India plans to dictate taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola to convert 40 percent of their fleet of cars to electric by April 2026, according to a supply and records of government meetings to discuss new guidelines for fresh mobility.
Uber and Ola, both endorsed by SoftBank Group, would need to begin converting their fleet as soon as next year to achieve 2.5% electrification by 2021, 5% by 2022, 10 percent by 2023 before hiking it to 40 percent, according to the individual and the documents that were examined by Reuters.
Some taxi players, like Ola, have tried to run electric cars in the country, but with little success given inadequate infrastructure and high costs.
New Delhi, however, is looking to drive the new policy to raise the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) because it tries to bring down its petroleum imports and suppress pollution so it can meet its commitment as a portion of their 2015 Paris climate change treaty.
Indian think-tank Niti Aayog, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that plays a important role in policymaking, is working with several ministries on the new policy.
Neighbouring China, home to the world’s top auto market, is leading the world in electrification by setting tough EV sales targets for car makers and offering incentives to cab operators to increase their fleet of clean-fuel automobiles.
EV earnings in India grew three-fold to 3,600 from the year ended March but still accounts for about 0.1percent of the 3.3 million petrol and diesel cars sold in the country over the period of time, industry data showed. China’s electric automobile sales, meanwhile, rose 62 percent in 2018 to 1.3 million vehicles.
At a meeting in New Delhi on May 28, Niti Aayog officials along with the ministries of road transport, electricity, renewable energy and steel, in addition to the branches of heavy industries and trade, were one of those recommending taxi operators in India gradually convert to electrical.
They also suggested that all new automobiles offered for commercial usage should only be electric in April 2026, a change that would also apply to Uber and Ola, said the individual who has direct knowledge of this issue but spoke on condition of anonymity.
Motorcycles and scooters offered for business purposes, like food shipping or for use by e-commerce companies, will also need to be electric from April 2023, the person added.
Sales by e-commerce companies like Amazon.com and Walmart-owned Flipkart will also be rising.
The EV proposal comes months following the inter-ministerial committee recommended electrifying most motorbikes and scooters for private usage and all three-wheeled autorickshaws over the following six to eight years.
While there are several electric scooter manufacturers in the country such as Ather Energy, Hero Electric and Okinawa, there are just two car manufacturers that build and market electrical cars – Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors.
Some cab operators have had little success working electric cars in India. Ola established a pilot project in the central Indian city of Nagpur in 2017 but a year after motorists, miserable with long wait times in charging stations and higher operating expenses, desired to return to gas automobiles.
Ola, however, isn’t giving up yet.
Modi’s government in 2017 had set an ambitious goal to electrify new cars and utility vehicles by 2030 but immunity against the industry forced it to scale back the program.