India’s e-commerce firm Flipkart plans to fully electrify its logistics fleet by 2030

26, Aug. 2020

An electric three-wheeler cargo carrier is parked in front of an e-commerce firm’s warehouse in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad on Aug. 27, 2019. (NNA)
An electric three-wheeler cargo carrier is parked in front of an e-commerce firm’s warehouse in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad on Aug. 27, 2019. (NNA)

NEW DELHI, NNA - Walmart Inc.-run Flipkart Group, India's leading e-commerce marketplace, on Tuesday said it will fully electrify its logistics fleet across group companies by 2030.

The company is the first Indian e-commerce firm to join the non-profit Climate Group’s global electric mobility initiative EV100, a program that brings together firms committed to stepping up the transition to electric vehicles (EVs).

Flipkart said it is committed to a phased integration of EVs into its entire fleet through placing requirements in service contracts, installing charging infrastructure close to its 1,400 supply chain premises, conducting awareness programs and incentivizing delivery executives to use EVs.

The e-commerce firm said it has already been working towards creating a wide network of ecosystem partners across charging providers, regulators, policy makers, skill development agencies, aggregators and automakers to work on various areas. These include designing and manufacturing EVs optimized for e-commerce.

“We believe we can play a significant role in not just fast tracking the adoption of electric vehicles but also making clean mobility mainstream,” Flipkart chief executive officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy said in a statement.

In June 2019, Flipkart expanded its EV fleet from southern Indian cities like Bengaluru and Hyderabad to northern areas like Delhi, with the aim of replacing nearly 40 percent of its existing last-mile fleet of delivery vans with EVs by March 2020. Last-mile deliveries are those to the goods' final destinations.

Social responsibility has prompted many companies to rethink their methods of last-mile deliveries and this is boosting demand for EVs, including e-cycles, in India, according to Pankaj M. Munjal, chairman and managing director of Hero Motors, which operates Hero Cycles Ltd.

“There are a couple of pilot projects which we had initiated with a couple of brands by giving customized e-bicycles and these have yielded very positive results and we have seen the brands coming back and re-ordering,” Munjal told NNA in an interview this month when asked about demand from e-commerce firms.

“We do see this as an increasing trend and are looking forward to associating with more and more brands to help to reduce the carbon footprint in India as much as we can,” Munjal said.