How EV startups are giving a boost to the e-commerce industry | The Financial Express

How EV startups are giving a boost to the e-commerce industry

E-commerce is one of the earliest adopters of EVs. Industry reports indicate that 15-20% of last-mile e-commerce cargo fleets have been electrified through retrofitted solutions.

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The entire EV ecosystem is still learning how to deploy, operate, and service electric vehicles

By: Ashutosh Verma, Founder of Exalta

For the long-term health of the economy and the environment, companies that drive an average of 100 kilometers per day have started to use green logistics solutions.

E-commerce, also known as “speedy commerce,” is one of the earliest adopters of electric vehicles. Industry reports indicate that 15 to 20 percent of last-mile e-commerce cargo fleets have been electrified through retrofitted solutions, the replacement of ICE vehicles with EVs, or the introduction of EVs. With proactive government policies, India is making rapid strides toward EV commercialization.

However, the transition to EVs requires considerable planning and thought. As an early OEM entrant into the EV market, we quickly realized that the entire EV ecosystem is still learning how to deploy, operate, and service electric vehicles. In a decision-support framework for EV viability, the following critical factors must be accounted for:

Ashutosh Verma, Founder of Exalta

Demand Forecasting for Distribution and Route Planning

It is a common misconception that logistics companies must plan their routes around charging station availability. Alternatively, EVs can be deployed on multiple routes independent of public charging infrastructure. It is necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of the route profiles by analyzing the capabilities of electric vehicles.

For example, we discovered that EVs can run up to 50 percent of most customers’ urban furniture delivery routes without the need for mid-route recharging. With increased e-commerce usage, the majority of logistics companies are shortening their delivery routes.

Comparison of Performance Across Diverse Usage Scenarios

First-mile, middle-mile, and last-mile vehicles are required by the majority of logistics companies. EVs can currently be deployed efficiently for first- and last-mile applications with relatively low payloads. As the technology matures, however, EVs will penetrate the mid-mile and inter-city logistics markets.

Dependencies on Operational Maintenance and Service

EVs require less ongoing maintenance. To facilitate EV adoption, a dedicated EV service network that includes driver training, fleet integration, and ongoing maintenance is essential.

Since the traditional ICE service network has been perfected over the past century, building this one will take more thought.

Following and Monitoring Enablement and Expected Impact

Companies that want to buy EVs need to think about how well they work with the Internet of Things (IoT) and figure out how data analytics can be used in fleet planning and optimization.

Economic and Environmental Cost Savings

Several governments around the world are pushing renewable energy and offering various incentives to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. In light of these environmental and sustainability goals, companies need to figure out if switching to EVs is worth it.

Planning & Optimization of Load

For EV cargo fleet optimization to cover the shortest distance possible while delivering the greatest number of packages, more intelligent planning is required. By using lighter materials for both the vehicles and their packaging, companies can reduce the payload and increase the range of electric vehicles. Utilizing data analytics and algorithm-driven technological solutions optimizes distance traveled and weight.

Deploying EVs without the necessary data-driven intelligence will not produce the best results. Successfully constructed green cargo fleets have recognized the value of being “deployment-ready.”

Also Read: 2023 Union Budget: Logistics sector looks at closing the digital gap that persists in the industry

With the right EV partners, these companies have been able to transition 10%–15% of their aggregate fleets to EV in just 6–8 months and 20%–30% in a little over 12 months, while saving 70% on average in operating costs.

The ecosystem for electric vehicles is evolving rapidly, and companies can improve driver performance through training and the use of smarter IoT devices. With more technological advances, the time it takes to make the change will be cut down, and the amount of money saved will go up dramatically. 

Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online. Reproducing this content without permission is prohibited.

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First published on: 26-01-2023 at 12:50 IST