October 17, 2021

Conventional vehicles vs. electric vehicles in last-mile deliveries

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there has been an immense surge in online shopping; the already growing E-commerce businesses have seen soaring heights. As the pandemic has put a break to brick-and-mortar retailing, resellers of all sizes have complied with the e-commerce business model to stay relevant.

With e-commerce sales soaring, last-mile delivery companies are facing the heat. The overwhelming amount of e-commerce orders are being delivered by conventional modes of transport like trucks, vans, and cars. Each of these vehicles runs on internal combustion engines which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hampers the air quality in cities. For logistics companies to meet delivery targets while reducing their carbon footprint is the next enormous challenge.   Environmental sustainability is an important topic and the business world is gearing up to take the necessary steps towards sustainability. E-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart have already started replacing their conventional vehicles with more sustainable alternatives, i.e., electric vehicles.

Impact on the Environment:

Switching to an all-electric fleet of delivery vehicles is the best thing that a last-mile company can do to stay at the top. With the rising competition, the last-mile company which stands up to customer standards while having minimal carbon footprint is a guaranteed winner. Congested living spaces, poor air quality, narrow alleyways, traffic-laden streets are the usual depictions of developing nations. With the growth of e-commerce, last-mile companies are rushing to fulfill delivery orders.

Doing such a massive operation with the use of conventional vehicles increases the carbon dioxide levels in the air immensely. Conventional vehicles with internal combustion engines not only increase carbon dioxide in the air but also produce noise because of their moving parts. This makes them unsuitable for metropolitan cities. With the increase in awareness among people about sustainable living, people are more inclined to companies that provide prompt last-mile services with the wellness of the environment in mind.

Ease of Transport:

Heavy traffic in metropolitan cities to congested localities in suburban areas, all pose a great threat to the delivery efficiency of last-mile companies. In order to navigate through the thick and thin of the city seamlessly, electric scooters are an efficient alternative. With the shift in shopping trends, on-demand delivery plays an integral part in customer satisfaction. Delivery efficiency being the prime factor for the success of last-mile companies, the addition of electric scooters to the delivery fleet is a game-changer. Electric scooters have high torque power and quick pickup, which dominates over gas-powered vehicles. A real-world example of this is Zypp Electric. A company that provides electric scooter last-mile delivery options in Delhi.

Maintenance:

Experts all around the world agree that it is much easier to maintain electric vehicles when compared with conventional vehicles. With fewer moving parts, there are fewer chances that things would break. Less breaking means less fixing. This means that maintenance costs can be kept to a bare minimum. The brake systems in electric vehicles are also said to be much simpler in design when compared to internal combustion vehicles. Also, most EV’s nowadays come with extended warranty periods with long mileages guaranteed. Even the batteries can last up to 15 years. With no scenarios of oil changes or failed transmissions, EV’s are economically more feasible in the long run.  Not only that, some electric vehicles cost less when compared to conventional petrol/gas vehicles per year. There are no worries of gas or oil change, and one can simply charge the vehicle at a charging station or at home.

Conclusion:

In the years to come, e-commerce growth is going to skyrocket, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. By 2021 e-commerce is expected to generate $4.5 trillion in sales per year. For last-mile companies to capitalize on such a huge market with sustainability is a prime factor. Conventional vehicles will not only lose favor, but gradually they will become irrelevant. With e-commerce companies and governments all around the world pledging for carbon neutrality and adopting sustainable ways of last mile deliveries, electric vehicles are a win-win. With minimal emissions, less maintenance, and cheap running costs, the era of electric transport is just around the corner.

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