The government push, changing consumer mindset, and rising investments in electric mobility startups have been driving up electric vehicle adoption in India. But so far EV-based cab services have been rare. Prakriti E-Mobility Private Limited is looking to change that with a fleet of electric vehicle cabs across Delhi-NCR this month.
The startup, founded in 2019, will set up 500 app-based electric vehicle cabs under its service called EVERA, in the first phase. Eventually, it aims to touch the 5K mark in the next two years.
“We wanted to provide customers with a delightful service and give them an opportunity to contribute to the cause of cleaner air as well. ‘EVERA’ as a service is not only focussed on getting customers from point A to point B but will also contribute towards the greater good of the planet,” cofounder and CEO of Prakriti E-Mobility Private Limited Nimish Trivedi was quoted as saying by MoneyControl.
Unlike other cab hailing startups, EVERA will follow zero surge pricing and zero cancellations. “The customers can book cabs without worrying about the hike in the price and they will have the ability to cancel the ride without paying for it,” the startup claimed.
Prakriti E-Mobility also said it’s in talks with manufacturers for setting up its own charging infrastructure to reduce dependency on existing options.
According to a recent report by the World Economic Forum and Ola Mobility Institute, India has the potential to become the largest EV market in the world. Lately, many EV startups have been trying to capitalise on the untapped market.
The government has also been working towards using EVs for efficient last-mile connectivity as part of transport infrastructure. Recently, Lt. Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal has asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to install charging facilities for the EVs at each metro station.The EV charging facilities will ensure more and more commuters use EVs to commute to the metro stations. The DMRC has also given permission to e-scooter renting services by EV startup qQuick at four Delhi Metro stations.
However, lack of charging infrastructure has been a bone of contention among startups and manufacturers. While some say that the adoption of EV is heavily dependent on the availability of charging infrastructure of the country which is the responsibility of the government, some say that manufacturers and startups have to take the responsibility.
Recently, Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto Ltd had said that the automobile industry should not get caught in the vicious chicken-and-egg cycle where the industry ponders whether EVs should come first or whether EV charging stations should be installed ahead of time. He added that nobody is going to put up an infrastructure for anything unless they actually see demand for EVs on the roads.
Indian automobile manufacturers including Guenter Butschek, MD and CEO, Tata Motors and Pawan Goenka, MD, Mahindra & Mahindra have also reportedly suggested that original equipment manufacturers should take the responsibility to create a demand for EVs in the country.