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Shoonya Campaign: NITI Aayog

  • 16 Sep 2021
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, NITI Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and RMI India’s have launched the Shoonya Campaign.

  • It is an initiative to promote zero-pollution delivery vehicles by working with consumers and industry.
  • RMI is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1982.

Key Points

  • Shoonya Campaign:
    • Electric Deliveries: The campaign aims to accelerate adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the urban deliveries segment and create consumer awareness about the benefits of zero-pollution delivery.
    • Shoonya Brand: A corporate branding and certification programme is being launched to recognise and promote industry’s efforts towards transitioning to EVs for final-mile deliveries.
      • It will help e-commerce companies to distinguish their offerings from those of their competitors.
    • Online Tracking Platform : An online tracking platform will share the campaign’s impact through data such as vehicle kilometers electrified, carbon savings, criteria pollutant savings and other benefits from clean delivery vehicles.
  • Need of EVs for Final-Mile Deliveries:
    • Growing E-Commerce Market: Between 2013 and 2017, India’s online retail market grew at an average rate of 53% each year and is expected to become a $150 billion market by 2022.
      • By shifting the end-transportation of goods from the consumer, this has dramatically expanded the fleets of delivery vehicles.
    • Reduce Emissions: Urban freight vehicles account for 10% of freight transportation-related CO2 emissions in India, and these emissions are expected to grow by 114% by 2030.
      • EVs emit no tailpipe emissions, which can contribute immensely to an improved air quality.
      • Even when accounting for their manufacture, they emit 15-40% less CO2 compared to their internal combustion engine counterparts and have lower operational cost.
    • Energy Security: Shifting towards EVs will help India to reduce oil dependency while solving the challenge of energy scarcity and moving towards renewable and clean sources of energy.
  • Challenges:
    • Technological: India is technologically deficient in the production of electronics that form the backbone of the EV industry, such as batteries, semiconductors, controllers, etc.
    • Infrastructural Support: The lack of clarity over AC versus DC charging stations, grid stability and range anxiety (fear that batteries will soon run out of power) are other factors that hinder the growth of the EV industry.
    • Availability of Materials for Domestic Production: Battery is the single most important component of EVs. India does not have any known reserves of lithium and cobalt which are required for battery production.
      • India is dependent on countries like Japan and China for the import of lithium-ion batteries.
    • Lack of Skilled Workers: EVs have higher servicing costs and higher levels of skills is needed for servicing. India lacks dedicated training courses for such skill development.
  • Initiatives Taken:
    • National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP): NEMMP was launched in 2013 with an aim to achieve national fuel security by promoting hybrid and electric vehicles in the country.
    • FAME Scheme: The Indian government has created momentum through its Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles schemes that encourage, and in some segments mandates the adoption of EVs, with a goal of reaching 30% EV penetration by 2030.
    • National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage: The Mission will recommend and drive the strategies for transformative mobility and phased manufacturing programmes for EVs, EV Components and Batteries.
    • Fiscal Incentives: To spur the production and consumption of EVs and charging infrastructure - such as income tax rebates, exemption from customs duties, etc.

Source: PIB

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