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Uber ties up with Mahindra to run electric cabs in Hyderabad and Delhi

Mahindra will deploy its electric sedan eVerito and e20 Plus on the Uber platform

Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, India’s only electric car maker has entered into a nonexclusive partnership with the cab aggregator Uber Technologies Inc. in order to deploy the electric sedan eVerito and electric hatchback e20 Plus on the Uber platform to serve Hyderabad and New Delhi.

Pawan Goenka, Managing Director at Mahindra mentioned that the company would like to be at the forefront as pioneers of electric vehicles in the country and lead the change towards smart and sustainable mobility. This partnership will include the sale of Mahindra electric cars at competitive prices, insurance premiums, attractive financing and maintenance packages.

Uber and Mahindra will work with private and public entities in order to set up common use charging stations across different cities in the country. Mahindra is looking to understand the traffic and mobility data of Uber and will continue to do so for the next two months in order to determine the locations in order to set up charging infrastructure. The services will begin in New Delhi and Hyderabad by the end of February 2018.

Goenka mentioned that the charging infrastructure is causing the delay in terms of EVs taking off. Hyderabad and New Delhi were chosen to run the pilot because they seemed proactive in establishing the charging infrastructure. The company will withdraw from setting up the charging stations as more charging suppliers emerge. The same will be accelerated by the tender for 4000 charging stations in New Delhi and NCR floated by state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL).

Mahindra’s electric cars have a range of 110 km and 140 km and Uber is looking for a vehicle with a range of 200km. Hence, Mahindra is looking to increase the range while managing the costs, which is the main influential deterrent for electric vehicles at the moment.

Goenka emphasized that the input costs must be reduced in order to drive mass acceptability because the government subsidies cannot be expected to continue in the long term. There could be cost reductions with a larger volume. Mahindra has already partnered with Ola in Nagpur for a multi nodal project.

The partnership between Uber and Mahindra for electric cabs will help reduce the environmental woes in New Delhi and is paving way for an all EV future. This partnership will also help address customer perceptions regarding electric vehicles and lead to personal purchases. Mahindra sold more than 600 EVs in the first seven months of FY18, though it is not much higher than FY17 EV sales.

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