Amazon is reportedly in talks with a clutch of electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers to procure customised electric vehicles for last-mile deliveries.
The ecommerce giant is in talks with both automobile giants and startups including Mahindra Electric, Kinetic Green, Bengaluru-based Altigreen, Hyderabad’s e-trio and Gayam Motor Works, and Delhi-based EV aggregator SmartE. Kinetic is expected to start commercial deliveries of its electric rickshaws to Amazon delivery partners this month, with an initial order of 250-300 units.
While the talks with other EV manufacturers are still underway, these companies are reportedly are running pilots to showcase their products before scooping up larger orders. Beyond the big EV order, Amazon may also make strategic investments in some of these companies to align long-term interests in servicing its requirements.
Amazon will not directly procure these vehicles but will instead work with logistics partners to buy the vehicles. Regardless, the company will ensure that only high quality and high specification vehicles are procured. The ecommerce giant is looking for EVs that can carry a payload of about 500-600 Kg with a range of about 150 Km and a top speed of 50 Km per hour.
Abhinav Singh, transportation services’ director at Amazon India, told ET, “We have been working with several Indian original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to build a fleet of vehicles that ensure sustainable and safe deliveries of customer orders and will continue to explore opportunities to expand our fleet.”
Amazon has reportedly conducted several trial runs of EVs at several last-mile delivery hubs since last year. Earlier this year, Amazon had announced that it is looking forward to including 10K EC for its delivery facility by 2025. These EVs will operate in over 20 cities, including Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Nagpur and Coimbatore among others.
Akhil Saxena, vice president for customer fulfillment, Asia Pacific and emerging markets at Amazon, said that this decision came as an internal milestone for becoming an energy-efficient leader in the industry. “We will continue to invest in electrification of our delivery fleet, thereby reducing our dependence on non-renewable resources,” added Saxena.
Meanwhile, rival Flipkart has also committed to a phased integration of EVs into its entire fleet by 2030. The homegrown ecommerce giant plans to do so by placing requirements in service contracts, installing charging infrastructure close to its 1,400 supply chain premises, conducting awareness programs, and incentivising delivery executives for using EVs.