The concept of electric cabs has gained momentum in recent times owing to the central government’s push towards wider adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).
Shared mobility across the country, especially in urban areas, was being touted as one of the reasons behind the dip in the sales of passenger vehicles back in 2019.
However, after the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the shared mobility sector took a big hit.
Further, the high cost of fuel also had adverse affects on the cabs business, undermining the economic viability for drivers who saw their costs go up even as demand was down.
However, the higher fuel costs proved a boon to electric cabs operators in the country.
The government’s faster adoption and manufacturing of hybrid and electric vehicles (FAME-II) scheme, which has cut down the costs of EVs drastically, has encouraged companies engaged in the electric cabs segment to ramp up their operations by adding more vehicles to their fleet.
For instance, India’s biggest electric cab hailing firm BluSmart operates more than 680 such vehicles in Delhi-NCR currently.
They have grown almost tenfold from the fleet of 70 cars at the time that they started off business in 2019. Additionally, the company has also placed orders for another 3,500 Tigor EVs with Tata Motors and is aiming to create a fleet of about 100,000 vehicles by 2025.
Similarly, radio taxi service Easycabs operator Carzonrent is planning to transition their entire business of 2,000 cars into electric in the coming 12-15 months. They will further broaden their fleet to 19,000 cars in the next five years.
BluSmart founder-cum-CEO Anmol Jaggi told the Economic Times, “On a unit economics perspective, an electric car still costs about Rs 2 lakh more compared to a comparable diesel car which translates to an additional Rs 5,000 in EMI but the savings is Rs 15,000 per month for diesel and Rs 10,000 per month for CNG. So the dice is loaded heavily in favor of electric.”