Online grocery retailer Grofers on Monday said it plans to deploy about 500 electric vans to its last mile-delivery fleet as part of its sustainability efforts. The SoftBank-backed company had started a pilot with about 50 e-vans last year in Delhi-NCR, and has expanded the initiative to Jaipur, Saurabh Kumar, Founder, Grofers told PTI.
“We had started with Delhi-NCR and now have about 100 e-vans here. We are starting with 50 e-vans in Jaipur now that will be expanded to 100 as well by end of the year. We are looking at a fleet of 500 e-vans by December-end that will operate across all the 13 cities where we operate,” he further told PTI.
This, he said, will help cut delivery costs by up to 50 percent and carbon footprint by more than 40 percent.
Kumar said the company is also working closely with various manufacturers to help them co-design concepts for electric vehicles that are best suited for e-commerce deliveries.
“Currently, these vans are three-wheelers that deliver about 30 orders in one run. We are working with various partners on four-wheelers that can deliver more orders, while also solving for challenges around charging infrastructure,” he told PTI.
Kumar declined to comment on the investment being made for setting up the charging infrastructure. The e-vans are being procured under a leased model, he said.
Grofers competes with the likes of BigBasket as well as grocery verticals of e-commerce majors such as Flipkart and Amazon. Interestingly, Walmart-owned Flipkart had last month said it aims to replace nearly 40 percent of delivery vans of Ekart, its logistics unit, with electric vehicles by March next year as part of its sustainability efforts.
The government has been promoting electric vehicles (EVs) in India and plans high penetration of such vehicles by 2030.
Recently, the Delhi government had announced its first electric vehicles (EVs) freight pilot under which up to 1,000 such vehicles are aimed to be deployed in the city over the next 12 months for delivering online orders. The partners for the project include Grofers as well as players like Zomato, Blue Dart Express, Hero Electric, BSES, Tata Power, among others.