Currently, EV cabs are only available for pre-scheduled trips, and users have to ‘reserve’ a ride on the Uber app
Uber is offering the service to support the Indian government’s target to reduce 45% emission by 2030
The cab aggregator is reportedly launching two-wheeler and three-wheeler electric vehicles in other parts of the country in the next few months
Ride-hailing company Uber has begun piloting electric cab services in some parts of Delhi-NCR. Currently, users can only book these EV cabs for pre-scheduled trips.
To book EV rides on the Uber app, users have to click on the ‘Reserve’ feature and then select a time and date for the ride. Under the ‘Reserve’ feature, users can book a cab up to 30 days in advance and also, cancel the ride 1 hour before the trip to avoid any charges, as per the app.
“We have begun offering riders the choice of an electric vehicle on pre-scheduled trips under the Reserve feature on the Uber app. Uber Electric remains limited to parts of Delhi NCR currently. As the leading mobility app in India, we are committed to supporting the Indian government’s emission goals. Expect to see more electric vehicles – be they two, three or four-wheeled – across Indian cities in the coming months,” Uber spokesperson said.
Reportedly, Uber is offering EV rides in a bid to support the Indian government’s emission targets that aims to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 and create 50% of the country’s power from non-fossil resources. The cab aggregator is reportedly launching two-wheeler and three-wheeler electric vehicles in other parts of the country in the next few months.
The latest development has come at a time when Uber’s archrival Ola has been manufacturing and selling electric scooters under the brand Ola Electric across the country for some months now.
In September, Ola’s electric two-wheeler registrations rose by 179% month-on-month to 9,616 units as compared to 3,440 EV units registered in August 2022, as per Vahan data. Prior to this, the sales of Ola’s electric two-wheelers dropped as many consumers reported that their electric scooters malfunctioned and also caught fire.
Meanwhile, Blu-Smart Mobility is another electric ride-sharing startup offering e-mobility services, smart charging and smart parking solutions to Indian consumers. In March, the startup along with BigHaat, and LoanTap received a cumulative $4.5 Mn+ funding from debt financing NBFC BlackSoil.
During the time of fundraising, the startup said that it has a fleet of over 1K electric vehicles and 10 charging stations along with 250+ charging points in its charging infrastructures. It further claims to have covered over 1 Mn trips to date.
Different Govt Initiatives To Support EV Adoption
In the last few years, the central government and state governments have taken various measures to bolster EV adoption in India.
Recently, the Indian government’s think tank NITI Aayog along with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is reportedly in the process of setting up a $5 Bn fund to support EV adoption in the country.
Earlier this month, the Delhi government proclaimed that it has installed 1K EV charging points across the city under its EV policy 2020. The state government further aims to install 19K EV charging points in the coming three years.
In April, the Maharashtra Government also announced that it would create an EV-focused fund to help EV startups in the state. During that time, Aaditya Thackeray, Maharashtra’s Minister of Tourism and Environment said that in July 2021, the state government rolled out an EV adoption plan to boost EV adoption in the province thereby, increasing EV sales by 153% during 2021- April 2022.
Previously, the Centre had initiated the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME India) scheme in 2015 to boost EV adoption in the country. The federal government initially launched the scheme for two years and then reintroduced the second phase of FAME scheme on April 1, 2019.
Under the second phase of FAME-II, the centre allocated INR 10K Cr to sanction the setting up of 2,877 electric vehicle charging stations in 68 cities of India. The scheme further subsidised 5 Lakh electric three-wheelers, 1 Mn electric two-wheelers, and 55K electric passenger vehicles, among other plans.
Update|12th October, 23.55 IST
The story has been updated to include Uber’s comment