E-commerce giant Flipkart will deploy more than 25,000 electric vehicles by 2030. This is in line with Walmart owned firm’s public commitment to transition to electric vehicles across its city logistics fleet. It would help set up charging infrastructure around delivery hubs and offices to fast track the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in India.
Flipkart’s electric fleet will include 2-wheeler, 3-wheeler, and 4-wheeler vehicles designed and assembled in India, helping boost local innovation and economy. The Bengaluru-based firm has partnered with leading electric vehicle manufacturers, including Hero Electric, Mahindra Electric and Piaggio, for specific vehicles to be deployed for its first and last-mile delivery fleet across the country.
“We are going to continue to take a leadership role when it comes to serious and important environmental and social issues in the context of India's sustainable development journey,” said Mahesh Pratap Singh, head of sustainability and social responsibility at Flipkart. “While the longer-term answer to the problem may be different than what the shorter term answer is, we would still show a very strong bias for action to solve what we could do here and now, as the longer-term answers emerge. We are not relying on and sitting here to say ‘look, someone would build a recycling infrastructure of plastic or decarbonize the power grid.’ We would still do electric vehicles.”
Flipkart has already started deploying 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler electric vehicles in multiple locations for delivery across the country, including in Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Guwahati and Pune. Flipkart 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.
Amitesh Jha, senior vice president at Ekart and Marketplace, Flipkart, said electric mobility can benefit multiple ecosystem stakeholders, not just in e-commerce but in many other industries. He said electrification of the logistics fleet is a key part of Flipkart’s larger sustainability goal and in line with its commitment to the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative.
“In this journey of making our logistics fleet completely electric by 2030, we will collaborate and work with leading local players to procure and deploy electric vehicles while supporting the required infrastructure growth,” said Jha. “We understand the relevance of electric mobility in achieving both business and sustainability goals and are committed to paving the way for greater adoption of EVs across the country.”
In this direction, Flipkart has, over the past year, worked towards creating a network of ecosystem partners. This is across charging providers, skill development agencies, aggregators and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).
One of the partners is Hero Electric. The Nyx series from India's largest electric two-wheeler company is rugged and long-lasting, offering enhanced power and an extended driving range of up to 150 km per charge. This is one of the most widely used scooters for last-mile deliveries and other commercial uses.
“The partnership with Flipkart is a game-changer and will help transform a significant number of their fleet to EVs,” said Sohinder Gill, CEO, Hero Electric. “It would encourage the e-commerce industry to actively adopt electric vehicles.”
Another partner is Mahindra Electric whose Treo Zor electric 3-wheeler is designed and developed in India. Its advanced lithium-ion batteries and connected solutions help in efficient fleet management.
Treo Zor electric 3-wheeler
“We are happy to see that Flipkart has quickly adopted EVs in its fleet,” said Mahesh Babu, managing director and CEO, Mahindra Electric Mobility. “Together, we are committed to providing a clean, sustainable and affordable last-mile delivery solution.”
Flipkart has also partnered with Italian auto brand Piaggio for its Ape’ E Xtra FX electric 3 wheelers. These are designed to be the most powerful in their category with advanced battery technology and superior customer experience.
“Ape, a brand with a trust of more than 30 lakh happy customers, is paving the way for the Indian electric revolution with the FX range of electric vehicles,” said Diego Graffi, chairman and managing director of Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. “The Piaggio Group has a rich heritage of developing electric technology and we are happy to partner with Flipkart in its journey to transition to electric mobility.”
Flipkart’s rival Amazon is also betting big on electric vehicles. Amazon India has partnered with Mahindra Electric to add more electric vehicles (EVs) to its delivery fleet in the country. In 2020, Amazon India had announced that its fleet of delivery vehicles would include 10,000 EVs by 2025 – these would be over and above the global commitment of 100,000 EVs by 2030 under the company’s Climate Pledge. The partnership with Mahindra Electric is an important step towards India’s progress in the e-mobility industry to achieve its environmental sustainability goals.