New Delhi: As the government pushes for electric mobility, food delivery firms such as Swiggy and fast food restaurants like Pizza Hut and Domino’s are looking at electric bicycles as an alternative to motorcycles and scooters.
Electric cycles are yet to make an inroad into the Indian market compared to electric scooters which have attracted investments from vehicle manufacturers and startups.
According to Pankaj Munjal, chairman, Hero Motors Co., India should also try to learn from the West, where e-bicycles have led the electric revolution.
“Entities like Dominos, PizzaHut, Swiggy and others are all switching over to this (e-bicycles). They have realized that to ride this you don’t need a licence and a rider can’t be issued a fine, compared to electric scooter," Munjal said in an interview on the sidelines of the launch event of the Lectro brand of electric bicycles.
Restaurants, food delivery applications and ride hailing applications were asked by the Union government to convert a significant part of their fleets of two-wheelers to electric, in order to reduce pollution and imports of crude oil.
Hero Cycles has also been urging the government to include electric cycles in the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles or FAME-2 scheme, so that these vehicles become affordable and help accelerate the adoption of electric mobility in India.
“I think FAME-2 has been launched to promote the electric vehicle sector. Shift to an electric car seems highly unlikely due to range anxiety and maintenance. World over e-cycles have led the trend (shift to electric vehicles). With more e-bicycles we will be closer to the shift to electric mobility," added Munjal.
According to a person aware of the developments, Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd that operates the Domino’s Pizza in India, too, is in talks with companies to experiment with delivery via different kinds of electric vehicles in its fleet.
Food delivery service provider Swiggy is also working on a plan to use EVs for delivery service.
“Over 20% of Swiggy’s delivery partners in tier two and three cities like Surat, Belgaum, Guwahati and Lucknow use cycles for delivery. The food delivery giant is piloting Electric Vehicles to encourage adoption among its delivery partners which will reduce running cost by up to 40% and result in higher effective pay-outs," the company said in a statement on 17 September.
Hero Motors on Tuesday launched Lectro e-cycles in collaboration with Japan’s Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd and Mitsui and Co. Ltd, priced at ₹130,000. The premium product is the first outcome of the three-way strategic partnership initiated last year between Hero Cycles, Yamaha and Mitsui.