Electric Vehicle: The Revolutionary Catalyst for Last-Mile Delivery in E-Commerce

Article | May 24, 2021 | Yash Pratap Singh

The trade of goods between the cities is the backbone of e-commerce with their rapid pace in India where the cities with the increasing demand of consumer products create opportunities and challenges both in terms of traffic and large presence of ICE vehicles in metro cities where the evolution of e-commerce and rise in adoption of EV plays a major role in the last-mile delivery ecosystem to meet the customized demand of consumer products. A commercial EV operates 1/6th of the total running cost of petrol/diesel-fuelled vehicles. The increase in competition of deployment of EV and introducing verticals like B2B, B2C, C2C, E2E, B2B2C and hyperlocal deliveries among various startups and OEMs has lead e-commerce players to partner with EV mobility companies and startups to expand their fleets in various segments while still slaying lean on the resources. The proliferation of e-commerce not only helps in reducing the transport cost, time of ICE vehicles as well as maintains the EV ecosystem balance as well by saving 13 tons of carbon emissions per 100 kilometers as per the standards of each running EV vehicle present in the market. EV is the second-generation last-mile logistics of the urban freight milieu. It helps EV companies to rent e-scooters, e-3 wheelers to rent out based on the economic factor by calculating the total cost of ownership to maximize their fleets in the future. The last-mile delivery ecosystem not only expresses the importance of renewable energy to reuse electric products but also gives state-of-art thinking to re-model their business plans as per the rising demand of e-commerce in cities. The adoption of electric vehicles in India is in boom due to price-sensitive, customer requirement and technology-driven market where various OEM's and EV mobility companies' partners with various food delivery, hyperlocal delivery and e-commerce to meet the demand of consumer and balance the supply of the product. Electric vehicles startups like – Go With DOT, Euler Motors, Zyngo, Logesto, E-Trio, Zypp are the prominent players of last-mile logistics in Delhi NCR where they partner with giants e-commerce like – Amazon, Flipkart, Lenskart, E-Com and Hyperlocal on-time delivery like – Big Basket daily, Licious, grofers, etc helps them to distribute their goods at intra-city level with different business models like – B2B, B2C and B2B2C which they also set the growth path of targeting more electric vehicles every months and year based on their optimum fleet utilization and developing organic routes as per keeping in mind with all the bottlenecks faced by EV last-mile delivery in future with money-spinner. The most critically important part for clients like – Amazon, Flipkart and Udaan are to doorship more products from all over India and delegate to the EV logistics providers like – DOT, Euler and Zypp to distribute on-time delivery by optimizing the cargo weight with the increase in more fleets to generate higher revenue. EV is trying to develop footprints expansion, new fleet segments introductions & scalability including reverse logistics but various challenges need to be faced by EV in terms of lacking supporting infrastructure, performance range of vehicle kilometer travelled on a single charge and full-stack EV architecture ecosystem with battery swapping and on-site maintenance issues related to EV's.


Go with Dot sets an example in E-3W to cater the high payload capacity from 1-1.2 tons in the L5 category of vehicle with Rs. 50-60 paise per km, the lower total cost of ownership, rented schemes for vehicles deployed for last-mile delivery and operated against ambient temperatures, road and weather conditions where LI-Ions Spock is the E-2W vehicles which are the robust, technology-driven and range of distance travelled between 110-120 kilometer on a single charge where EV companies have to focus on chassis, packs and BMS (battery management system) for their safety, reliability, longevity and functional robustness to avoid breakdowns. EV last-mile delivery is more dependent upon the battery packs and BMS which is costly and to be imported from developed nations. Localization of electric vehicle products needs to be an important factor to adopt more EV in the future to shape the city logistics more sustainable and eco-friendlier. EV not only limits the movement of UF in the city even it helps the industries verticals to be more customer-centric and technology-driven as per the demand by saving more idle, loading and unloading time/cost, congestion cost, etc to be disrupted by the freight industry in the city. Digitalization makes Indian cities more comfortable, safe and sustainable by having the product door-to-door delivery whether it is food, e-commerce or grocery.


EV in last-mile logistics is in boom rather than connectivity in urban areas because the logistics are a never-ending business and the operations along with the business model/plans changes day to day to make logistics more efficient through deploying EV in a large number. The EV's are subsidized by the governments to promote, deploy or shift more ICE vehicles to EV with the provision of integrated public charging infrastructures for all EV segments to their on-time distribution to avoid challans, registrations and penalization over them.


EVs are the future of sustainable modes of transport for both last-mile connectivity and logistics to shape the city as more sustainable, inclusive and eco-friendly.