e-taxis in India
The news of India’s first e-taxis rolling out in Nagpur was interesting. It provided a view of the government’s push for electric vehicles. The roll out of e-taxis at Nagpur helps to join the dots between the government’s push for electric vehicles and the announcement by the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Ayog’s on the adoption of electric vehicles to reduce annual diesel and petrol consumption. The roll out at Nagpur marks Phase 1 of the multi-modal electric vehicle pilot project, and has grabbed the headline. A mention is also necessary of e-taxis rolling out at Hyderabad. Both the cities have got Mahindra electric vehicles as e-taxis. They are roughly the same size as a Hyundai i10 or the Maruti Celerio, and can seat four-to-five people. As easy, and convenient to drive in cities, the i10 and the Celerio is. They are a popular choice with urban buyers across the Indian sub-continent. The i10 has in fact been selling in Mumbai as the city cab. If the rise of Mahindra’s electric vehicles as e-taxis in India will influence buyers of small cars to look at them as an attractive alternative to a conventional fossil fuel car, it will be well woth the effort. For e-taxis to be successful the need is for supporting infrastructure. Efforts are necessary to bring down of buying and operating costs of an electric car to a level close to that of a conventional similar sized car. A conserted effort by the industry and the government is necessary since localisation will hold the key. Localisation will ensure volumes, in the process realising the benefits of an electric car.
Uday Parkar, Thane