’s with the correct configuration as there are already many OEMs in the country. E-buses also have huge potential in India but country lacks manufacturing capabilities and use of imported fleet is unviable. So, immediate demand from the vehicle side is developing manufacturing capabilities. Besides, there is huge gap to be filled up in terms of infrastructure.
News18: How do you see the government’s push for EV?
Vineet J Mehra: In order to boost electric mobility in India, the Government has announced schemes (FAME I & II) to incentivize the production of EV’s in India. FAME II which was recently announced is a good policy but the implementation guidelines have practical difficulties.
Also, reduction in GST on EV’s as well as tax rebate on interest for purchasing EV’s should give the requisite demand push to the Electric vehicle sector, however specific financial option for purchase of EV’s by aggregators and E-logistics players is still not addressed in the recently announced budget.
Hike in fuel prices for larger commercial operators to enable faster adoption of EV’s is also a welcome move from the Government’s end.
News18: How do you bring together technology with EV’s in logistics?
Vineet J Mehra: Technology is the brain behind electric vehicles. They are powered by smart batteries which constantly keep you updated with their state of charge (SOC) and sate of health (SOH). These vehicles are smart and cloud connected through which their movement, speed, range, location etc could be monitored on a real-time basis. They will be equipped with predictive and preventive maintenance alerts.
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