Electric ride-hailing commercially viable in India: Report

Integration of electric vehicles in ride-hailing fleets is both technically and commercially viable in India today, a new report said on Wednesday.

With improving technology, more vehicle options and increased availability of charging infrastructure in the near future, the business case of EV adoption in ride-hailing will only get stronger, said the report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

With sustained business action from other ride-hailing companies and a supportive policy environment, EVs will soon enough start replacing ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles in the ride-hailing fleets and create major cost savings and carbon emission reductions, it said.

In order to achieve a high-level of EV adoption in the ride-hailing market, and beyond, some amount of government support will be required.

Some policy measures that governments could undertake to accelerate EV adoption in the ride-hailing market are – establishing a charging network for ride-hailing fleets, incentivising electric ride-hailing and facilitating EV financing, WBCSD added.

According to its analysis, a 100 per cent adoption of electric ride-hailing cars in India by 2030 equates to a reduction of 12 million tons of CO2 emissions per year, avoiding consumption of 11 billion litres of fuel per year.

The new report by WBCSD documented the EV journey of India’s first all-electric car ride-hailing company BluSmart which was launched in June 2019.

BluSmart’s EV deployment experience shows that with the right business model, EVs are a profitable investment.

“BluSmart’s fleet with Mahindra’s eVerito sedan has shown that electric ride-hailing is both technically and financially viable today” said Mahesh Babu, MD & CEO at Mahindra Electric Mobility Limited, said in a statement.

Since their launch, BluSmart has completed five million clean kilometres.

“Since inception we have touched 200,000+ citizens of Delhi NCR and we are pleased by the positive feedback on electric mobility and people’s enthusiasm to make a change in their everyday lives by adopting a cleaner and greener way of travelling,” said Anmol Jaggi, Co-Founder and CEO at BluSmart Mobility.

“We believe that the sheer impact on air-quality and climate change will make electric ride-hailing the preferred way for India to move forward.”

It could be assumed that government interventions and active original equipment manufacturer OEM participation combined would compel more and more fleets to strongly consider switching to electric, said the report titled “Advancing electrification of ride-hailing in India: A case study on BluSmart”.