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Uber plans to include EVs from Tata Motors to take on BluSmart

Uber plans to include EVs from Tata Motors to take on BluSmart


Uber Technologies said on Monday it will introduce electric vehicles (EVs) in India for ride-sharing, its first move to adopt clean cars amid an Indian government push for greater electrification of public transport and shared mobility. With plans to introduce 25,000 EVs over three years, Uber is stepping up competition with local rival BluSmart, an electric mobility start-up backed by BP’s venture fund, which has taken the lead in India’s electric
taxi space.

Uber’s fleet partners will buy the EVs from Tata Motors, India’s biggest electric carmaker, Prabhjeet Singh, president, Uber India and South Asia, said during a phone interview on Monday.

For electric ride-hailing to take off, Singh said multiple factors need to come together. Automakers need to build affordable vehicles with a long range, the financing ecosystem needs to mature and charging infrastructure has to be widespread. “We believe we are beginning to see early signs of that coming together,” Singh said, adding that this is the largest deal for EVs by a ride-sharing company.

Even with 25,000 EVs, electric cars will still be a fraction of Uber’s current overall active fleet of 300,000 vehicles in India, according to Singh.

Uber has set a 2040 target for 100% of its rides to be in zero-emission vehicles, public transport or with micro-mobility, including in India.

The Softbank Group-backed ride-hailing giant is in “active”talks with other carmakers, charging companies, fleet operators and financiers for its EV
push, Singh added.

Tata rival Mahindra & Mahindra is the only other Indian automaker to build electric cars locally. China’s BYD and SAIC’s MG Motor also sell imported
EVs in India.

“We are going to be a big catalyst in accelerating the (EV) ecosystem,” Singh said.

Besides four-wheeler cabs like Ola or Uber, there are app-based companies who offer bike taxi services. It is a relatively affordable ride option compared to four-wheeler cabs. Gahlot said, the policy will also spell out rules regarding four-wheelers as well. On Tuesday, he took to social media saying, “Aggregator policy for 2W (two-wheelers), 3W (three-wheelers) and 4W (four-wheelers) is in its final stage and will be rolled out soon helping

A public notice issued by the Transport Department read, “It has been brought to the notice that two-wheelers having non-transport (private) registration mark/number are being used to carry passengers on hire or reward which is purely commercial operation and in violation of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and rules made thereunder.” Two-wheelers, if used for commercial purposes, is a violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. It could
lead to a fine of ₹5,000. Consequent violations will attract fine of ₹10,000 and imprisonment of up to a year. The licence of the driver could also be suspended for three months.

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network