Urban challenges entail last-mile deliveries and logistics. Product and essential food constitute a major proportion of the deliveries. Globally, urban freight services report for about 10-15% of kilometres travelled. During the process, the delivery vehicles emit 6% of all transport-related GHG emissions.
It is still a long way before EVs become ubiquitous on the roads of India. However, with the influx of electric bikes and scooters in the delivery segment, India is onto the path of becoming an energy-powered nation. Companies and start-ups have been striving to assume control of the delivery segment to ensure expansion. The demand for last-mile deliveries has been exhibiting steady growth. The advent of food, groceries and health care or beauty product deliveries has contributed to the rise in this demand.
In addition to this, consumer preferences have been evolving. They want the deliveries to be quick and efficient. Their approach towards the environment has been progressing. Millennials have been advocating against the destruction of the environment. Therefore, EVs have been gaining tremendous traction, and their integration into commutation and delivery services is becoming easier.
Freight and hyperlocal deliveries often employ lighter vehicles. Accordingly, Zypp has been powering hyperlocal deliveries across Gurgaon as a part of its pilot program. Initially, the start-up began with ride-hailing services but has now expanded into the delivery segment, assisting consumers and revolutionising the sector. Since EVs are cost-efficient, the business model reflects competitiveness in terms of profits and exhibits feasibility. Other aspects of EV deployment in the delivery segment have been enlisted.
- It ensures consistent growth for companies which has been utilising lighter EVs for last-mile delivery services.
- Low operational and maintenance costs facilitate cost-efficient deployment of EVs.
- Since India does not possess the adequate infrastructure to assist EV expansion, delivery pick-up points can be used as charging or battery swapping hubs facilitating ease of operation.
- For companies which cannot access e-mobility financially, can lease the vehicles from rental platforms such as Zypp to power hyperlocal deliveries.
- It guarantees a reduced carbon footprint of the enterprise and operations.
Electric vehicles have the potential to transform India into a powered economy. To liberate citizens from incessant pollution, frustrating congestion and high fuel prices, EVs must be incorporated into the economy. E-cycles are also being increasingly utilised to power hyperlocal food deliveries. The adoption by the masses is necessary for EVs to become a successful commutation option.
Scholars have studied and reported on the viability and various aspects of EVs and their expansion capability.
- It has been accounted that 70% of the EVs can fulfil the daily commutation criterion.
- Constant technological updates have inflated the vehicle range.
- The battery costs have reduced, and the efficiency has increased exponentially.
- EVs have exhibited lower operational costs.
- It has been observed that EVs are far less volatile than fuel-based automobiles.
- The carbon emissions traced back to EVs are essentially zero. In contrast to combustion engines or gas-related vehicles, the technology behind EVs is greener and feasible.
Gradual optimisation in EV production, eco-friendly disposal and reuse of batteries can further induce improvements. Statistics have shown that food delivery companies like Zomato and Swiggy receive over a million orders per day. Orders of such magnitude can transform the face of the delivery industry. Zypp has been planning to amplify their services and power deliveries across the country.
Although nascent, the innovation can grow exponentially once the country undergoes a complete transition. A complete transition would involve the development of adequate infrastructure and more adaptive policies. However, in the meantime companies can build up strategies and exploit the potential of the venture.