Uber, the world’s largest personal mobility company, has signed a pact with SUN Mobility, a leading energy infrastructure, and services provider, to deploy electric autos (E-Autos) which would help provide an affordable and clean commuting option to its riders.
Under the partnership, SUN Mobility will offer its unique energy infrastructure platform, which includes swappable smart batteries and quick interchange stations to select original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for building E-autos.
According to the company’s press statement, fleet owners and Uber’s driver-partners will benefit because, through this partnership, they can buy vehicles without the battery to save money on initial acquisition costs.
As a service from SUN Mobility, Uber’s drivers will receive charged, swappable batteries. The benefit of using such batteries is that they will help to reduce the overall cost of E-autos, the statement added.
According to Pradeep Parameswaran, president of Uber, India and South Asia, “The partnership is an important step forward in fulfilling Uber’s vision for creating a mobility ecosystem that is sustainable, provides cleaner air, and helps build smarter cities across the region.”
Last month, the Confederation of Indian Industry called stakeholders from across the transportation and renewable energy sectors to discuss the future of intelligent mobility in India.
Chetan Maini, co-founder, and vice-chairman of SUN Mobility said, “Our mission is to give users a cost-effective and convenient energy infrastructure solution to accelerate the adoption of EVs. Partnering with Uber, the leading global player in personal mobility, will help create a wide EV landscape at scale, that will transform the way people commute.”
The company spokesperson told Mercom that the pilot project would be launched tentatively before the end of 2019. However, the company was tight-lipped about the names of the specific Indian cities where the project will be launched.
When asked how the deal between Uber and SUN Mobility will bridge the gap between the government policy and its implementation, the spokesperson said, “It’s too early to comment, but it is a milestone, especially for SUN Mobility.”
Last week, Mercom had reported that the Department of Heavy Industry had invited proposals for deploying electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the country’s big and smart cities under the government’s FAME program.
The concept of E-autos has gained traction over the years with this sustainable and intelligent mode of transport, gaining popularity in an increasing number of cities. For instance, the Kerala Automobiles Limited (KAL) recently announced that it is set to roll out indigenous three-wheeler eco-friendly autorickshaws in the state. According to a company official, the battery for the autorickshaw will be made locally with German technology handholding.
Image credit: Sanu N [CC BY-SA 4.0]
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.