In line with the Government's 100% electric vehicles vision, Hyderabad-based online mass transit service provider Commut has launched e-taxis on its platform in collaboration with e-taxi service provider Green Mile.
Commut will offer Green Mile a tech platform and as part of the collaboration, users can book e-sedans from the airport to the city and vice versa. In the initial roll out, e-taxis will be available in five maor areas in Hyderabad – Gachibowli, Banjara Hills, Kondapur, Madhapur and Jubilee Hills. Commut will be adding more routes as demand increases.
Commut claims that it is the first tech-based transit service provider in Hyderabad to add electric vehicles to its fleet.
In the initial phase, 5% of its fleet now comprises of electric vehicles and Commut aims to take this to 50% by 2020 and 100% by 2022.
Unlike Ola and Uber, Commut’s e-taxis will have a fixed price for the journey to and from the airport.
“As a mass transit system, Commut has always been committed to reducing the carbon footprints, along with the traffic and congestion. In the past 20 months, Commut has reduced 100+ tonnes of CO2 emissions. Addition of electric vehicles will help in increasing the impact we've been creating,” says Prasanth Garapati, Co-founder of Commut.
Commut currently has operations only in Hyderabad and its shuttle service has a fleet of 70+ vehicles covering over 100 routes catering to over 1500 customers each day.
This move into electric vehicles comes at a time when the government has announced its plans of a complete shift to electric vehicles by 2030. The government of Telangana too, is working on an electric vehicle policy, which is expected to be announced by the end of this year.
“We are looking to add more electric vehicles, especially in the daily shuttle space. However, the challenge is that while addition of electric vehicles will reduce operational costs, the capital expenditure would grow exponentially. Also, lack of adequate charging stations is a major problem existing in the market,” Prasanth added.
The News Minute reported in September that the government of Telangana is looking at incentivizing electric car owners. Some of the incentives it is looking at is subsidies, to bring down the cost of an EV to that of a regular car. The policy may also offer some rebate in registration and road tax, and also to offer free parking for those who own EVs.
The state government is also looking to implement required infrastructure in the form of charging stations. Currently only the airport in Hyderabad has a few charging stations that Commut hopes to use for its e-taxis.
On the back of these announcements, Commut hopes to capitalize on the various incentives and subsidies.