Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has ventured into the app-based taxi market to rival established players like Ola and Uber with the launch of Glyd, which will run electric cars, in Mumbai.
This is the second foray by the Mumbai-based SUV specialist into the aggregator platform after having entered into app-based cargo aggregator business in 2015 through the brand SmartShift.
Though brand Glyd is owned by M&M, the fleet will be owned by third party companies and drivers. M&M, which will not own any of the cabs, today flagged off a fleet of 10 e-Veritos (fully electric versions of Verito). This fleet is owned by Mumbai-based ride hailing company Meru Cabs.
Since Glyd will have only electric cars on its app, it is designed on the lines of the Bengaluru–based all-electric cab company Lithium. Ola too started with electric cabs (in Nagpur); however, the response so far has not been encouraging, according to reports.
Mahindra hopes that Glyd will get traction in the business and enterprise hubs such as the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and Lower Parel in Mumbai. It will enter more Indian cities at a later stage. As for demand, as per expectations, BKC alone can have a fleet size of 200-400 electric cars while Lower Parel can have around 800-1,600 cars.
Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, M&M, said, “Glyd is our unique step to drive positive change towards a smart, sustainable and experiential daily commute. Going forward we plan to launch multiple e-mobility solutions, across cities."
M&M will add more models in Glyd when they are available in the market. Though no official word has come from M&M on the future model range in Glyd, the company is launching the electric version of the KUV100 this year followed by an electric version of the XUV300 next year.
Glyd will have only Mahindra branded vehicles in its fleet. Tata Motors is the only other auto company in India to make electric vehicles. It supplies the electric Tigor to Energy Efficiency Services.
Glyd’s pricing will be premium since this is premium service and should be 5-10 percent more than the rates of Ola and Uber alternatives. Privacy screen, air purifier, strain-free lighting, bolstered seats, wrap-around headrest and custom designed armrests are will be featured in the Glyd cars.
Within the next year, Mahindra will expand Glyd to other markets. Delhi and Bengaluru have better-charging infrastructure than Mumbai since these cities have been hosting fully electric cars for several months.
“Drivers are starting to get confidence about putting an electric vehicle for commercial use. The cost advantages of running an EV is much higher for commercial purposes than running petrol or diesel-powered car,” said a market watcher.
Glyd has partnered with Vodafone-Idea
for in-car WiFi services. Cisco Systems have helped Mahindra develop the app along with other service and content providers.