Over the last few years, we have seen a tremendous increase in the usage of shared mobility services. Companies like Ola and Uber have changed the way people commute in major cities and are helping a great deal in reducing congestion on roads. Adoption of EVs by these shared mobility giants will provide India’s electrification goal an upward thrust.
On an average, we take somewhere around 30 lakh shared rides per day in India. The vehicles used in this sector today are mostly the Internal Combustion Engine (vehicles). Imagine the amount of carbon emissions these rides contribute to. Hence, it becomes imperative that we make a shift from ICE vehicles to Electric vehicles in this sector.
It’s a no-brainer that EVs are the way forward in the Shared Mobility industry. Let’s look at how the giants in this industry can approach the adoption.
- A phased approach: Ola and Uber can target electrification on a city by city basis. Cities with higher pollution levels like NCR can be targeted first. This will ensure that we are the curbing the carbon footprint in cities that are in dire need of it.
- Development of robust charging infrastructure: The charging infrastructure in our country today is inadequate. The development of public charging stations has been delicensed and anyone can set up charging stations given it meets the basic requirements set by the government. In my opinion, Ola and Uber can build their own fast-charging infrastructure. This will help reduce the range anxiety among drivers and help in faster adoption.
- Increase in electricity generation using renewable resources: We are aware that electric vehicles have zero direct emissions. However, around 70% of electricity in India is generated using carbon sources as of today causing emissions. This way, electric vehicles are still leading to indirect carbon emissions.
The government needs to increase electricity generation using renewable resources like Solar energy. Only then will we be able to bring the overall carbon emissions down.
Also read: Delhi & Bihar EV policies
One also needs to understand that the cost of running an EV is much lower than that of a petrol/ diesel vehicle. The adoption will, in turn, benefit from a travelling cost reduction perspective as well.
Considering the above factors, the adoption of EVs in the Shared mobility sector seems very much feasible in the near future. We still need to see how things pan out. But one thing is for sure – the advantages of adopting EVs in this sector far outweigh the limitations/ challenges possessed.