HYDERABAD: With every passing day, the air we breathe is getting more polluted. As per statistics by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), while it took nearly 60 years (1951-2008) for India to cross 105 million registered vehicles, the same number was added in a mere six years from 2009 onwards! The report mentions that Hyderabad has the highest particulate emission load per trip from private and public modes of transport in the country!
To reduce emissions and help conserve environment, the Central government has set an ambitious target of ensuring only electric vehicles (EVs) to be produced and sold in the country by 2030.
While biggies like Tata, Mahindra, Hero, etc. are working on mass-manufacturing electric vehicles, other players in the industry are also joining hands for the cause of promoting sustainable transport.
Established in 2015, DOT aims to solve the age-old problem of urban logistics through its fleet of E-cargo vans and electric bikes using technology platforms that involve machine learning and artificial intelligence. With operations in 27 cities across the country (including Hyderabad), DOT aims to reduce carbon footprint in the environment by providing EV-based solutions for first-and-last-mile deliveries.
Managing Director of DOT Vineet J Mehra speaks on a range of issues concerning the industry. Edited excerpts:
What are the costs per kilometre for two and three-wheelers? Is it economical?
Technically, the cost of 2W is around 0.25 paise per km and for 3W, it’s around 0.75 paise per km against the conventional vehicles which costs Rs 2.5/km and around Rs 3.5/km respectively. Our vehicles are capable of covering almost 100 km in one charge and additionally, they are equipped with swappable battery system which increases the range accordingly.
What are some of your future plans?
Introduction of electric buses in metro cities is our target. We are also planning to add 1,200 two-wheeler EVs and completely electrify our fleet in the next two years. Internationally, we aim to expand our footprints in South-East Asia and Canada by this year-end and China by the end of 2020.
How was the name “DOT” given?
The whole idea was that of connecting and movement showing the convenience and utility of rapid service-focussed journeys from A to B and on to Z on time… hence it was “Destination On Time” which got the name “DOT”.
What kind of support do you feel the Central government must provide?
To incentivise the production of EVs in India, the government has announced “Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India” (FAME I & II) schemes. We expect the Centre to bridge the cost of financing and make access of capital easier for the SME and MSME sectors to create a robust supply chain for EV manufacturing. Most of the banks and NBFCs are apprehensive of financing EVs mainly due to the uncertain life expectancy, especially the battery life. With the FAME II guidelines regulating electric vehicles and battery life warranty to three years, banks and NBFCs could be advised to extend easy financing for vehicles. The rate of interest could also be brought down for FAME II registered and compliant vehicles to reduce the burden for first-time buyers. Also, there should be easier norms on parking and charging infrastructure with special focus on commercial adoption of EVs.
— Shyam Yadagiri