Cogos Technologies, the Bengaluru headquartered intra-city logistics player, has been in news for announcing inclusion of 1,000 electric vehicles from Altigreen Propulsion Labs to its fleet. Currently, the platform operates its 10,000+ strong fleet in 300 cities across 21 states – with vehicles ranging from 0.5 tonne three-wheelers to 8.5 tonne six-wheelers.
We caught up with the CEO – Prasad Sreeram to understand the rationale behind introducing EVs in their operations.
What is the thought process behind introducing EVs in Cogos’ intra-city fleet?
The urban transportation, including last mile delivery, faces heavy challenges in India as it depends on the under efficient drive technologies for snail paced and stop/start urban traffic. The ratio of actual Highway to City mileage is mind-blowing 4:1, development and adoption of efficient drive technologies which have high efficiency and low maintenance in slow speed urban traffic are the need of the hour.
The emerging technologies Hybrids, EV and Fuel-cell hold the future of the urban transportation, once they compete in volume and weight with their ICE (internal combustion engine) peers and the sticker shock could be avoided and the TCO (total cost of ownership) savings be realized in shorter periods.
The major advantages of the EVs we perceive:
a. They fight pollution – a soaring problem in the country, about 50% contribution from vehicular and industrial pollution
b. Lower Whole body vibration – a major cause of adverse effects, slowing metabolism, spine disorders, fatigue etc
c. Lower maintenance and service costs as there far less moving parts and oils.
Overall this improves the quality of life for truckers and society. In the long run, the total cost of ownership is lower for owner and society.
What kind of use-cases will be served by EVs in your fleet?
We believe the Last mile Delivery and First mile pickups will be the first priority as these are 3 wheelers to start with. As we introduce higher capacity vehicles including 4 wheelers, we shall target midmile and short-hauls.
Would EVs help you save money and how long do you expect would it take to achieve parity against the TCO of comparable ICE vehicles?
The support from FAME II slows the current sticker shock and we presume the returns could be seen in less than 4 years and savings would be superior to ICE in longer run. The major challenge is in Battery, we presume the prices will drastically drop with newer technologies and will replace the subsidy from Govt over a period.
What is the targeted timeline for starting the EV operations at Cogos?
We have been working on the project for a while and have done multiple pilots. We wish to deploy 1000 vehicles this year and the rollout is already happening.
Have you worked out a charging / battery swapping strategy to ensure maximum EV time on the road?
We are currently working with Fixed battery vehicles with an in-built AC charger and partnering with multiple Charging providers to facilitate charging and overnight parking. Also enables a multi shift mechanism over the long run to get to round the clock services.
Any other information that you would like to share with us?
EVs and other advanced technologies can bring in a new thought process for City logistics. The vehicles, city spaces and delivery mechanism can be lean, as you don’t need Oil storage and distribution, lower spares and consumables.
In fact, the overall Logistics workflows can be rethought with autonomous capabilities within industrial and logistics parks. COGOS is working to create a new realm with advanced technologies and we see a bright future for logistics in the country and the world.
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