After partnering with Olacabs on its pilot EV project in Nagpur and supplying a part deal of electric vehicles to the Energy Efficiency Services Ltd., Mahindra Electric has now joined hands with Meru to initiate a pilot electric cab project in Hyderabad. The move will see a fleet of Mahindra e-Verito sedans joining Meru's fleet in Hyderabad, and will ply at the same tariff as standard radio taxi sedans as prescribed by the Telangana Government. The two companies have stated that they intend to roll out the same model in other cities as well, in a bid to improve India's present electric vehicle infrastructure.
Speaking on the importance of the partnership and how this may impact the country, Nilesh Sangoi, CEO of Meru stated, "Electric Vehicle ecosystem is growing at a rapid pace towards the inflection point where it would soon bridge the viability gap. EVs’ potential to bring down the air pollution levels and savings in country’s energy bills is unparalleled. Government is actively promoting adoption of EVs through National Electric Mobility Mission and other initiatives through various ministries." Mahesh Babu, CEO of Mahindra Electric further added, "This is definitely going to make it easier for the city to adopt EV technology and will also be in line with our constant endeavor to make EVs more accessible to a larger urban population."
The companies have not yet stated how many e-Veritos will be part of the initial deal, or for how long do they intend to run the pilot. The EVs will be available for booking across all of Meru's standard booking options - via mobile app, website, call center and at its airport kiosk. Olacabs, the Indian ride sharing and cab aggregator service, has also rolled out a similar pilot project, which is not limited to one particular car. The company deploys a fleet of EVs, including electric buses, e-autos and e-rickshaws, and the Mahindra e-Verito and e2o as taxis in Nagpur. The company has also recently vowed to promote 10,000 EVs across India by this year, and over 1 million EVs by 2020.
Mahindra, too, has been putting increasing emphasis on electric cars, launching a range of concepts and production-ready models in both two-wheeler and three-wheeler formats at the 2018 Auto Expo. The company has already had electric cars in its India portfolio for a while now, and is pushing for a wider adoption of EVs as it aims to gain a head start in India's EV market, before the segment gets too crowded.