The recent advances in internet of things (IoT) and industrial wireless sensor networks (IWSNs) paradigm provide a promising opportunity for upgrading todays elderly electricity industrial systems and even allow the fourth stage of the industrial revolution, referred to as smart grid industry (SGI) 4.0. In SGI 4.0 paradigm, the WSNs are considered as promising solutions due to their advantages, such as cable replacement, ease of deployment, flexibility, and cost reduction. However, harsh and complex smart grid (SG) environments pose great challenges to guarantee reliable communication for WSNs-based SG applications due to equipment noise, electromagnetic interference, multipath effects and fading in SG environments. This results in deteriorating the quality-of-service (QoS) requirements as well as the network lifetime of multi-hop communication-based WSNs for SG applications. Thus, for SGI 4.0 paradigm to come true, a WSN-based highly reliable communication infrastructure is crucial that will wirelessly connect and integrate power system components for more efficient, reliable, and intelligent operations of the next-generation electricity power grids. To address these challenges, in this paper a novel multi-mobile sinks-based QoS-aware data gathering protocol (called MQRP) for WSNs-based SG applications has been proposed to empower SGI 4.0. The extensive simulations study is carried through a network simulation tool called EstiNet9.0. The obtained experimental facts show that the proposed scheme has not only improved the QoS performance metrics, such as packet delivery ratio, memory utilization, control message overhead, residual energy, network lifetime, and throughput, but also reduced packet error rate and end-to-end delay compared to existing data collection schemes. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.