Flipkart resolves to transition to EVs by 2030, make them locally

Flipkart said it is committing to a phased integration of electric vehicles into its entire fleet by 2030
Flipkart would transition 100 per cent to electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030 as part of a commitment to long-term sustainability across its e-commerce value chain. The Walmart-owned firm would do this by joining the Climate Group’s global electric mobility initiative, EV100. The initiative brings together forward-looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to EVs and making electric transport the new normal by 2030. 

According to sources, Flipkart is expecting to have more than 35,000 electric vehicles by 2030 and will include three-wheeler, four-wheeler and two-wheeler vehicles, which would be designed and manufactured in India. The company would be working with various local original equipment manufacturers, aggregators and start-ups to build these vehicles which would be optimised for the e-commerce industry.

“With our scale and scope and intense focus on Sustainability agenda, we believe we can play a significant role in not just fast tracking the adoption of electric vehicles but also making clean mobility mainstream,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group.

Flipkart said it is committing to a phased integration of electric vehicles into its entire fleet (directly owned or leased corporate fleets) by 2030. This will be done through placing requirements in service contracts, installing charging infrastructure close to its 1,400 supply chain premises. It would also be conducting awareness programs and incentivizing delivery executives towards the use of electric vehicles. Flipkart said it will spearhead the sector’s sustainability transformation and support India’s ambition of ensuring 30 per cent electric mobility by 2030.

“We are open to all sorts of partners. This is something that teams are working through the roadmap. But they're going to be a variety of models. Most of our vehicles come from fleet operators and we will play a role in helping them work with manufacturers and OEMs,” said Mahesh Pratap Singh, head, sustainability and social responsibility, Flipkart. “We will work with vehicle manufacturers to design EVs, more suited for e-commerce purposes. You're eventually talking about the pan-India rollout and you need to be able to have reliable vehicles and support network in the hinterlands. So that's really going to be a key consideration in the roadmap.”

Electrification of its entire logistics fleet is a key part of Flipkart’s larger sustainability goal and the EV100 commitment is in line with that. Flipkart has already deployed EVs in various cities including Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Bhubaneswar. Pilots have been successfully conducted in Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Lucknow and deployment will begin in September, according to the sources.

“Flipkart will play a significant role in fostering innovation in technology and exchanging knowledge on e-mobility within our global network of committed businesses,” said Divya Sharma, India executive director, Climate Group. “To help make swift emissions cuts and improve air quality for the long-term, we urge more Indian companies to follow suit, sending a powerful signal of support to policymakers wishing to see a faster roll-out of EVs.”

Sharma said that the Covid-19 pandemic crisis has not only been an eye-opener for people who have been denying climate change but also for the people who have been working in this space battling for policies and action around climate change at various levels.

“It has let us understand how urgent it is to accelerate action around climate change,” said Sharma. “Coming down to electric vehicles itself, energy efficiency is  part and parcel of climate mitigation and reducing carbon dioxide emission, air pollution and the impact on health.”

Early this year, Flipkart’s rival Amazon said that its fleet of delivery vehicles will include 10,000 EVs by 2025 in India. These EVs are in addition to the global commitment of 100,000 electric vehicles in the delivery fleet by 2030 announced in the Climate Pledge signed by Amazon. 

The India electric vehicle ecosystem market is expected to reach $216.3 billion by 2030, according to a report by BIS Research. The government target for 30 per cent adoption of electric vehicles by 2030 is expected to be majorly driven by the electrification of two-wheeler, three-wheeler, and commercial vehicles.

Flipkart said it has been driving several initiatives towards its vision of sustainable growth. It has committed to reducing single-use plastic packaging in its supply chain. The firm has already achieved a 51 per cent reduction in consumption of plastic packaging. It has also been focused on resource efficiency within its operations by increasing the use of renewable energy for its power needs. This includes the data centre in Hyderabad that runs largely on renewable energy.

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