By Aniket Gupta
On Wednesday, Eicher Trucks and Buses, a division of VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV), announced its partnership with Amazon aimed at electrifying the e-commerce company's delivery operations in India.
Over the next five years, Amazon plans to progressively introduce 50 Eicher electric trucks for middle-mile and last-mile deliveries in Delhi, Manesar, Gurugram, and other locations. This collaboration aims to integrate approximately 1,000 zero-emission electric trucks across different payload ranges into Amazon's delivery network through its transport service partners.
Eicher's range of electric trucks contains deck lengths spanning from eight to 24 feet featuring customized cargo stacking arrangements. These trucks offer both fast and slow charging alternatives, adaptable to the specific demands of various operations. The truck servicing includes considerations for charging infrastructure, operational prerequisites, and battery capacity.
Eicher traces its roots to the establishment, in 1948, of the Goodearth Company, to distribute and service imported tractors. In 1959, Eicher Tractor Corporation of India Private Ltd. was created in collaboration with Eicher Tractor Company, a German tractor manufacturer.
Since 1965, Eicher in India has been fully Indian-owned.
In 1973 the German Eicher Tractor was acquired by Massey Ferguson of the US, which manufactured many Eicher tractors were built. The Eicher business was later to Dromson, which builds specialized tractors for vineyards and such.
Currently, the ownership of VECV is divided, with Volvo Group accounting for 45.6 per cent of its shares, and Eicher Motors retaining the remaining 54.4 per cent. In 2020, VECV successfully acquired the operations of Volvo Buses India for a sum of Rs.100 crore.
Abhinav Singh, a vice president at Amazon India, says, ‘there is no predefined playbook for such a substantial fleet transformation.’ According to him his company will acquire 10,000 electric vehicles into its Indian delivery fleet by 2025.