The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, plans to invest $8 million in Lithium Urban Technologies Private Limited, a corporate employee transportation (CET) aggregator in India.
IFC has proposed to invest $8 million through Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares (CCPS) as a part of Lithium’s fund-raising round with additional capital being provided by other investors. IFC is funding the project with aims to help in the avoidance of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by introducing more electric vehicles (EVs) in urban transport and displacing fuel-based vehicles which are a significant source of India’s GHG emissions.
IFC anticipates that the project will help create jobs for about 8,000-10,000 drivers over the next five years. The project will provide organized employment for drivers, helping them with social mobility as the company provides its drivers opportunity and training to take on supervisor and trainer roles.
Beyond the project, the expansion will also promote sustainability in urban transport by demonstrating the viability and feasibility of EVs in the market and facilitate the adoption of EVs and contribute to national carbon emission targets with potential demonstration effects for other players to follow with similar projects.
IFC’s investment at this stage will provide Lithium Urban Technologies with the capital needed for the growth phase as it explores new avenues for EV applications.
In India, the EV sector has emerged from its nascent stage and is getting increasingly competitive. Indian transportation network company Ola recently launched a pilot project for which ACME provided EcoCharge battery swapping and charging stations.
Recently, Mahindra & Mahindra also partnered with car rental firm Zoomcar, under which 20 e2oPlus vehicles along with two fast charging units will be deployed at Zoomcar’s platform in Mysuru. Mahindra & Mahindra will also be supplying 1,000 EVs to Bengaluru-based transport firm Baghirathi Travel Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
IFC’s investment will provide a strong signal of support for the adoption of EVs in the country and may help with future fundraising.
Image credit: By Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons