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E-commerce, FMCG demand for electric vehicles doubles in FY24

Companies are also increasing their focus on electric commercial vehicles to save fixed operating costs and reduce logistics costs

Electric vehicles

Electric three-wheelers are the preferred choice within the e-commerce sector (Representational)

BS Web Team New Delhi

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In an effort to reduce costs and meet carbon emission targets, the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has seen an uptick among e-commerce firms and consumer goods manufacturers compared to last year, according to a report by The Economic Times.

Companies like Flipkart, BigBasket, Bisleri, Zomato, Amul, Amazon, Hindustan Unilever, Swiggy, and Coca-Cola are among those transitioning to EVs. Jayen Mehta, managing director of India's largest dairy producer, Amul, mentioned that the company's milk distributors are already utilising EVs in regions like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab. Amul has also initiated using electric vehicles for last-mile ice cream deliveries.

Electric three-wheelers are the preferred choice within the e-commerce sector. Amitabh Saran, co-founder of electric three-wheeler firm Altigreen, noted that the operating costs of electric three-wheelers are a fraction of those run on diesel or compressed natural gas (CNG). He added that while the current market size is approximately 1.2 to 1.3 million units per annum, the market potential remains significant as India has not yet fully explored three-wheeler formats.

Investment in Charging Stations

The number of electric cars and two-wheelers sold is expected to grow significantly. From roughly 50,000 electric cars and about 727,000 electric two-wheelers sold in financial year 23 (FY23), it is anticipated that over 100,000 electric cars and close to a million electric two-wheelers will be sold this financial year. To support this growth, firms are also investing heavily in charging stations to ensure seamless operations.

Amazon India announced a partnership with Eicher Motors and Buses to procure 1,000 electric trucks for middle-mile and last-mile deliveries over the next five years. Likewise, TVS Motor Co has inked a deal with food delivery platform Zomato for 10,000 electric scooters over the coming two years.

KN Radhakrishnan, chief executive of TVS Motor, stated in a month post-earnings call that EVs are set to revolutionise last-mile delivery and significantly reduce carbon footprint. He added that the company would continue to invest in expanding charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Companies are increasingly shifting focus towards electric commercial vehicles to reduce both fixed operating and logistics costs. Sameer Aggarwal, founder of RevFin, noted that the cost per kilometre for an electric vehicle for commercial use is nearly a quarter of the current Rs 4 required for petrol or diesel vehicles, making economics a driving force behind EV adoption.

At present, about 50 to 55 per cent of the market for three-wheelers is electric, according to Aggarwal. He predicts that this market share will rise to 80 per cent in the coming year.

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First Published: Aug 28 2023 | 12:28 PM IST

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