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.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
“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.