Amazon’s custom EVs for Indian roads could go global too

The e-commerce giant has partnered with Mahindra Electric to launch bespoke electric delivery vehicles in India that may even go for a global ride, say sources

Amazon’s custom EVs for Indian roads could go global too
The all-new electric three-wheeler platform that Mahindra Electric is customising for Amazon to make some of its global delivery fleet electric. Photo: Mahindra Electric.

(ATF) Amazon’s trademark “smile” that has so far been seen on its delivery boxes and billboards in India has just turned electric. Customers from a few Indian cities will soon see custom-made electric three-wheelers delivering Amazon’s products as close to a hundred such EVs hit the road in seven cities across the country.

Amazon.com Inc.’s India unit on Tuesday announced its partnership with Mahindra Electric as an extension of its commitment towards electric mobility in the country within a year of promising that its fleet of delivery vehicles will include 10,000 EVs by 2025 in India. 

“The first batch of 100 EVs specially modified for Amazon has already been deployed in seven Indian cities, as many more will soon join the fleet not only in India, but in other parts of the world as well,” a company executive from Mahindra Electric told Asia Times Financial, requesting anonymity. “The company intends to make a formal announcement on the global deal soon,” added person who claims to be close to the development.

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Mahindra’s current deal with Amazon for 1,000 units so far, is the largest order for EVs from Amazon India, the person added.

This partnership with Mahindra Electric is also an important step towards India’s progress in e-mobility and the country’s environmental sustainability goals, Amazon said.

According to Amazon, significant progress in the Indian e-mobility industry in the last few years in terms advanced technology, and superior motor and battery components have made this launch possible.

The EVs, christened as Mahindra Treo Zor, were launched in October 2020 and provide an advanced Lithium-ion battery and ease of charging, making it easy for delivery partners to charge the vehicles in various locations. Mahindra Treo Zor has been designed and developed in India and offers best-in-industry performance, the EV-maker said. 

SEVEN CITIES

The EVs have been deployed in seven cities so far including Bengaluru, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Indore and Lucknow with Amazon India’s network of delivery service partners.

Additionally, it features drive-by-wire technology for a fatigue-free driving experience, reduced loading and unloading time and offers “longest-in-industry wheelbase “making the vehicle extremely safe and stable,” according to the company release.

In addition, the government’s focus to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in the country with awareness campaigns such as ‘Go Electric’, and steps towards setting up of charging infrastructure with the FAME 2 policy also helped Amazon accelerate and chart its vision for EVs in India. 

The inclusion of these electric vehicles in Amazon India’s fleet, incidentally, also complements India’s focus on electric mobility and its Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ EVs for a sustainable AtmaNirbhar Bharat.

CLEAN ENERGY

“Clean mobility powered by clean energy is an important element in the action to prevent climate change. The partnership between Amazon India and Mahindra Electric is a welcome step which reaffirms India’s significant progress in the e-mobility industry, and highlights the role of auto makers and e-commerce companies to achieve our environmental sustainability goals,” Nitin Gadkari, India’s Minister of Road Transport & Highways, said in a press release.

“We are confident that the government’s efforts to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in the country, and steps taken towards setting up of infrastructure backed by policy measures will help more companies adopt e-mobility. India’s dynamic public-and private-sector leadership, entrepreneurial culture, ability to build world-class infrastructure, and a unique confluence of IT and manufacturing skills will enable us to take global leadership position in advanced mobility solutions,” he added.

In September 2019, Amazon became the first signatory of the Climate Pledge, which stated that the company will be net zero carbon by 2040 across its businesses – a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement’s goal of 2050. 

By joining ‘The Climate Pledge’ and agreeing to decarbonise on a faster time horizon, Amazon will play a critical role in stimulating investment in the development of low-carbon products and services that will be required to help companies meet the pledge, the company said.

NET-ZERO COMMITMENT

In support of The Climate Pledge commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040, 10,000 Amazon custom electric delivery vehicles will be on the road delivering to customers worldwide as early as 2022 and all 100,000 by 2030, Amazon added.

For India’s EV sector too this partnership is testament to Mahindra Electric’s commitment to ensure sustainable and a greener environment.

“We are proud to partner with Amazon in deploying Mahindra Treo Zor EVs in their delivery partners’ fleet. We believe, this will redefine India’s logistics and last-mile delivery needs and at the same time help Mahindra and Amazon to achieve our sustainability goals. We are happy that this made-in-India electric cargo will contribute towards Amazon’s delivery partner fleet transformation towards EVs in the country," said Mahesh Babu, MD & CEO, Mahindra Electric Mobility in a press release.

'WIN-WIN'

"The success of our Treo range of three-wheelers has proved that electric vehicles in the last mile segment is a win-win solution for our customers as well as the larger society,”

According to Amazon, the e-commerce giant would continue to build a supply chain that will minimize the environmental impact of its operations. The expansion of our Electric Vehicle fleet to 10,000 vehicles by 2025 is an integral milestone in that journey, the company said.

Besides Mahindra Electric, Amazon is also working with several OEMs to build a fleet of ‘Made in India’ electric vehicles, the company added.

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