Call for Innovators to support Electric Vehicle Delivery Testing in partnership with Swiggy

Innovating for Clean Air (India) project supporting the development of a two-wheeler EV cargo delivery testbed with Swiggy

The growth of e-commerce in India has been accelerated considerably by the pandemic, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the gig economy, largely in the last mile delivery sector. Food delivery companies such as Swiggy, Zomato; market places such as Amazon, Flipkart, Grocers such as BigBasket and fashion retailers such as Ajio, Myntra, etc., are all contributing to this growth. The most common mode of transportation for deliveries are fossil-fuel based two and three-wheelers.

Fuel prices in India are on a continuous rise due to demand along with government policies, and participants in the gig economy can directly benefit from the relatively cheaper running costs of electric vehicles (EV). As well as this, there are clear climate change benefits from transitioning to electric mobility solutions. However, higher capital costs (largely due to battery cost), concerns around the service ecosystem, and uncertainty around charge point availability are some of the deterrents/ challenges that are slowing down the transition.

There is an opportunity for makers of electric two/three-wheelers and ancillary service providers to address some of these challenges to accelerate EV adoption in the last mile delivery segment of Tier 1, Tier 2 cities across the country. There are emerging small and mid-sized manufacturers who cater to this segment by providing cost-effective designs suited for short distance cargo deliveries. In addition, tech companies are entering the business of battery charging and swapping infrastructure, or its associated technologies and the financing/leasing of electric vehicles. However, there is very limited information on how the whole ecosystem works when together.

Through the Innovating for Clean Air programme, a cross-catapult project developed with collaborative partners in India to improve air quality and tackle pollution in Bengaluru by addressing challenges related to the uptake of electric vehicles, Energy Systems Catapult, Swiggy and Urban Morph plan to run a testbed to:

  • Trial new approaches
  • Engage e-commerce companies and gig economy workers to try & buy, learn about gaps that exist in the market
  • Produce a detailed analysis report to inform and accelerate EV adoption

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Innovators are invited to come forward with two-wheel Electric Vehicle solutions and technologies to participate in the testbed

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