SLMG – Coca-Cola bottling franchise to electrify the fleet of 5,000 vehicles
The company will spend nearly $12 million to acquire 3,000 electric vehicles to convert its existing ICE retail distribution fleet to EVs.
SLMG, North India based bottling supplier of Coca-Cola India plans to convert its vehicle distribution fleet from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles with orders for 3000 electric three-wheelers.
Already e-commerce and last-mile mobility providers are transitioning to EVs rapidly, now retail distribution providers too are joining the wave towards electrification in the sub-one-tonne space.
Lucknow-based SLMG Beverages, will be spending close to $12 million for acquiring 3000 electric vehicles to convert its existing ICE retail distribution fleet to EVs.
The company officials told Autocar Professional that the bottling firm plans to have a fleet mix of Mahindra e Alfa Cargo electric three-wheelers and Tata Ace EVs to serve four North Indian states.
Vivek Ladhani, Executive Director, SLMG Beverages Pvt. Ltd told Autocar Professional that the world is witnessing a paradigm shift toward environmentally responsible transportation.
"SLMG Beverages is at the forefront of this transformative movement because we recognise the importance of e-vehicles in reducing carbon emissions and promoting clean air, so we launched our electrification program 24 months ago.
Across these four states, the company has 43 manufacturing facilities capable of producing 29,000 beverage bottles per minute and a retail network that serves over 3.5 million touchpoints.
SLMG Group intends to add another 2000 electric three-wheelers and sub-one-ton vehicles by in order to fully electrify its 5000-core distributor network by 2025.
Rs 7,000 crore diversified group also has business interests in the hospitality industry, with ongoing relationships with Taj, Vivanta, Hilton, and the Golden Tulip group of hotel chains. It was also a major promoter of the defunct Air Deccan airline.
Ladhwani stated that the company intends to purchase 3000 EVs and lease them back through its distribution network for a minimum 20% downpayment from the distributors.
"SLMG will lease the vehicle to the distributor, and the firm will assume responsibility for vehicle ownership and EMI payments if the distributor defaults." a company official informed.
He went on to say that the company will also pass the vehicle on to the distributor, who will be able to enjoy a lower total cost of ownership during the vehicle's lifetime and continue to drive cost efficiencies after the vehicle's worth has been sweated off.
The Coca-Cola bottling company has been conducting trials with the Tata and Mahindra fleet for over twenty-four months and also intends to electrify its 1.5-tonne and above retail distribution network, for which it is currently in discussions with global powertrain manufacturers, Ladhwani indicated.
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