Mahindra Electric, one of the few manufacturers of electric vehicles in the country, is banking on the growing intra city transportation needs of the startup industry to power 2x-3x growth in the sales of electric vehicles. Be it transportation startups such as Ola/Uber or grocery delivery startups such as eKart, the target market of Mahindra’s electric vehicles is quite huge. Mahindra Electric is already in talks with aggregators like Ola, Zoomcars, Myles and others to begin pilots in accordance with the government’s mission for large-scale adoption of clean energy-driven mobility. Mahesh Babu, CEO Mahindra Electric, said that “Electric mobility is cheaper as the cost of travel per km is much cheaper than a fuel-driven vehicle. So wherever mobility solutions have to be met, it is easy to adapt to electric vehicles and since it is a predictable route, it becomes easy to calculate the expense involved and thus become economically viable”.
Big Basket, the domestic hyper local ecommerce player, has been using 10 Mahindra eSupro vans for its intracity last-mile delivery in Noida and looks to increase the number to 50 over the next 3-6 months. KB Nagaraju, National Head of Operations and Customer Service at Big Basket, said that “We are using the Mahindra eSupro commercial vehicle in place of Maruti Eeco. This has helped us to handle more orders per trip leading to reduction in cost per order, which helps us with better unit economics of our delivery system. At full-scale deployment of 50 vehicles, we can save about Rs 1 crore per annum. We are keenly watching this pilot and for the vehicles to prove reliable. Based on that, we will take a decision on increasing the number of vehicles being used”.
However, a section of the startup society also believes that despite government subsidies and incentives for electric and hybrid vehicles, economic viability will remain a dream unless large-scale adoption is seen.