Electric vehicles have often been touted as the future of transportation because of the growing concern for Co2 emissions around the world.
To this end, the ride-hailing company Uber has announced the pilot of its electric vehicle offering in some parts of the Delhi-NCR region in India.
This move is coming on the back of an aggressive push by the Indian government urging ride-hailing firms to electrify a significant number of their fleets over the next few years. According to a Reuters report in 2019, the Indian government had ordered Uber and its archrival, Ola to convert 5% of their fleet to electric by 2022 and make it 40% by April 2026.
Reports show that around 8% of total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions in India are from the transport sector, and in Delhi, it exceeds 30%. The government's push for electrification is due to its commitment to the 2015 Paris climate change treaty, where it pledged to reduce its dependency on oil imports and cut air pollution in the country.
“As the leading mobility app in India, we are committed to supporting the Indian government’s emission goals. Expect to see more electric vehicles — be they two, three or four-wheeled — across Indian cities in the coming months,” Uber said in a statement.
Users can book electric cabs through the Reserve feature on the app, allowing customers to choose a pick-up time for the ride up to 30 days in advance. Users can cancel their scheduled trips 60 minutes before their trip for no charge, according to the description on the app.
Uber has been offering EVs in the U.S. and Europe for some time. Recently, Moove, Uber's car financing partner in Africa and India, raised £15 million to scale its EV operations in the UK. The company also runs an Uber Green program on its fleet and aims to become a zero-emission platform by 2040. It has also set aside $800 million to encourage drivers on its platform to start using EVs by 2025.