New Delhi: India is in talks with Germany’s Siemens AG to develop e-corridors in the country, said two people with knowledge of the matter.
E-corridors are dedicated transport corridors for vehicles connected with continuous electricity supply through an overhead line linked with pantographs.
Although the talks between the union ministry of road transport and highways, and Siemens are currently at an initial stage, it is expected that the first e-corridor may come up on the Delhi-Jaipur highway wherein the government has already set the ball rolling for an electric highway with adequate charging infrastructure for electric vehicles plying on the route. A similar e-corridor is also being considered for the 1,300-kilometre Delhi-Mumbai expressway.
The concept of e-corridors is also part of the multimodal connectivity plan which the government has been promoting for the last few years.
One of the persons cited above said the concept of e-corridors has been considered after its success in Germany and Austria. Siemens is a major player in the e-corridor space in Europe, where it was termed as ‘e-highway’.
As per the company’s website, the technology developed by Siemens Mobility supplies hybrid trucks with electricity from an overhead line through a pantograph. The company claims this system not only cuts energy consumption by half, but also substantially reduces local air pollution. In 2021, Siemens Mobility and Continental announced a tie-up to supply trucks across Europe with electricity from overhead lines.
The second official, however, said that given the government is also going ahead with the concept of electric highway with NH-8 (Delhi-Jaipur) set to become India’s first electric highway, the concept of e-corridor may take a backseat for the time being. Under e-highway, the government would allow creating charging infrastructure and hubs at regular intervals on the highway, with electric buses and dedicated taxis plying on the route.
A query sent to the road transport and highways ministry remained unanswered. Siemens declined to comment.
In the past few years, India has laid a major emphasis on the EV space from production linked incentive schemes for EVs and lithium-ion batteries to the Fame scheme to drive demand for green vehicles.
The Economic Survey 2023 predicted that the domestic EV market will see a 49% compound annual growth rate between 2022 and 2030, with 10 million annual sales by 2030. Additionally, the EV industry is forecast to create around 50 million direct and indirect jobs by 2030.
The government has set a target an ambitious goal to achieve 30% electrification of the country’s vehicle fleet by 2030. In the Union budget FY24, it has tried to give further impetus to green mobility, and extended customs duty exemption to import of capital goods and machinery for the manufacture of lithium-ion cells for batteries used in EVs.
The emphasis on electrification of mobility comes in the backdrop of India’s aim to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2070.
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