Mahindra & Mahindra has teamed up with Uber to offer Indian commuters with electric cabs from early next year onward.
The alliance comes at a time when the Indian government is pushing forth its plans to electrify all vehicles by 2030, reports Nikkei Asian Review.
Mahindra and Uber have announced that they will initially offer hundreds of electric vehicles in Delhi and Hyderabad while they explore expanding the network to other parts of the country.
India and China are pushing automakers to build more electric vehicles as they seek to rein in widespread pollution, reduce oil imports, and compete in the growing global market for eco-friendly vehicles. France, Norway, and the U.K are also asking auto makers to sell electric vehicles over the next two decades.
“Electric vehicle adoption is clearly gaining momentum in India,” said Pawan Goenka, managing director of Mahindra. “As the pioneers of electric vehicles in the country, we would like to be at the forefront, leading this change toward and sustainable mobility.”
As part of the said deal, Mahindra will supply its electric car models – the e20Plus hatchback and the eVerito sedan – to Uber.
The alliance with Uber is a key step for Mahindra to help accelerate the large-scale adoption of electric vehicles in India, Goenka said.
The tie-up follows the auto maker’s partnership with Zoomcar, a car rental company, to use the e20Plus car.
In October, the government issued a tender to purchase 10,000 electric sedans – billed as the world’s single-largest electric vehicle procurement program.
Tata Motors emerged as the lowest bidder for the contract and would be able to supply 70% of the tender size. Mahindra was the second-lowest bidder and-is eligible to supply the remaining cars.
The Asian Review nevertheless points out that the government will face two serious challenges in the days to come, them being inadequate charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, and high cost of batteries.
Image credits and content: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint/Nikkei Asian Review