Ride-hailing company Uber has announced a partnership with energy infrastructure and services provider SUN Mobility to deploy e-three wheelers in India.
As part of the partnership, SUN Mobility will offer its energy infrastructure platform, including swappable smart batteries and quick interchange stations, to select original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for building three-wheeler EVs (electric vehicles), the companies said in a joint statement.
Fleet owners and Uber’s driver-partners will benefit from the alliance as they will be able to buy vehicles without the battery to save money on initial acquisition costs, the statement said. They will receive charged, swappable batteries as a service by SUN Mobility.
“We are delighted to partner with SUN Mobility, an industry pioneer, to try to usher in a wave of electric vehicles in the mass market category,” Pradeep Parameswaran, president, Uber India and South Asia, said. “This is an important step forward in fulfilling our vision for creating a mobility ecosystem that is sustainable, provides cleaner air and helps build smarter cities across the region."
The partnership will be piloted across select cities in the coming months, the statement said.
SUN Mobility is a 50:50 joint venture between Maini Group and SUN Group. The company was launched in April 2017 and is led by Chetan Maini, founder of Reva (now Mahindra Electric), and Uday Khemka, vice chairman of SUN Group.
“Our mission is to give users a cost-effective and convenient energy infrastructure solution to accelerate the adoption of EVs,” Maini said. “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.”
Recent developments in e-vehicle space
The central government, earlier this month, said it would provide an income-tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the interest paid on loans taken to purchase electric vehicles as well as reduce customs duty on certain parts. The income-tax deduction amounts to a benefit of around Rs 2.5 lakh over the loan period, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said while presenting the Union Budget 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha.
Earlier this month, Ola Electric Mobility, a unit of cab-hailing major Ola, raised $250 million (Rs 1,725 crore then) from SoftBank.
This week, New Delhi-based e-vehicle startup SmartE raised Series B funding of Rs 100 crore (around $15 million) from Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co.