Recent times have seen the ride-hailing industry jump the EV wagon, with most major ride-hailing companies transitioning to an EV fleet. This has also see new ride-hailing startups emerge, with the proposition of an all-electric fleet, as an alternate to existing ones. Uber, which had so far refrained from a dedicated EV push in India, is getting into it, big time.
This comes after the ride-hailing giant inked a deal with India’s Tata Motors to induct 25,000 electric vehicles (EVs) into its fleet. As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Uber will introduce around 25000 XPRES-T electric vehicles in what is one of the largest deals in the EV space to date. The XPRES brand was exclusively for fleet customers in July 2021, and the XPRES-T EV is the first vehicle under this brand.
Uber riders will be given the option to book an EV cab as a “premium category service” on the app.
“This is the largest four-wheeler EV memorandum of understanding and this will likely catalyze further acceleration of the EV ecosystem,” Prabhjeet Singh, president of Uber India and South Asia. Once the XPRES-T electric sedans are part of Uber’s fleet as a “premium category service,” cab hailers will be able to hail their services in a handful of cities across the country. Uber said that the EVs will be deployed by partnering with fleet operators in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Ahmedabad. The delivery of the cars will be done in a phased manner, starting this month.
The financial details of the deal were not provided, although it will cost Uber a pretty penny – a single unit of XPRES-T starts from ₹13.04 lakhs on market prices. The XPRES-T electric sedan itself comes with two range options – 277 km 315 km, and sports a high energy density battery of 26 kWh and 25.5 kWh which can be charged from 0-80% in 59 min and 110 min respectively. Furthermore, it is environment-friendly with zero tail-pipe emission and boasts of the single-speed automatic transmission, dual airbags, and ABS with EBD as standard across variants. A single unit of X-Pres-T (ex-showroom), with a range of 315 km, is priced at ₹14.98 lakhs and comes with a FAME subsidy of ₹2.6 lakhs.
“In line with our commitment to grow sustainable mobility in the country, we are delighted to partner with Uber, India’s leading ride-sharing platform,” Shailesh Chandra, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility MD, said in a statement. “This partnership will further cement our market position in the fleet segment,” he added.
This development is in line with Uber’s goal of electrifying its entire fleet by 2040 – ensuring that its rides take place in zero-emission vehicles. Tata Motors seems to be a suitable partner in this endeavor, given that it has over 50,000 EV units from its plant in the personal and fleet segment so far.