Olacabs has partnered with Mahindra and the government of Maharashtra to introduce the first pilot project involving electric taxis in India. Called the Mass Electric Transport system, the ride hailing service provider has officially included 100 Mahindra e2o all-electric vehicles in its fleet, along with 100 e-rickshaws by Kinetic to ply on Nagpur roads.
The move was two months in discussion and logistic arrangement stages, and has finally been flagged off. The first leg will provide Mahindra and Olacabs with crucial on-road experience of plying all-electric vehicles, which will allow Mahindra to develop more EVs, including all-electric buses to ply on city roads. While the first phase of the project will only involve two major companies, phase two of the Mass Electric Transport system will also introduce electric vehicles by Indian car makers Tata Motors, TVS and a few others in what is expected to be a rapidly growing sector. Tata Motors already has all-electric buses ready for production, along with all-electric rickshaws to enhance last mile connectivity.
More than 50 charging points are also being developed by Ola, spread across four different locations in Nagpur. The company is investing Rs. 50 crore into the infrastructure. Interestingly, Mahindra Electric has also released its EV 2.0 roadmap for electric vehicles of the near future. The company has stated its plans to manufacture more EVs and increase battery assembly, which falls in line with higher implementation of electric vehicles in the country.
The government of India has released explicit intentions to shift majorly to EVs by 2030, and this is the first step towards such achievements. While first steps are always welcome, the massive nature of India's transportation industry is going to require wider inflow of cash and faster implementations to make the clean energy switch.