Uber is eyeing a more prominent spot in India’s electric vehicle (EV) space with plans to add 3,000 such vehicles and e-rickshaws to its fleet by 2021-end, Mint reported. This is in line with the “trend shift” towards green technologies.
According to Prabhjeet Singh, President–Mobility, Uber India and South Asia, the 3,000-target includes two-wheeler, three-wheeler and four-wheel vehicles.
Compared to its core cab business, the auto, motorbikes and rental businesses have seen quicker recovery, as per the report. It noted that the auto segment, in particular, saw decent recovery as customers found the open ventilation a “safer” option.
“Gross booking for autos in Mumbai have bounced back 150 percent of pre-COVID levels, this is 100 percent in Chandigarh and 85 percent in Hyderabad. Uber’s inter-city travel has seen 70 percent recovery,” Singh said.
Uber began bolstering its EV fleet by adding 100 e-rickshaws in Delhi and by 500 in Kolkata in November. It is looking to expand to Tier-II cities where reliance on autos is high and plans to reach 200 cities by December-end.
“EV-friendly policies and targets by the Centre and states such as Delhi and Telangana will translate into sales in the near future,” the company said.
It has joined hands with green-tech service startup Lithium for 1,000 EVs in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi-NCR and with startup Yulu, Sun Mobility and Mahindra for battery swapping to ensure “seamless transition to EVs”.
Singh was confident that the evolution of India’s EV space over the two years was an “irreversible” trend, pointing out that the core cabs business was yet to show similar recovery. “The recovery for the core business varies in different cities, but in general, we are seeing very healthy recovering in that part of the portfolio," he added.