The Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA, which recently inaugurated its operations in Hyderabad, has announced that the company will soon be using electric rickshaws for the purpose of home delivery of its products.
IKEA is one of the largest furniture retailers in the world. The company designs and sells off ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories. The store in Hyderabad provides 7,500 products including 1,000 products priced below Rs 200.
It has been reported that at least 20 percent of the company’s delivery system will work on electric rickshaws in the initial phase. The electric vehicle will be charged at the store that uses 4,000 solar panels installed on the building’s roof.
Apart from the electricity used for charging the e-rickshaws, a part of the electricity will also be used to power different units like lighting and other items in the store.
This is IKEA’s first store in India situated in Hyderabad. Further, it also plans to move to cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore where e-rickshaws will also be used for delivery purposes. This is not the first time that the company is doing something of this sort. Majority of the IKEA stores located in the various parts of the world use power generated from solar energy.
It seems that IKEA is quite fascinated by the growth of electric vehicles in India and is accelerating up to make a proper use of it. The store is also planning to further increase the electric delivery vehicle fleet to 100 percent by 2023.
The electric rickshaws that will be used for this purpose have been built by a Hyderabad startup, Gayam Motor Works (GMW). GMW’s e-vehicles offers quick battery swapping option. This may be one of the reasons why IKEA opted for GMW.
As compared to diesel rickshaws which have a running cost of Rs 3.50 per km. Along with this, the company is currently in talks with various OEMs across the country to be a part of India’s EV growth strategy.