Swedish furniture maker IKEA, which launched its first India store in Hyderabad last week is using electric vehicles as its delivery fleet. And for the smell vehicle segment of its delivery fleet, Hyderabad-based Gayam Motor Works, which makes electric vehicles, will supply its Smart Autos to IKEA.
IKEA has procured the smart autos through Gati, which is its logistics partner in Hyderabad. For IKEA, this is part of its global compliance code of sustainability.
After piloting with various electric vehicle makers across the country, IKEA is working with Gayam through Gati.
Gayam Motor Works (GMW), founded in 2012 by brothers Rahul and Raja Gayam, makes electric bikes and smart autos powered by lithium Ion batteries. These Smart Autos are also the first electric autos in the world to be made with a battery swapping system. This ensures that as against spending several hours charging the vehicle, it can be easily swapped with another fully charged Li-Ion battery. As against diesel rickshaws which have a running cost of Rs 3.5/km, the Smart Auto has a running cost of only Rs 0.50/km.
While Gayam declined to share how many e-rickshaws it will be manufacturing and supplying to IKEA, it says that IKEA is also considering working with Gayam for its smaller vehicle segment for its upcoming stores across India as well.
Gayam Motors, which is based out of T-Hub, counts Uber, BigBasket, Flipkart, Grofers, Gati, Chittoor Police, GVMC, Govt of AP and Telangana and Central American Police, ChaiGuru among its customers.
It has manufactured and supplied pollution-free electric auto-rickshaws for waste disposal with an advanced hydraulic disposal system to the AP government.
According to Gayam, IKEA also plans on setting up charging and battery swapping infrastructure in its warehouses and wherever necessary so that not just its fleet, but other users of electric vehicles can benefit as well.
“This is a huge validation for us. IKEA has started adopting electric vehicles all across the world and their sustainability teams are well informed. It is a huge encouragement for startups like us. We also hope that this will set an example for other corporates for adoption. If IKEA is adopting electric vehicles, then others should also start looking at this,” says Harsha Bavirisetty, COO, Gayam Motor Works.
GMW also developed electric bikes called LIMITLESS e-bikes. What’s different about the bikes is that they come with different levels of pedal assistance to give you a push. When you start pedalling, the motor kicks in and supplies about 80% of the energy.