India: Uber Green launches in three major citites
Ride-hailing company Uber will launch its Uber Green service in three cities in India starting this June, namely bringing the EV-only option to Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Uber also shared a slew of new EV partnerships in India.
Staying with Uber Green, the service allows customers to request an electric vehicle to pick them up. As is the norm at Uber, drivers must acquire the EVs on their account. Yet, Uber sometimes facilitates access and favourable conditions through partnerships with carmakers or fleet companies.
A recent deal includes Uber signing an MoU with Tata to help them deploy 25,000 Xpres-T EV models across Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru but also in Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad. As is usual with agreements between Uber and vehicle manufacturers (for Europe, these include Kia and Hyundai, but also car rental company Hertz), Uber drivers are likely to receive special conditions for obtaining the Tata model. However, neither Tata Motors nor Uber released details when announcing the agreement in February.
In today’s news, the company also announced new deals with Lithium Urban Technologies, India’s largest B2B fleet service provider, Everest Fleet Private Limited, and Moove, Uber’s global fleet partner, which will help them roll out said 25,000 electric vehicles across the seven cities. To finance the transition, Uber signed an MoU with India’s largest Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to make Rupees 1000 Cr of low-interest loans available to its fleet partners to purchase EV and CNG vehicles.
Uber says it is also tying up with EV-as-a-service startup Zypp Electric to deploy 10,000 electric two-wheelers by 2024. UberMoto in Delhi already runs 1,000 two-wheelers by Zypp.
The US company is not the only one in India’s contested mobility market increasingly focussing on zero-emission vehicles. BP-backed BluSmart reportedly signed a deal with Tata in June 2022 for options to buy 10,000 electric cars, also the T EV sedan from Tata’s Expres brand.
Unlike Uber and Ola in India, BluSmart has been betting on an EV-only fleet. Moreover, the company does not require drivers or fleet operators to own the cars. Instead, they can sign up and pick up the vehicles at the company’s charging stations. The taxi service operates in Delhi and Bangalore at present.
As for Uber, the company says its EV service Uber Green is present in over 100 cities in 15 countries worldwide, including India.