Lithium, an electric-cab service has readied plans to make an entry into Bangalore next month. The new cab service, Lithium, will begin operations next month with an initial fleet of about 100 electric cars. Lithium plans on targeting employees of technology and outsourcing companies and will provide a slew of cloud-safety features communicating more than 200 parameters including charge, location and detection of unauthorised passengers to the transport departments of technology companies.
Speaking on the launch of the service, Ashwin Mahesh, founder Lithium said, “You will always know where the vehicle is, will always be able to look inside the vehicle; all of the things that were uncertainties will get improved.Cab drivers working for tech parks often moonlight for taxi-hailing app companies such as Uber and Ola, something Lithium aims to put an end to.”
As per the company, 10 technology startups have already signed up for the service.
Lithium will own and operate its fleet, and charge companies monthly on a per-car basis, with no limits on the miles driven by each car. Here are the features users can look forward to whilst using the Lithium cab service:
- Tamper-proof GPS, undisclosed to the driver.
- Uninterrupted Internet connection via Wi-fi.
- Communication with the commuters without sharing the mobile number through a mobile app.
- Alerts as and when the cab veers off the course.
- Charging stations within technology campuses.
The Indian Taxi market is estimated to be between $8 Bn- $10Bn and has witnessed a lot of traction over the years:
- Recently, Ola bought TaxiForSure for $200 Mn in one of India’s biggest e-commerce deals.
- Mumbai-based Meru Cabs also raised $50 Mn (over INR 300 Cr) in a new round of funding yesterday and is soon going to close another $100 Mn.
- Uber is also is working hard on expanding operations in the country.
Lithium faces stiff competition from Ola which plans to reach 200 cities by end of 2015 and has also introduced cashless rides through its In-app Ola Money Wallet for auto rickshaw bookings.
Although the online booking of taxis and cabs in India is still in its infancy, it has been growing at breakneck speed, largely due to the growth in the organized sector and the scaling business trips. The Indian Car rental and carpooling segments are also witnessing an upsurge in the number of startups.