Last-mile mobility can lead transition to EV mobility: Report

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 28 Apr 2022

A variety of brands such as those of Mahindra, Piaggio and Tata cater to last mile mobility

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in a report released on Tuesday emphasised that 100 percent electrification of e-commerce delivery fleets is possible with a conducive policy environment and greater collaboration by ecosystem partners. 

The report titled, ‘Advancing electrification of e-commerce deliveries in India', highlights that the e-commerce last mile is uniquely positioned to lead the electric mobility transition in India, and relevant for other global economies. This is due to the high daily utilisation, fixed pick-up points, consistency of daily kilometers travelled and the predictability of routes and energy demand of the last mile.

The insights from the report should be seen in the context of several projections indicating the e-commerce sector to contribute about 3.5 percent of the country's  GDP by 2030. Its authors estimate that a 100 percent adoption of EVs in e-commerce deliveries in India by 2030 could avoid 44 percent  of the total CO2 emissions caused by their conventional vehicle counterparts and reduce consumption of 30 billion litres of fossil fuels per year.

The WBCSD is a CEO-led community of over 200 of the world’s leading sustainable businesses working collectively to accelerate the system transformations needed for a net zero future. The report traces Flipkart, an e-commerce player's journey since the start of their EV pilot projects in 2017 to its efforts towards bringing ecosystem partners together and scaling the deployment of EVs across the country.

Now owned by US retail giant Walmart, it is looking to transition to a 100 percent EV fleet as part of EV100 commitment which would be about 25000  units by 2030.  Thomas Deloison, Director, Mobility at WBCSD said, “Some e-commerce businesses already recognise EVs as a cost improvement measure, in addition to enhancing customer satisfaction and meeting regulatory compliance.”

According to Hemant Badri, Senior Vice-President and Head of Supply Chain, Flipkart Group said, "The e-commerce delivery is growing fast in India, and we need to ensure that this progress is sustainable. By signing the EV100 commitment, Flipkart has reinforced that it has the willingness, ability and scale to guide India’s transition to sustainable e-commerce deliveries.”

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