Online deliveries to go electric: Flipkart sets EV target for new decade; ties up with Hero, Mahindra others

The development came a day after Amazon announced its partnership with Mahindra Electric towards its EV plans for India. Amazon had last year announced that it would have 10,000 EVs in its fleet by 2025 in India.

The pandemic has led to millions of people turning to e-commerce for their grocery purchases that has driven the sharp growth in the e-grocery not only in metros but also from tier II cities and beyond.

As the country is gradually moving towards the adoption of electric vehicles, India’s e-commerce incumbents are turning over a new leaf with respect to their delivery fleet. Now Walmart-owned Flipkart is aiming to have over 25,000 electric vehicles into its delivery network by 2030 even as it will help set up charging infrastructure around its delivery hubs and offices in India to fast track EV adoption. As of now, Amazon’s arch-rival Flipkart has started to deploy two-wheeler and three-wheeler EVs for deliveries in Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Guwahati, and Pune.

Announcing the development on Wednesday, Flipkart said that its EV fleet will also include four-wheelers designed and assembled in India as it has partnered with EV makers including Hero Electric, Mahindra Electric, and Piaggio. The partnership will enable the deployment of specific vehicles for Flipkart’s first and last-mile delivery fleet in the country. Moreover, the e-commerce company will also place requirements in service contracts, install charging infrastructure close to its 1,400 supply chain facilities, conduct awareness programs, and encourage delivery executives to use EVs.

“Electric mobility can benefit multiple ecosystem stakeholders, not just in e-commerce but in many other industries. Electrification of the logistics fleet is a key part of Flipkart’s larger sustainability goal and in line with our commitment to the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative,” Amitesh Jha, SVP Ekart and Marketplace, Flipkart in a company statement. The existing EV fleet of Flipkart included Hero Electric’s Nyx two-wheeler series with up to 150 kms range per charge, Treo Zor three-wheeler from Mahindra Electric, and Ape’ E Xtra FX three-wheeler from Piaggio.

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The development came a day after Amazon had announced its partnership with Mahindra Electric towards its EV plans for India. Amazon had last year announced that it would have 10,000 EVs in its fleet by 2025 in India. The Treo Zor three-wheeler, which Flipkart also included in its fleet, will be deployed in seven cities including Bengaluru, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Indore, and Lucknow with Amazon India’s network of Delivery Service Partners.

The Indian EV market is likely to grow at a CAGR of around 20 per cent from 2020 till 2025, according to Mordor Intelligence. As the government is looking to become an EV nation by 2030, it had planned last year to launch introduce 10,000 electric buses and 50,000 electric rickshaws in the coming few years. The Union Cabinet in 2019 had also approved the proposal for the implementation of ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Phase II (FAME India Phase II) scheme for the promotion of electric mobility in the country. The total fund requirement for the scheme was Rs 10,000 crore over three years from 2019 to 2022. Through the scheme, it planned to support 10 Lakhs electric two-wheelers, 5 lakh three-wheelers, 55,000 four wheelers, and 7000 buses.

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First published on: 24-02-2021 at 16:40 IST