The Indian Government is pushing hard to get the electric vehicle industry going and to move towards eco-friendly, sustainable transport methods. As part of this push towards green mobility, the Indian government will ask cab aggregators and commercial fleet operators like Ola and Uber to have 40 percent electric vehicles in their fleet by 2026.
This is the latest piece of information coming from a high-level meeting that took place in New Delhi. According to Reuters, there was a top-brass meeting in New Delhi involving officials from Niti Aayog and the ministries of road transport, power, renewable energy and steel as well as from the departments of heavy industries and trade.
The hot topic of discussion in these meetings were electric vehicles and their growth in India. India is now adopting a strategy of setting time-based targets for the adoption of electric vehicles.
It was just a day ago that we got information regarding the government's decision to ban fossil-fueled three-wheelers after April 2023 and two-wheelers under 150cc after April 2025. Now we have information that one of the decisions taken in the same meeting will directly affect firms like Ola and Uber.
Both Ola and Uber have in the past tried to implement electric vehicles in their fleet, but have been unsuccessful due to many reasons. One of the main reasons for the failure of electric cabs in India is the unavailability of sufficient infrastructure and the unavailability of cars with a decent range.
Every taxi operated by Ola and Uber run more than a couple of hundred kilometres on a typical working day. However, the current crop of electric cars in the market have a range that is realistically half of that.
The cab driver would have to look for a charging station (limited in numbers at the moment) and then plug in the car for a few hours. This means, a lot of downtime. Hence, proper infrastructure should be set up if such a rule is being implemented. If Ola and Uber have to get to the level of 40 percent electric cars by 2026, they would have to get to work on the goal almost immediately.
The rule would also be enforced on two-wheelers being used commercially. This includes vehicles being used by e-retail firms like Amazon and Flipkart, and also by food delivery firms like Swiggy, Zomato, etc.
Thoughts On Ola & Uber Having 40 Percent Electric Cars By 2026
This move by the government will definitely benefit the electric vehicle industry. But will it work towards the overall good of the taxi community with the downtime and the low profits it offers? At the moment, it doesn't look like the taxi operators or drivers will be reaping the benefits of this arrangement.
It will be beneficial to all parties involved, including the taxi drivers, cab aggregators, the government as well the environment only once there is enough supportive infrastructure and there are electric vehicles with a longer range.