India's logistics giant, Gati, is all set to deepen its electric vehicle footprint in India, after a successful pilot project in Hyderabad for delivery of IKEA furniture.
In partnership with city startup, Gayam Motor Works, Gati runs a fleet of electric autos for customers who opt for door delivery at IKEA's maiden India store.
The company will now run pilots in the Delhi-NCR region, after which it will experiment across Indian metros.
Sources indicated the company has held initial meetings with M&M, Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors amongst others to build a suitable solution for the logistics industry.
"An electric cargo vehicle which meets the requirements of Indian logistics industry both technically and financially is not yet available in the market. Once that is developed, replacement of the fleet is really easy," said Bala Aghoramurthy, deputy managing director, Gati India.
Meanwhile, Gati has also indicated it will not just be a consumer, but will participate in the actual development of the electric vehicle ecosystem in India.
Gati will partner to build EV infrastructure including charging stations, after sales support and service centres for cargo vehicles; and the first project is likely to be announced on New Delhi later this year.
Other logistics giants like DTDC, BlueDart and Professional courier are still to commit to going green in India as they believe the scenario is too challenging just yet.
Bala Aghoramurthy agrees the biggest hurdles will be "Range anxiety, cost of the product, charging time and stations at regular intervals -- which is why we at Gati want to adopt EVs in a phased manner.
Like most other stakeholders in India's electric vehicle growth story, Gati's management also reiterates the role of the government will be crucial in increasing the green footprint. Incentives and initiatives have to be adopted by state and central governments to ensure more corporate participation in this space.