The India-based auto manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra will be partnering with the on-demand taxi service provider Uber on a new pilot that see electric vehicles deployed across the platform in Delhi and Hyderabad by March 2018.
The new plug-in electric vehicle pilot is intended, reportedly, to serve as part of the overall push towards plug-in electric vehicle adoption in India — which is being pushed by the government there owing to massive air quality problems and fuel sourcing challenges.
Initially, several hundred plug-in electric vehicles will be rolled out — with Uber subsidizing the costs of the vehicles for its drivers and Mahindra providing finance, insurance, and service. It will start in the two cities previously stated, but expansion elsewhere could follow quickly.
The two companies will also work with public and private firms to set up charging stations for the cars in Hyderabad. Mahindra has previously said it would invest 6 billion rupees ($93 million) over the next 2 to 3 years to develop electric vehicles. The carmaker is currently working on two electric passenger vehicles, including one with its South Korean unit Ssangyong Motor Co.
Mahindra also has a partnership with Ola in which the ride-hailing company agreed last year to procure 40,000 vehicles, including electric variants. … Uber joins local rival Ola, backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group, which earlier this year launched a pilot for electric cars in the western city of Nagpur and is planning a large-scale roll-out by next year.