Jeff Bezos rode around in an electric Amazon rickshaw to show off the company's new fleet in India

insider@insider.com (Isobel Asher Hamilton)
Jeff Bezos Amazon Rickshaw

Jeff Bezos/Instagram

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced over the weekend that the company would deploy a fleet of electric delivery rickshaws in India.
  • In a promotional video, he hopped into one of the rickshaws for a spin.
  • Bezos' trip to India has been overshadowed by protesters and an antitrust investigation.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been on a highly publicized tour of India, and his latest stunt involved hopping in an Amazon-branded electric rickshaw.

Bezos uploaded a video on Instagram and Twitter over the weekend that showed him riding around in an electric rickshaw and announcing a new fleet of Amazon e-rickshaws, ending with the hashtag #ClimatePledge.

Bezos did not mention in either the video or the caption how many rickshaws would be deployed.

An Amazon representative told Business Insider that Amazon India planned to deploy 10,000 electric vehicles in its fleet by 2025 but did not say how many of these vehicles are currently in service.

"We piloted these EVs in 2019 and are now scaling up rapidly," the representative said. "This number is dynamic and fast-changing because of the scale-up."

Bezos has been on a charm offensive in India, announcing last week that Amazon would invest $1 billion in "digitizing small and medium businesses" in the country and predicting that the India-US alliance would be "the most important alliance" of this century.

India is a significant battleground for Amazon. The company faces stiff competition from Flipkart, a Walmart-owned rival, which in 2018 held a 31.9% market share compared with Amazon's 31.2% according to Forrester data.

Amazon is also facing increased regulatory scrutiny in India.

Bezos' arrival was greeted by thousands of small-business owners protesting with placards saying "Jeff Bezos go back!" Organized by a trade union, the protesters accused Amazon of destroying small retailers by undercutting them on price. Their protests were heard by the Indian government, which launched an inquiry into Amazon and Flipkart.

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