In­dia's first e-taxi rolls out

The first Indian e-taxi has rolled out at Nag­pur.

Commercial Vehicle - - WHAT'S INSIDE - Story by: Ashish Bha­tia

The first Indian e-taxi has rolled out at Nag­pur.

As part of the Phase I of multi-modal elec­tric ve­hi­cle pi­lot project, 100 e-taxis have hit the road at Nag­pur. Op­er­ated by Ola Cabs, the e-taxis are four door Mahin­dra e2o Plus elec­tric cars, painted in a shade of green and white. A re­flec­tion of Cen­tral Gover­ment’s as­pi­ra­tion to build elec­tric mass mo­bil­ity, the 100 e2o Plus e-taxis will add a unique blend to the city’s pub­lic trans­port struc­ture. The home con­stituency of min­is­ter for road trans­port, Nitin Gad­kari, Nag­pur set the stage for ‘green’ pub­lic trans­port roughly three years ago when the first ethanol-pow­ered Sca­nia 12 m low-floor city-bus found its way to the city. More bio-fuel Sca­nia city-buses are said to have been sup­plied to the city of Nag­pur against an or­der for 55 such buses. The ar­rival of 100 e-taxis fol­lows the an­nounce­ment by NITI Aayog for a mass shift to elec­tric ve­hi­cles by 2030. Ex­pressed Deven­dra Fad­navis, Chief Min­is­ter, Maharashtra, at the e-taxi launch, “This pi­lot project will have a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on the so­ci­ety.” To sup­port the project, the state gov­ern­ment is claimed to have waived off VAT, road tax, and regis­tra­tion charges. To help Maharashtra to be looked upon as a model state for oth­ers to em­u­late, the e-taxi pi­lot project is claimed to have lead the State to set aside an archiac rule that cars with en­gines be­low 900 cc can­not be reg­is­tered as taxis.

Cru­cial to the pro­lif­er­a­tion of e-taxis will be the sup­port­ing in­fra­struc­ture. Ola is claimed to

have in­vested over Rs.50 crore to­wards the pur­chase of 100 e20 Plus, and to set up the charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture. If sources are to be be­lieved, over 50 charg­ing points have been in­stalled across four strate­gic lo­ca­tions in the city. High­light­ing its com­mit­ment to train and ed­u­cate the driver part­ners on main­te­nance and use of elec­tric-ve­hi­cle in as­so­ci­a­tion with its OEM part­ner, Ola Cabs has fixed a base fare of Rs.40, and a charge of Rs.8 for the first twelve kms. Beyond that the struc­ture changes to Rs.12 per km. A ride time fare of one-ru­pee per minute will be charged as well. If the fare struc­ture looks sim­i­lar to that of an Ola prime sedan, and an Ola mini, it also high­lights the fact that al­ter­nate fuel ve­hi­cles as a mass trans­port medium are yet to be ‘truly’ vi­able. If the ab­sence of a can­cel­la­tion charge, which is ap­pli­ca­ble for an Ola mini, at Rs.50, is a pos­i­tive, the size of the e2o Plus means that three com­muters can travel in good com­fort, not in­clud­ing the driver. Four adult com­muters is go­ing to be a squeeze.

Mea­sur­ing 3590 mm in length, 1575 mm in width, and 1585 mm in height, the e20 Plus com­pares well with an Ola mini, which is typ­i­cally a com­pact sedan like the Hyundai Xcent and Ford As­pire. The Xcent mea­sures 3995mm in length, 1660 mm in width and 1520 mm in height.

Pow­ered by a 48 cell con­fig­u­ra­tion, Lithium Ion bat­tery of 210 Ah, the e20 Plus has an on-board power of 11 kWh. Us­ing a three-phase AC in­duc­tion motor, the e-taxi de­vel­ops a peak power of 19 kW (25 hp) at 3500 rpm. It gen­er­ates a torque of 70 Nm at 1000 rpm. Trans­mis­sion is a two-speed direct-drive unit. Front sus­pen­sion is made up of Mac Pher­son struts, and coax­ial springs. Rear has a twin pivot trail­ing arm with a coax­ial spring and damper. On a full charge of 88 Wh, the e20 Plus cov­ers 110 kilo­me­tres. Top-speed is 80 kmph. Ac­cel­er­a­tion from zero to 40 kmph is claimed to be 6.3 sec­onds. To charge the e20 Plus (up to 80 per cent), a 3 kW, sin­gle-phase, 16 Am­pere charger is sup­plied. It takes ap­prox­i­mately seven hours and twenty min­utes. On a 10 kW, three-phase, 32 Am­pere charger, the charg­ing time re­duces dras­ti­cally. Ex-show­room price of the e20 Plus e-taxi at Nag­pur is Rs.7,73,380 (in­clu­sive of the FAME in­cen­tive), claim in­dus­try sources. A three year or 60,000 km war­ranty is of­fered.

⇦ Dr. Pawan Goenka, MD, Mahin­dra & Mahin­dra Ltd., with the e2o Plus e-taxi at Nag­pur.

⇧ Ola has pur­chased 100 such e2o Plus e-taxis, and set up 50 charg­ing sta­tions in Nag­pur.

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