How Ride-Hailing Apps, Quick Commerce Platforms like Uber Green, Zomato are Pushing for EV Usage

Uber has been trying to come up with several initiatives to incentise the usage of electric vehicles. The ride hailing partner announced a partnership with SIDBI in May 2023 to provide Rs 1000 crore in low-interest loans for fleet partners to purchase EV and CNG vehicles.
How Ride-Hailing Apps, Quick Commerce Platforms like Uber Green, Zomato are Pushing for EV Usage

On Thursday ride hailing platform Uber announced that it has launched its flagship electric vehicle, Uber Green, in Kolkata. However, the company has not disclosed its expansion plans in the city or the number of vehicles available under Uber Green.

Speaking about the move, West Bengal Transport Minister Snehasis Chakraborty said that the step towards introducing 'Uber Green' in Kolkata is an important step towards reducing carbon emissions in the city.

Uber's new service enables residents to easily book zero-emission rides via the app, encouraging sustainable travel throughout the city, including routes to and from Kolkata International Airport, the company said in a statement.

Read: Why Trade Unions Push for Independent Ride-Hailing Apps Amid Discontent with Ola and Uber

What is Uber Green?

Uber Green is basically an electric vehicle service that offers on-demand EV rides. Uber Green that goes by the tagline ‘Your city, our commitment’, aims to be a low-packaging-waste and zero-emission platform by 2040.

The company started its green journey in 2020 with US and Canada and expanded to the Indian markets in 2023. Partnering with fleet operators, the ride hailing app introduced more electric vehicles in the country.

In partnership with fleet providers such as Lithium, Everest and Moove, the company said last year that they would add 25,000 electric cars on its platform. The ride hailing platform also highlighted that along with Zypp Electric, 10,000 electric two-wheelers would be rolled out in Delhi by 2024. Uber Green is available in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and now Kolkata.

Uber CEO Khosrowshahi also said in 2020 that the company is working with the World Resources Institute, Transport & Environment (T&E), and others to become a stronger partner in the fight against climate change.

Incentivising Uber Green

Uber has been trying to come up with several initiatives to incentivise the usage of electric vehicles. The ride hailing partner announced a partnership with SIDBI in May 2023 to provide Rs 1000 crore in low-interest loans for fleet partners to purchase EV and CNG vehicles.

Read: Ola Electric Gets Sebi Clearance for Rs 5,500-Crore IPO

The company also highlighted that it was bringing its global mobility agreement with BP Pulse to India through JioBP for fast-charging Uber EVs last year.

Even in other parts of the world, the company tried to come up with perks such as providing an extra $0.50 per Uber Green trip for drivers. Similarly, in New Zealand, last year Uber announced that drivers using battery electric vehicles would receive a 50 per cent reduced service fee on trips up to $5,000 annually until June 30, 2025.

Other ride hailing apps that are going green

Other ride hailing apps are also trying to leverage the usage of electric vehicles. Uber’s competitor Ola announced at the beginning of this year that it is expanding its electric bike taxi service to Hyderabad and Delhi. It was first launched under a pilot programme in September 2023. The electric two wheelers were deployed by its sister company Ola Electric.

BluSmart is another EV ride hailing service that is available in Delhi NCR or Bengaluru. In less than five years of operating in India, the company stated in November of last year that it has assisted in 10 million emission-free rides. The Gurugram based company has raised a total funding of $118 million. The company’s valuation is $134 million as on Apr 20, 2023, as per data collecting platform Tracxn.

Evera Cabs, eee-Taxi, Shoffr, GoGreen Cabs and Hail Cabs are some of the electric vehicle.

The EV push by the government

By 2030, the government wants for at least 30 per cent of all car sales to be electric. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari pledged to remove all 36 crore gasoline and diesel vehicles from the nation, as per PTI.

The government also launched an E- Vehicle policy that aims to attract investments in the e-vehicle space and make India a manufacturing destination for EVs.

Now, even quick commerce platforms are trying to use Electric Vehicles to make the delivery ‘greener’. In January this year, Zomato said that it intends to make 100 per cent of its deliveries by electric vehicles. By 2033, the food ordering and delivery value chain aims to have net zero emissions. In 2021, food delivery platform Swiggy mentioned they would pledge to supply electric vehicles (EVs) daily over 8 lakh kilometers.

With the push for EVs constantly increasing, it remains to be seen how apps like Uber Green will fare in the rising competitive market. However, there are other challenges that EV adoption faces in India that includes charging anxiety, lack of consumer awareness and fragmented supply chain that the industry has to be navigated.

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