The delivery of almost all goods in Panaji, whether to individual households or local stores, is currently facilitated by fossil fuel-based vehicles. It’s no surprise, then, that these vehicles have been identified as major contributors to the air pollution and GHG emissions in the city. Taking note of this, Panaji is planning for a paradigm shift by accelerating the practice of shared delivery of goods by low-emission freight vehicles.
To this end, the City Corporation of Panaji (CCP), with support from ICLEI South Asia under the EcoLogistics project, has introduced an innovative model for accelerating commercial vehicle electrification by aggregating customer demand to overcome a variety of barriers. The EcoLogistics project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) through its International Climate Initiative programme.
The city inaugurated a demonstration project on the 6th of December 2022, to operationalise 14 electric light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and 15 electric bikes for deliveries in Panaji. Mr. Sudin Dhvalikar, Minister of Power, New and Renewable Energy and Housing, Government of Goa; Mr. Sudhendu Sinha, Advisor, Infrastructure Connectivity, Transport, and Electric Mobility, NITI Aayog; Hon’ble Mr. Rohit Monserrate, Mayor of Panaji; Mr. Agnelo A.J. Fernandes, Commissioner, CCP; and Mr. Sanjeev Joglekar, Member Secretary, Goa Energy Development Authority, along with over 200 stakeholders, attended the event. The demonstration project will assist the city to address the issue of a low load factor in the LCV segment, and reduce dependence on old, polluting internal combustion engine based freight vehicles. As per the baseline, LCVs and two-wheelers contribute over 95 percent of vehicle kilometres travelled in Panaji.
The demonstration project will include a monitoring phase under which data related to load factor, delivery time, cost, vehicle performance and emissions and pollution, besides revenue generation potential and operations shall be collected daily through a mix of manual as well as technological means (such as GPS equipment installed in the vehicles). The information collected will be used to measure and document the impact of the demonstration project. Two aspects – feasibility of load pooling and performance of electric freight vehicles – will be evaluated, which will help in validating the operational, social, environmental and financial benefits of the project. It shall also establish the techno-economic feasibility of EVs in urban freight. The monitoring shall assist government to address issues such as regulatory and policy barriers for the electrification of the freight sector; how state governments should proceed with urban freight electrification; the potential of integrating electric freight vehicles with other government schemes like the vehicle scrappage policy; and the constraints in financing these vehicles.