Uber Technologies announced this week that it will launch electric vehicles (EVs) for ride-sharing in India. This is the company’s first step toward adopting cleaner vehicles as the Indian government pushes for increased electrification of shared mobility and public transportation.
With plans to roll out 25,000 EVs over the course of three years, Uber is upping the ante in its battle with BluSmart, a local rival, and electric mobility start-up funded by BP’s (BP.L) venture fund that has seized the lead in India’s electric taxi market.
EVs from Tata Motors is in the game
The largest electric vehicle manufacturer in India, Tata Motors, will sell the vehicles to Uber’s fleet partners, according to Prabhjeet Singh, head of Uber India and South Asia, in a phone conversation on Monday.
In addition, Singh cautioned against rushing into significant shifts without first fully understanding the economics and trade-offs.
BluSmart also purchases EVs from Tata Motors.
According to Singh, a number of things need to align for electric ride-hailing to succeed. The financial environment must develop. Also, there must be a large distribution of charging infrastructure, and automakers must produce cost-effective, long-range automobiles.
Singh noted that this is the biggest transaction for EVs by a ride-sharing firm and that Uber feels it is starting to see early signs of that coming together.
Uber’s 25,000 EVs are just a small part of the overall active fleet
According to Singh, even with 25,000 EVs, Uber’s 300,000-vehicle active fleet in India will not be entirely made up of electric cars.
Uber has declared a goal that by 2040, all of its trips will be made using micro-mobility, public transportation, or zero-emission vehicles. This goal includes trips made in India.
Singh said that the ride-hailing behemoth sponsored by Softbank Group (9984.T) is in “active” discussions with other automakers, charging businesses, fleet operators, and financiers for its EV push.
Only one other Indian automaker, Mahindra & Mahindra, produces electric vehicles locally. Additionally, BYD and MG Motor from SAIC sell imported EVs in India.
Why cleaner vehicles are important
One of the most harmful human activities to the environment is transportation. A large amount of CO2 is still released into the atmosphere as a result of the majority of cars still needing fossil fuels to operate. Naturally, with the move toward eco-friendly vehicles, this will hopefully change.
Green cars, vans, and trucks are those that run on alternative energy sources (such as electricity, hydrogen, or synthetic fuels) rather than conventional fuels (such as diesel or gasoline).
It has already been established by a large number of businesses that these new automotive technologies can lower carbon emissions while also being commercially viable.
India has been struggling with pollution for many years now as cities are becoming more and more overcrowded.