Flipkart to convert 40% of its fleet to EVs by March 2020

The company says what began as a pilot project in Mumbai in 2017 has become a major sustainability program for Flipkart.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 28 Jun 2019 Views icon8717 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce company Flipkart may have set the ball rolling for Indian electric vehicle manufacturers, in what is seen as a much-needed boost to the sales of green vehicles. The e-commerce major has announced that it will replace nearly 40 percent of its fleet of last-mile delivery vehicles with EVs by March 2020.

The company says what began as a pilot project in Mumbai in 2017 has become a major sustainability program for Flipkart, as it continues to add more e-bikes and e-vans to its delivery fleet, a move that makes it the first e-commerce platform in India to adopt this initiative.

The company says by March 2020, it aims to replace nearly 40 percent of its fleet to be EVs, starting with 160 e-vans by the end of 2019.

In the past 6 months, Flipkart says it conducted multiple pilots for EV deployment in its supply chain and witnessed improved performance results. The company has also set up the necessary charging infrastructure at its hubs to deploy EVs in large scale and ensure seamless operations. These, the company says, will help it reduce its carbon emissions by over 50 percent. At present, Flipkart has deployed 8 e-vans in Hyderabad, 10 e-vans in New Delhi, and 30 e-bikes in Bangalore.

Commenting on the pilot project in Mumbai, Rohit Pitale (above), senior manager of Supply Chain Design at Flipkart, says that the eBikes project was initially envisioned as a solution to the traffic problem in big cities. “In large metros like Mumbai, where there are many small lanes, regular motorbikes sometimes can’t deliver the order. The eBike can go into these lanes with ease.”

Amitesh Jha, senior vice-president, Ekart and marketplace at Flipkart, said: “The induction of EVs across our supply chain is one of the major steps towards sustainability. We see tremendous growth opportunity in electric freight mobility from a greener supply chain perspective, which will play a key role in building a robust supply chain for the future. These efforts will help us meaningfully contribute towards electric mobility by reducing our dependence on conventional power sources, while bringing cost efficiencies for the business. In this process, we also hope to create an ecosystem for adoption of electric mobility in India.”

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Group CEO, Flipkart, said: “We at Flipkart understand our responsibility regarding the environment and running our business in a more sustainable manner. Our vision is to replace a significant portion of our last-mile delivery vehicles with EVs in the coming years and also contribute towards clean and sustainable mobility. Our team is working with local ecosystem partners to help them co-design concepts for electric vehicles best suited for the growing e-commerce industry. We believe these small but meaningful steps in this direction will go a long way in paving the way for larger adoption of EVs in the country.”

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