EV: Puneites Most Aware Of Climate And Air Pollution Issues Among 6 Cities Surveyed

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Pune, 5th September 2022: A new consumer survey conducted by CMSR Consultants and commissioned by the Sustainable Mobility Network with support from key Maharashtra partner- Waatavaran, shows strong support from Pune consumers (at 78% of all respondents) for the EV policies of the state of Maharashtra which require time bound transition plans from delivery companies and also indicated a strong preference to prioritize purchases from progressive companies which are in line with and make commitments to the state government targets to rapidly decarbonize their fleets.


Maharashtra state, as part of its overall EV policy, sets a 25% target for EV vehicles among e-commerce, delivery and logistics service providers in the state by 2025.


“The findings of the survey indicate strong support for the policy direction on delivery sector EV transition in Maharashtra. Along with the central government Niti Aayog’s Shoonya campaign, which actively looks to decarbonize the last mile delivery sector, delivery companies should come forward to work closely with our governments to ensure rapid transition of their fleets,” said Bhagwan Keshbhat, CEO of Waatavaran.


The survey among 1508 Pune consumers, conducted as part of a nationwide survey including 5 other Indian cities- Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai, also shows that 84.5% of all Pune respondents attributed last mile delivery vehicles as one of the reasons for rising air pollution in the cities, with 97.2% affirming a switch to EV vehicles by the delivery companies as important to addressing air pollution issues and mitigating climate change.


“All of us are increasingly impacted by deteriorating air quality, pollution and the impacts of climate change and the highly self- aware survey responses in the city indicate the extremely strong levels of concern of Puneites about these issues- in fact the highest nationwide numbers on overall awareness in the survey have been recorded in Pune. These also indicate the futility of half measures by companies- full deployment of zero emission fleets by these companies is essential and the core demand of Puneites and it would help considerably in having cleaner air in our congested city, reduction in our overall carbon emissions, and of course, savings for the gig workers who are bearing the brunt of rising fuel costs” added Keshbhat from Waatavaran.


The survey, primarily conducted offline (96%) through on-ground interviews, also finds that an overwhelming majority of respondents (88%) believe proactive action and transition by one company can encourage other companies and create rapid change in the sector. The companies identified as part of the survey include Amazon, Flipkart, Swiggy and Zomato as the most frequently used, with the other companies being grocery/ hyperlocal and logistics companies like Bigbasket, Dunzo, Blinkit/ Grofers, JioMart, MilkBasket, Bluedart, Fedex, Gati etc.


“E-commerce, food and grocery/ hyperlocal deliveries are a rapidly growing segment in India ” said Gajendra Rai, Director of CMSR Consultants. “Cities like Pune comprise the core market for most of these delivery companies so our survey of Pune consumers is highly indicative of overall consumer perception of the companies and their current use of delivery vehicles. We have also tried to ensure that of the nationwide respondents, the maximum respondents are from the 18-45 age group (93%) who again represent the core user base for the companies,” he further added.


The respondents nationwide also stressed the need for a socially just transition of their delivery fleets by companies with 38 percent stressing that companies should either lease or purchase electric vehicles for their delivery partners/workers, 31 percent respondents saying companies should provide financial incentives to delivery partners for buying electric vehicles and another 19 percent stating that support should be provided to the delivery partners to retrofit their existing delivery vehicles.


Atul Mudaliar, Head of Business Initiatives, Climate Group India remarked,“It is time that all e-commerce and food companies find cleaner ways to deliver goods. The survey clearly shows that two out of three consumers acknowledge that the goods they purchase add to air pollution and are responsible for climate change in some way. Consumers believe that companies can do more by proactively switching over to electric vehicles for delivery. While prominent companies like Flipkart and Zomato have announced a massive shift to 100% electric vehicles by 2030 in line with EV100, state policies in India have now started introducing mandates. Soon, delivery companies will have no choice but to change. Most brand-conscious businesses will respond to consumer opinion, the only question being when and how soon – the report is categorically clear on what consumers want.”