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Amazon has started using electric three-wheelers for deliveries in India, a growing market for the online retailer, as part of its push to add more eco-friendly vehicles to its fleet. The company has deployed almost 100 auto rickshaws, made by Indian electric car manufacturer Mahindra Electric, across seven cities including New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Indore and Lucknow. Motorized three-wheelers are a common sight on Indian roads, where they are mainly used as taxis.
Mahindra's electric rickshaw, however, is built to carry cargo. The “Treo Zor” range Amazon is using can bear a 500kg load on the back, offers 125km of range on a single charge of just under 4 hours and has a top speed of 50 km/h. Though Amazon's initial order of 100 of the three-wheelers doesn't match its major investment in 100,000 Rivian electric vans in the US, the compact Treo Zor is seemingly well-equipped for deliveries on India's busy roads and could feasibly be expanded in the future.
The move also fits into the retailer's broader climate pledge of using only renewable energy by 2030. That target also includes a global commitment of 100,000 electric vehicles in its delivery fleet, of which 10,000 are earmarked for India by 2025.
Amazon clearly views India, home to 1.36 billion people, as a massive growth opportunity. Last August, it opened its largest campus to date in the city of Hyderabad and in February it announced that it would start manufacturing Fire TV sticks in India, marking its first time building a device in the country.