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Rise of electric vehicles in delivery businesses

Rise of electric vehicles in delivery businesses

Updated on June 26, 2020
7 min read

Technology has been shaping businesses for a long time. Take any business today and compare it with the way how it used to be operated only two decades ago and you’ll find out that the difference is enormous. Technological advancement helps businesses to adapt to the current times. It’s quite evident that all those businesses that have failed to adopt the latest technologies in their business have perished.


It wasn’t a long ago when pen and paper were significant to restaurants as they were used to write down orders. Those were the times when advertising used to happen only via print and television and a coupon used to be an actual tangible newspaper. However, with technology, everything changed. Restaurants are now leveraging cutting-edge technology of mobile applications to unlock the option of on-demand food delivery to their customers.

Like restaurant businesses, delivery businesses are soon going to witness the change influenced by technology. I am talking about electric vehicles. Yes, electric vehicle, I know the topic of electric has been going on for too long. But soon, you can see their wide applications in the delivery business.

E-bikes in food delivery

Food-delivery is one of the booming businesses of our time. Especially during COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for food-delivery has gone up. In the food delivery business, time matters the most. The food-delivery companies must ensure that all their deliveries are made in time as no customers would like it when their deliveries are late and food is cold.

As the food delivery business picks up with more and more people using these platform to order food, e-bike might emerge as the perfect investment. And many food-delivery giants like Skip The Dishes, Uber Eats, and Postmates have already realized this fact which is why they are switching to e-bikes. These e-bikes have the capability to easily dodge the heavy traffic.

Moreover, it also doesn’t require any parking space in the downtown area. E-bikes facilitate food delivery services to deliver their customer’s favourite flavours without any hassles of traffic, parking, and extra fuel. Not only this, but e-bikes also helps these firms to reduce their carbon footprints and promote sustainability.

How E-bikes beats heavy traffic

It’s quite obvious that no customer likes it when their order is delayed and they have to wait for it. In addition to that, delayed order also means cold food which ruins the overall experience of the food. To overcome this problem many food-delivery businesses provide an estimated time of arrival based on various factors like distance and size of the order; however, it doesn’t factor in bad weather, traffic, lack of parking, and other reasons that might cause delayed orders.

Whatever the reason may be, the bottom line is that the customer won’t be happy with it and this dissatisfaction might reflect in your ratings and review which might seriously damage the reputation of the business and might also result in losing your loyal customers.

E-bikes are the solution to all the above problems. These lightweight vehicles are capable of easily dodging heavy traffic. Moreover, they easily fit in bike racks across the cities thus making them a perfect vehicle for multiple short trips in a limited radius. Moreover, they are also cheaper compared to scooters and cars and are easy to maintain.

Electric Delivery Vehicles in logistics and supply chain

In the year 2018, UPS came up with the “world-first” electric vehicle (EV) charging system. This system was designed for its delivery fleet in London. With this on-site charging system in place, UPS plans to charge their vehicles overnight which allows them to utilize that energy for their logistics operations in the day.

This charging system was designed to enable UPS to increase its EV delivery fleet from 65 to 170. “We are applying new technology to make the charging process smarter and our delivery service cleaner,” said Peter Harris, director of sustainability at UPS Europe.

Freight transportation is one of the major contributors when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions. Sweden is a country which is concerned about this issue and is looking to do something substantial about it. After conducting testing for a few years, Sweden has launched an eHighway solution in its northern part. This setup allows them to power specially designed trucks with the help of overhead wires.

“We must free the trucks from their dependence on fossil fuels, so that they can be used also in the future,” stated Anders Berndtsson, chief strategist at the Swedish Transport Administration. “Electric roads offer this possibility and are an excellent complement to the transport system” he later added.

How is it possible to talk about an electric vehicle without Elon Musk’s Tesla. Yes, the company is looking forward to entering the electric freight market with its latest offering Class 8 electric freight truck which got rolled out in 2019. Moreover, Walmart has also deposited a massive amount to $600,000 to book 45 new EV trucks for its Canadian fleet. FedEx has also ordered 20 Tesla semis. UPS has ordered 125 electric trucks in North America. Meanwhile, PepsiCo has reserved almost 100 of the backlogged EV.

Perhaps the biggest move was made by Amazon India when it said that their fleet of delivery vehicles will include 10,000 EVs by the year 2025.

The future of electric vehicles in delivery fleets seems very bright and that’s why better and improved electric vehicles are being designed. The latest electric trucks come with additional safety features like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, brake-by-wire, automated lane guidance, and steer-by-wire redundancy.

Advantages of electric vehicles

Environment friendly

If you choose electric vehicles for your delivery fleet then you’re doing immensely cutting down your carbon footprints and helping the planet. According to an estimate, around 281,000 journeys are made via commercial freight in London in a day. And around 97% of these journeys are powered by diesel which is considered to be one of the most polluting fuels on the planet. E-vehicles are eco-friendly as they don’t produce any CO2 or NOx emissions. So, driving e-vehicles would mean an improved air quality in the areas where your business operates.

Lower operational costs

The operational costs of electric vehicle are way lesser than vehicles that run on diesel or other fuels. The trials proved that the cost of operating some electric vans were just £4 per 100km, which is nothing as compared to the cost associated with the refueling of petrol or diesel vehicle. Moreover, electric vehicles also have fewer moving parts so, there’s less wear and tear on brakes which reduce the maintenance costs significantly.


All the around the world, governments are under tremendous pressure to cut their country’s carbon footprints by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the reason why many countries have started to incentivize businesses that adopt electric vehicles. In the UK, some of the government-funded ‘plug-in-grants’ are equivalent to the savings of up to £8,000.

Easy and noise-free drive

Many electric vans come with automatic transmissions. This means that they are very easy to drive. Moreover, they make lesser noise as compared to the combustion engines. And since these electric vehicles operate without making much noise they can be employed to make deliveries in unsociable hours which otherwise won’t be possible with conventional vehicles.

Boosts your brands

Adopting e-vehicles for your delivery business is great for the brand as no business wants to be associated with the tag of a polluter. If a delivery business wants to portray itself as a forward-thinker with a conscience then adopting going green by adopting e-vehicles is a good move.


As the fossil fuel gets scarce and the threat of global warming increases, we’ll see a transition in which electric vehicles would no longer remain an alternative but a mainstream vehicle option. In the blog, we studied that delivery businesses of various industries are realizing the benefits of having electric vehicles in their fleet and thus are deploying more and more EVs to leverage those advantages. Although, the EV might not be as convenient as the conventional vehicles as of now. But with time, these vehicles will only become better and would one day replace the conventional vehicles of today.


Mushahid Khatri

Mushahid Khatri is the Chief Executive Officer of Yelowsoft, one of the leading taxi dispatch and on-demand delivery solution providers. He is a visionary leader who believes in imparting his profound knowledge that is leaned on business and entrepreneurship.

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